THREE LAKES - In less than two weeks, more than 100 veterans from northern Wisconsin will fly to the nation's capitol. The Never Forgotten Honor Flight organization gives veterans the chance to visit their memorials in Washington, D.C. Getting dozens of aging vets onto a flight and around the capitol takes a lot of preparation.
For the vets themselves, the preparation is mostly emotional. Three Lakes veteran Arnold Craig is going along for the journey. It will be his first time in Washington, D.C. in 70 years.
"In some ways I'm looking forward to it and in some ways I'm not...because, I mean, I haven't traveled a lot in the last ten years," says Arnold Craig, World War II Veteran.
At 89 years old, traveling half way across the country takes a lot. But Arnold once traveled much further.
He was drafted at just 18 years old, and served two years during World War II.
"I stayed overseas. I was in with the First Army and then I was in with the Third Army with Patton, that's when I got shot," says Craig.
He lost his left eye in combat. But that didn't stop him from continuing with one of his favorite pastimes...painting.
"I still painted, it's like a computer to me. I got to pick it up and it relaxes me," said Craig.
Arnold still paints every day.
"You got to adjust to what's the best for yourself and just not think about all the bad things and think about all the good things in this world," says Craig.
And Arnold looks forward to another good thing...the Honor Flight.
"I haven't been with a lot of veterans in a long time. And it's going to be quite and experience to see people who were in the same position as I was," says Craig.
The veterans leave April 22nd. They receive thank-you letters on the plane and there's still time for you to write one. You can find out more by visiting the attached link.
ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - 4.7 might seem like just a random number, but it gives us an idea of just how cold it was this year. 4.7 degrees was the average temperature for this winter. It's the coldest winter in more than a century.
It’s common to see these sights and hear these sounds in a typical winter. But this year, we heard them a bit more. The Northwoods fought through it’s snowiest and coldest winter on record. What made it so rare was the persistent cold.
NORTHWOODS - Home sales fell in the state of Wisconsin, but they're on the rise in the Northwoods.
Real Estate experts say home sales are up 5% in Oneida County. Home sales for the Northwoods are up 4%. Experts say right now it's a buyers market.
“If you're a seller right now you are probably going to be seeing some low ball offers,” says Ashlei Highfill, Century 21 Sales Associate. “We just encourage people to respond to any offer that they get not to just reject it or be offended but these days we are seeing a lot of buyers coming in and offering a lot less than what sellers are asking for.”
Experts say fewer homes are being foreclosed. This allows more families to make first time home purchases.
“It’s great to see that people are obviously getting back to work so they can afford to take that opportunity to put their family in their first home it's exciting for all of us,” says Highfill. “We're always happy to see somebody get that first house for their kids we're seeing some people that are making more money now so they're buying a move up house.”
Overall home sales in Wisconsin fell 11% compared to this time last year.
MERRILL - Hospitals can sometimes scare kids and even many adults.
That's why one Northwoods hospital wants those kids to be comfortable with doctors if they ever need their help.
Merrill kindergarteners visited Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center on Wednesday.
The kids got to see an ambulance, physical therapy and x rays.
"We try to show them that you know what, the hospital isn't so scary. And we bring them through different areas that they may experience when they come in or they have a family member here. And a lot of times children, if they don't know, they're very afraid. A hospital can be very intimidating, says Jane Bentz, Director of Foundation and Community Outreach.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - People from all over the Northwoods celebrated Earth Day today. Students at Lac du Flambeau school participated in a natural resources fair today.
Classes, groups and individual students submitted projects to be judged. By doing the projects they learned the importance of Earth Day.
“Polluting could harm the earth and if that harms the earth later on we won't have a better earth to do stuff on like camping, or fishing, hiking and taking walks,” says Sky Risingsun, a Lac du Flambeau student.
35 projects were judged in the science competition. Each student was given a white spruce seed to take home and plant in their own yard.
“It's a white spruce which is a native tree to this area,” says Bryan Hoover, Lac du Flambeau Energy and Air Quality Coordinator. “We've got almost 500 of them and every student is going to take one home so that they can pick a spot in their yard to plant the new tree and watch that tree grow as it matures.”
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