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NEWS STORIES

An Everyday Hero Saves Hundreds of LivesSubmitted: 04/09/2013
Story By Kailey Burton


ANTIGO - This week the North Central Chapter of the Red Cross will honor local heroes. We're highlighting one who doesn't consider himself a hero at all.

Since 1952 Godfrey Gabriel has donated blood like clock-work. The first time he had some extra incentive.

"I was in boot camp out in New Jersey, and they said anybody who gives a pint of blood, can have a weekend pass in Atlantic City," said Gabriel with a smile.

He also says the free lunches are a big motivator, but that's not the whole story.

He estimates the 128 pints of blood he's donated over the years could have helped around 500 hundred people.

"[You] contribute to people you don't even know, and it costs you nothing. So it's been very, satisfying I think is the right word. And I would recommend it to anybody," said Gabriel.

Now at 83 years old, medication stops Gabriel from donating any more, but a healthy donor can give blood 6 times per year. Each liter of blood can help up to 3 people.

On Thursday at the Real Heroes Banquet, the Red Cross will honor Gabriel for the nearly 16 gallons of blood he's donated.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - Governor Scott Walker wants to cut state funding for the University of Wisconsin System by 13 percent.

At the same time he thinks campuses should have more freedom.

Walker told The Associated Press he will be proposing that future funding to the UW system be a block grant funded by sales tax revenue.

It would be adjusted annually for inflation.

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RHINELANDER - A man uses bubbles to entertain kids and parents, but his act Monday night also focused on more than just entertainment.

"My name is Geoff, but most people just call me Bubble Man, Mr. Bubble. One kid called me Bubble-Wan-Kenobi," said bubble artist Geoffrey Akins.

Akins makes a living by blowing bubbles.

"It was nine years ago that I left my job teaching to perform full time," Akins said.

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PHILLIPS - The Price County Sheriff's Office wants to find out what it needs to do to get a K-9 officer. Sheriff Brian Schmidt believes a new dog would improve the office's ability to find drugs.

The county doesn't have its own K-9 officer. However, they do turn to other departments for help.

"What we would utilize is surrounding counties, and it is at their discretion," Schmidt said. "Like Rhinelander, we utilize their dog on occasion, maybe once or twice a year. But again, it is their dog, so they have their needs come first. So if we have our own equipment, our needs are met with our equipment."

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WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling received a record number of phone calls to the helpline in 2014"14,731 to be exact. This is a 5.6 percent increase from calls received in 2013.

Some of the callers reported having to file for bankruptcy or having thoughts of suicide. The report from the Council also calculated $47,000 as the average gambling debt of callers in 2014, and $20,000 as the median debt.

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VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County finally got what it wanted. For fifteen years, the county had needed someone to act as a full-time Recreational Officer--someone to monitor public safety on the snowmobile and ATV trails as well as the lakes and rivers. Now, Vilas County Deputy Sheriff Randy Schneider will fill that role.

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OWEN - A plane crash in central Wisconsin has killed one person and injured two others.

Clark County Sheriff Greg Herrick says the victim was a passenger in a Cessna 182 that was trying to make an emergency landing on a road in the town of Hoard at about 9:15 a.m. Monday.

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WAUSAU - The Wausau Police Department will use a "Hero Dog" to help bolster its K9 unit.

The dog's name is Rex, and he isn't Wausau Police Officer Mark Jaeger's first K9 partner.

"My last dog, Pluto, is 12-and-a-half and he just retired," Jaeger said. "When [Pluto] saw me in the uniform getting in the squad and he didn't get to come along, he was not happy."

Rex just recently joined the Wausau Police Department, but his service to his community and his country, goes further back.

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