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.
RHINELANDER - The Oneida-Vilas Transit Commission will get its long-awaited federal funding installment by October 4.
The timing means no Northwoods Transit Connections drivers will have to voluntarily furlough their pay, but the requirement of 24-hour advance notice for rides will stay in place.
Transit Commission Chair Erv Teichmiller learned the news over the weekend.
The commission is waiting on an expected payment of $300,000 from the federal government. In 2016, that money came in early September. As of last Friday, the commission wasn't expecting the payment until as late as November.
HARSHAW - Oneida County sheriff's deputies found three runaway sisters, ages 14, 14, and 12, in the woods in Harshaw just after 1 p.m. on Monday.
The sisters had been reported missing by their parents Monday morning. The parents had gone to wake the girls up for school, but instead found a note saying they had gone on an "adventure."
The missing girls triggered a search from the Oneida County Sheriff's Office Special Response Unit, Newbold Fire Department Search and Rescue, Minocqua Fire Department, Lake Tomahawk Fire Department, and Little Rice Fire Department.
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander factory that makes smoke flavoring caught fire early Monday morning. Â Shortly before 6:00 a.m.,Â Rhinelander, Crescent and Newbold Fire Departments responded to a fire at Red Arrow Products on Rhinelander's west side.
An employee says there were about eight workers inside at the time.
No one was injured.
"Flames were coming out of a conveyor area as high as the roof. We made an interior attack and knocked that flame down. Came in from the other side of the partition wall, then made another interior attack and knocked that down," says Chief Terry Williams.
As of 7:30 a.m. Monday morning, firefighters were still working to make sure the flames were out.
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