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Northwoods Cattle Rescue One-of-a-Kind in the StateSubmitted: 04/30/2013
Story By Kailey Burton

Northwoods Cattle Rescue One-of-a-Kind in the State
Photos By Kailey Burton

TOMAHAWK - Humane societies care for as many dogs and cats as they can, but what about larger animals-- like cows, or horses? That's where Bill Blemke comes in.

"Some of the situations we take these cattle out of, and horses... No feed, they have no dry place to lay, they're laying in their own feces… for months. No water. It's terrible," said Blemke.

It's clearly illegal to treat a dog or cat that way. Farm animals though, don't have many advocates. Bill Blemke couldn't believe the "Dairy State" had no rescue group for abused cows, so he started one. For now he works with family farmers to place animals he's rescued.

"If Bill didn't bring him I'm sure he would have been dead," said Vi McCrystal, referring to the cow leaning into her to have his face rubbed, When he came to us his knees were bulging, he just really was in a bad way," McCrystal care takes and helps rehabilitate animals for Cattle Rescue Inc.

Bill wants to stop that kind of abuse in the first place. He feels every animal should have a chance at a healthy productive life. Once these animals are healthy, most will go back to agricultural use. To make this rescue work though, Blemke needs some serious fundraising.

"We need $500,000...Times are hard, I know people, it's hard for them to open their pocket. But there's also people out there with big hearts that do have so money, so they might be able to help," he said

In Bill's mind, animal abuse is not just wrong, it's wasteful. He wants his rescue to serve as many purposes as possible.

"There's a lot of hungry people in the state of Wisconsin. If we can take them [older dairy cows] just for hamburger for the food pantries it'll put a big chunk into the economy just for those people alone," he said.

Bill wants high school students interesting in farming to get hands on experience caring for the animals. He also wants to repurpose horses and other animals rescued to therapy barns.


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ROSENDALE, WI - An explosion and fire at a cheese plant in Fond du Lac County sent one person to the hospital.

The sheriff's office says 36-year-old Travis Klotzbach, of Brandon, was using a cutting torch on an empty 55-gallon barrel in the auto shop at Knaus Cheese near Rosendale when the explosion happened just after 7 a.m. Friday.

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EAGLE RIVER - Americans eat more than 46 million turkeys on Thanksgiving Day. That much thawing, handling, and cooking of turkeys means people can make mistakes.

The Vilas County Public Health Department wants to help people avoid exposing themselves to dangerous bacteria. It says frozen turkeys should always be thawed in the refrigerator or under running water.

"You don't want to set them out on your countertop for any amount of time to thaw them because that's when they're going to be in the 'danger zone.' The 'danger zone' is between 40 and 140 [degrees Fahrenheit], and that's when pathogens can grow," said Vilas County Registered Sanitarian Amy Springer.

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TOMAHAWK - The rain didn't stop a big crowd from going to an event that's become tradition.
The Tomahawk Chamber of Commerce hosted its 52nd Venison Feed.

 It kicks off the gun deer hunting season which starts tomorrow. 
 
You'll find grill master Gregg Albert at the same spot this year as he has for decades.

"From what we know it's one of the last in the country that even exist.

If I had to say one word it would be tradition," said Albert. 

The Tomahawk Chamber of Commerce's 52nd Venison Feed brought out some old timers and some newbies to kick off the start of the deer hunting season. 

Albert's grilled for about 33 years. 

I found Rhinelander's Steve Norman's on his sixth free venison burger. 

"Sweet it's good. I'm on my last one," said Norman.

He's not a hunter.

"I just fish like heck," said Norman. 

However, Norman still gets a lot out of the celebration. 

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RHINELANDER - Snow plows can't do their job very well when cars sit in their way.  That's why Rhinelander's winter parking ban will return in just a couple of weeks.

Starting December 1st, cars can only park on designated sides of the street during the day.  On even-numbered days, cars park on the side of the street with even addresses.  On odd numbered days, cars must park on odd-numbered sides of the street.

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RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Salvation Army hopes to raise $40,000 in its bell ringing campaign again this year. It reached that goal during the holidays a year ago.

Volunteers kicked off the bell ringing drive at Trig's and Shopko on Friday. Eighty-six percent of money raised stays in the Rhinelander area to help families in emergencies.

"We're very excited that we're keeping our goal at 40 (thousand dollars) this year, and we're hoping that people are continuing to be generous in helping us reach that goal," Rhinelander Salvation Army Kettle Coordinator Kim Swisher said. "People are friendly, they're excited, they're like, 'Oh, it's bell ringing time!' [That] always means the holidays. We're excited about that."

You'll see volunteers at Trig's and Shopko through the holidays. Bell ringing starts at Walmart next week.

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UPDATE: The suspected shooter from a homicide in Tomahawk has been identified as Eric Lee Moen, 32.  Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins confirmed Moen is being held in the Lincoln County Jail for a 1st-degree intentional homicide charge.

The Lincoln County Clerk of Courts reports Moen is being held on a $1 million cash bond.  He has yet to appear in court, but an initial appearance has been set for Monday at 1:30 p.m.

Online court records show Moen was convicted of various traffic offenses.  He was also convicted of misdemeanor battery in Portage County from a 2002 case.

Elvins plans to release more information Friday afternoon.




Tomahawk police identified the victim in the city's first shooting homicide in years.  Friday morning, Police Chief Al Elvins announced Charles K. Ramp, 52, was shot and killed outside his home on W. Mohawk Drive Thursday night.

Police arrested the suspected shooter, a 32-year-old man from Wausau, but did not identify him.  The suspect was found about 130 miles away in Lake Hallie, which is near Eau Claire.

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SUGAR CAMP - Students at Sugar Camp Elementary School invited their grandparents to join them at school on Friday. Grandparents toured classrooms, heard poems and stories, and ate lunch with family.

Jenna Erikson is a sixth grader at Sugar Camp. Her grandparents drive two hours from Colby every year to experience Grandparents Day with her.

"We read our speeches, then I showed my grandparents around the room a little bit," Erikson said. "It's really fun, and it's just a good time."

More than 130 grandparents visited their grandchildren at school. Sugar Camp has been hosting the event for decades.

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