MINOCQUA - Co-workers of Matt Thomas hugged him more today than they ever have before.
He's a Minocqua runner who finished his fourth Boston Marathon just before two explosions killed three and injured almost two hundred of people.
"It was just completely different," Thomas said.
Thomas finished his fourth Boston Marathon Monday on what he called a perfect day to run.
Watching for two other Lakeland area friends to come to the finish line…
He said it was like loud, close fireworks or a Revolutionary War style cannon.
"People were like, is that normal? I said, 'I've been here for four years, and I've never seen anything like that'. I think it was about 20 seconds later, but , I don't know, time kind of goes funny, then, in that situation, the second explosion went off," Thomas said.
That was when he knew it was no accident, and no celebration.
"People got blown into the course, and the barricades got blown over by the blast. Right away, by seeing what had happened to the people and the barricades coming out into the course, you knew something was not right," said Thomas.
He looked around him for backpacks or trash cans that could be another bomb, and didn't see any.
Because of that, he decided not to move from his spot a couple hundred yards from the explosions.
Instead, he watched the emergency workers rushing to help.
"It was pretty incredible. To see the response - when the second blast went off, the first police cars and the first fire trucks, first two fire trucks and ambulance were there within seconds," Thomas said.
Boylston Street, once packed with thousands of people, was nearly deserted.
That took just minutes.
But it took closer to hours for the entire Northwoods group to reunite - all of them totally safe.
Thomas could take at least one positive from Monday - his marathon time qualifies him for next year's Boston.
So will he go back to run at that same place?
"My view is, I'm going to run Boston because, if you don't run Boston, then you're giving the people who did this exactly what they wanted which is, you're afraid of doing things you normally did," he said.
MERRILL - When you think of movies you probably think of Hollywood, but one man from Northcentral Wisconsin is bringing his feature film to the local screen.
Wausau’s Jarrod Crooks not only makes movies, but he also stars in them.
His latest film, "Dispatched" is based off the Elvis Presley movie, “Girl Happy,” says filmmaker Jarrod Crooks. “My character Jake is sent to go watch my bosses daughter while she’s on vacation with a friend. Then an old enemy is kind of after him while he’s on vacation, so some things happen.”
Crooks made, "Dispatched" on a $5,000 budget and it’s full of romance, action, and comedy.
“My buddy would joke with me, ‘why don’t you just pick one genre man and then just go with it'," says Crooks. "I’m like because I want to make this movie how I want to make It'." "I actually like romantic comedies, I think they’re kind of fun, and I think they’re cute. I like action films because I’m a guy, and I like comedy because Jim Carey is great.”
Crooks is only 28 and has already made 4 feature films. His passion started when he was 12 years old.
“I went over to my friend’s house and he had a video camera. I was like oh we should make a movie, and at that time I was really into, “Wishbone,” says Crooks.
“We’d always remake our own literature pieces. Then I saw my first Jackie Chan movie and I’m like, alright it’s settled we’re doing action films from now on," says Crooks. “From then on it was just a love affair with the filmmaking.”
His latest film will be shown at the Cosmo Theatre in Merrill on Saturday at 5pm.
“The fact that I’m bringing it to central Wisconsin is great because this is where I grew up," says Crooks. "All my family and friends get to see it, so I’m very excited about that and you get to see yourself on the big screen what’s better than that.”
Wisconsin court to decide on testing drunk drivers
MADISON - The Wisconsin Supreme Court is set to decide whether police can legally draw suspected drunken drivers' blood without a warrant or driver consent.
The court said it would hear three drunken driving cases, two of which involved a homicide. That announcement came nearly a year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a Missouri case that could call into question Wisconsin's law.
Wisconsin since 1993 has granted police authority to draw drunken driving suspects' blood without a warrant or consent.
About 5,000 people refused to comply with police tests in 2011 and 2012.
The eventual rulings in the three cases are expected to clarify how law enforcement can gather evidence in some Wisconsin drunken driving cases.
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