RHINELANDER - Animal shelters need all the help they can get placing pets with families in the community. And correctional facilities look for ways inmates can give back to the community. Two local facilities have partnered to meet those needs.
An unusual partnership? Maybe. But it looks like one that will be mutually beneficial.
Getting a dog ready for adoption often means teaching obedience and social skills, which takes time and resources.
It's a task inmates at the McNaughton Correctional Center will take on to help the Oneida County Humane Society.
"Each case will be different; each dog with have their own specific needs. One dog may need social skills. Other dogs might need just basic skills like 'sit', 'lay down'," says Bria Swartout, from the Oneida County Humane Society.
McNaughton houses inmates who are finishing sentences and getting ready to re-enter society. Many of them already participate in work release programs.
Superintendent Brad Kosbab believes the program will help more than just the animal shelter.
"They'll get some satisfaction that, one, they're doing something from the community. It will give the inmate a sense of accomplishment in the fact that they'll be able to see from start to finish results and what it does for the dog. It will also help, like I said, with some of those interpersonal skills," says Kosbab.
The center will choose inmates based on behavior and records. Kosbab says McNaughton has always had a good relationship with surrounding communities.
"We also want to expand into new relationships and we want to be a good community partner with everybody and this just seemed like a pretty cool way to do that," says Kosbab.
The program won't cost taxpayers any money. The humane society will still have to foot the bill for the upkeep of the dogs, so community support is appreciated. You can contact the Oneida County Humane Society if you'd like to donate.
PARK FALLS - Many families began their Thanksgiving Day with a run this morning. Topping off the holiday with a "trot" around town may not appeal to everyone, but for these families it was a way to spend time with one another.
"Trot now so we can pie later," said Steph Schultz, a runner in the Park Falls Turkey Trot.
Families used the Turkey Trot 5K in Park Falls as a way to bond.
RHINELANDER - Nineteen months ago, 10 police agencies surrounded the Tripoli home of Kenneth Welsh.
Police say Welsh caused a three-hour standoff, threatened to blow up his house, and threatened to kill his wife.
Later in court, he was convicted of two felonies and sentenced to three years in prison by Oneida County Judge Michael Bloom.
But now, those convictions and prison sentence have been erased. This month, while in prison, Welsh argued he didn't fully understand all the elements of one of the crimes to which he pleaded no contest, first-degree recklessly endangering safety. Welsh's motion put some of the blame on his defense attorney, Rod Streicher.
RHINELANDER - This holiday season, you might want to tell your child to hug family members at holiday gatherings.
The Girls Scouts of the USA hopes you won't. The organization is saying daughters don't owe anyone physical affection, and that the expectation of hugs and kisses could have bad aftereffects later in life.
"I think for some people, it is a new concept," said Melissa K., the domestic violence coordinator at Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual assault, which is based in Rhinelander.
In a post, the Girl Scouts of the USA told parents their daughters don't "owe anyone a hug. Not even at the holidays."
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