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Wisconsin Family Ties to Host 'Fun Day' for Families with Special NeedsSubmitted: 04/17/2013
Story By Kailey Burton


Photos By Kailey Burton

MINOCQUA - In the Northwoods it can be hard to find help for special needs children. But in April especially, families affected by autism shouldn't feel alone. April is World Autism Awareness Month.

In Minocqua families can find a helpful retreat. On Sunday April 28th, Wisconsin Family Ties will host a family fun day at the Waters of Minocqua.

Caregivers and children with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges can come for workshops, and a chance to network.

"I think it's especially needed up here in the Northwoods because there are not many events like this for families who have kids with emotional, behavioral, or mental health disorders or autism," said Jackie Baldwin, a Wisconsin Family Ties Parent Peer Specialist.

Baldwin specializes in bringing families together with the resources they need. She knows an early diagnosis and proper support can help a lot.

"When you know what you're dealing with, and you know what the outcomes can be, and you know how to help your child, what better way?" she says.

Workshops will focus on trauma-free crisis intervention, tools for caregivers, and transitioning special needs children into adulthood.

There will also be child care available for special needs children.

For more information contact Jackie at 715-605-2097 or email her at Jackie@wifamilyties.org.

They're also looking for more child care volunteers.

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THREE LAKES - Dozens of people gathered at Three Lakes Watersports to waterski today for the third annual Pass the Handle Day.

This worldwide project was started by two legendary wake-boarders.

People of all ages and levels geared up to ski for free.

One of the boats honks as a skier lands in the water. That's the sound of a successful trip around the lake.

Corey Seemann is one of the instructors at Three Lakes Watersports. He knows how important these moments are for kids.

"It's what makes it special," Seemann said. "Seeing people that have never had the opportunity to come out and kind of live their dream, you know, and see some of the kids just have a blast."

Kids of all different ages came out for an action packed day. Some with more experience than others.

"It's just really fun," said 8-year-old Katie Swendson. "Getting out on the water."

She just learned how to get up on one ski.

For some of the skiers, this was their first time skiing on water.

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One of the youngest skiers was 6-year-old Jack Westfall.

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"I'm here to water ski to get a puppy," Westfall said.

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The senator from Oshkosh stopped at the Lincoln County Fair on Saturday.

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Johnson gave a speech on Tuesday in Cleveland about national security, as he is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security.

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"I think it's really complimentary to the skills Donald Trump brings to the table," Johnson said. "You got Donald Trump with the private sector experience. You got Mike Pence with a real record accomplishment both in the House and as the governor of Indiana. I think it's a pretty good pairing."

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Bonduel police Chief Todd Chaney tells the Green Bay Press Gazette that one of the injured, a troop leader, was airlifted to St. Vincent's Hospital in Green Bay with a head injury.

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