IRON BELT - You probably lost a dog or cat at some point during your life.
Perhaps you rescued yours.
But chances are you probably never trekked across several feet of snow to do it.
One family did - and it wasn't to find a small pet.
"My grandpa came from Finland in 1888," says Iron Belt farmer Rudy Kangas.
Making my way to the Kangas farm, outside tiny Iron Belt, in Iron County, took plenty of patience.
But for this story with the Kangas family, native Finlanders who have been here for more than a century, it was worth it.
"What are you going to do? I don't know. Can't leave the calf out there," Rudy's nephew Jason told me.
The calf, a rare March birth, came to the family under unique circumstances.
73-year-old Rudy led his four cattle to a trail one night, like he usually does.
"Then in the morning, only three of them came back. Then I called by brother, and my nephew, and said the cow's probably going to have a calf," said Rudy.
That's what cows like to do - get away from other animals when they give birth. Jason spotted the cow first.
"When we came over, I saw it coming across the deep snow in the morning," said Jason.
The cow was much lighter - it had clearly had a calf.
A calf that was nowhere in sight.
"Jason backtracked with the skis into the swamp and found it, and then he skied out with it," Rudy said.
True to good old Finnish heritage, those skis weren't something new from the sporting goods store.
"Made by a couple of old Finlanders that were neighbors of ours that lived a quarter mile away. We have more than one set. They're made from yellow birch. Preferred wood in this part of the area," Jason told me as he showed off the skis.
The family thinks the skis are about 80 years old.
But they worked just fine to rescue the calf.
"I slapped him over the shoulder, and I was just holding it while using one arm to balance myself," Jason remembered.
Now just more than a month old, the 'little calf' is in great shape.
"Oh, beautiful. You see him there. He's all full of his winter fur and everything," Rudy said, motioning.
Maybe in part from being rescued from deep winter in a style that would make the Old Country proud.
TOMAH - The Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center says it has adopted another plan to improve patient care.
The La Crosse Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1QMsDMZ) that Friday's release of the "100-day plan" comes almost 11 months after media reports that veterans at the center were prescribed excessive doses of opioid pain-killers and that employees who spoke out faced retaliation from top officials.
The plan, which follows a 30-day plan announced in May, outlines steps for improving access to care, employee engagement and restoring trust.
Among other things, it calls for recruitment of psychiatric staff, employee forums and listening sessions, and opening an employee wellness center.
Several Tomah VA officials — including former Director Mario Desanctis and former Chief of Staff David Houlihan — have been fired since the problems emerged early this year.
WAUSAU - This has been Wisconsin's deadliest gun-deer season in the past five years, with two shooting fatalities already recorded.
Daily Herald Media reports (http://wdhne.ws/1HvNth3 ) that the two fatalities brought to an end a three-year series of seasons that had been free of firearm deaths. Four other hunters also have been wounded.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, hunters violated some of the fundamental rules of gun safety in all the incidents.
A man was killed last Sunday in Columbia County when he was shot while passing a loaded rifle to a companion in a tree stand. Wearing mittens, she grabbed the gun near the trigger and it went off. On Monday, a hunter in Waushara County was killed by a stray bullet.
APPLETON - The U.S. Marshals Service says a convicted sex offender who was wanted for violating the terms of his release has been arrested in Appleton.
The agency says 63-year-old L.C. Streeter, of Milwaukee, was previously convicted of four separate sexual assaults from 1976 to 1985. Wisconsin committed him as a sexually violent person in 1996, and he remained in treatment until his release in 2013 under intensive supervision.
The service said in a statement that he cut off his GPS and electronic monitoring bracelets and fled supervision on Monday, resulting in a warrant for his arrest. Federal marshals and Appleton police arrested him without incident in Appleton on Friday.
Kevin Carr, the U.S. marshal for eastern Wisconsin, says Streeter was "an absolute danger to the community based upon his past convictions."
MAUSTON - Authorities are investigating the death of a person who was found unresponsive in Decorah Lake early Friday.
Kyle Lynch, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources warden for Juneau County, says he was called to the scene to assist in a boat search about 1:30 a.m. He also says the Mauston Fire Department recovered the body, which was found in the water.
The Mauston Police Department says attempts were made to rescue the individual, but the Juneau County Coroner's Office pronounced the individual dead at the scene. Police have provided few other details, and the victim's name has not been released.
RHINELANDER - People deposited more than just money at a Rhinelander bank Friday morning. A blood drive at People's State Bank allowed donors to double down on what they gave.
Nurses from the Community Blood Center took donations from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. as part of the "Give a Pint, Give a Pound" blood drive. For every pint donated, the Blood Center will give a pound of food to the Lakeland Food Pantry.
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Rockfleet Broadcasting / Northland Television, Inc. and By Request Web Designs shall not be held responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, or misprints.