WAUSAU - A gay pride parade planned for this weekend in Wausau raised some eyebrows and tense comments, but perhaps it was all for nothing?
No one seemed to know who the Gay Pride Parade planner was. He wasn't from Wausau, and he didn't reach out to any locals. That concerned the Wausau gay and lesbian community.
"We don't really know what he's planning. We don't know what kind of message the parade was going to send," said Shannon Thomas with Heart of Wisconsin Pride, "In bigger cities pride parades can be quite colorful, and that is fun, but I don't know if it exactly works for Wausau at this time."
So Thomas decided to host a march, at the exact same time. She wants to focus on equal rights.
"I wanted to be sure that the message of equality and equal rights for all was represented and so, at least for the March for Equality half of it, if they [the parade and the march] do come together I know for sure that there are over 300 people right now that will be peaceful protesters."
Then came another twist came to this story... We found out today, the original gay pride parade ISN'T happening.
The mysterious event planner Daxx Bouvier sent a letter to the city clerk two days ago saying he was cancelling the parade.
Thomas's March for Equality will still go on.
The original parade planner Bouvier never paid the fees he needed for the parade, or provided proof of insurance to the city. He's been unavailable for comment.
RHINELANDER - Hockey players in Rhinelander will see some big changes.
After getting a large anonymous donation, the Rhinelander Ice Association will get a new training area, weight room, locker room, and more.
Since work began in August, framing for the building has gone up and dry wall will be put in next week.
"Just the whole project is really exciting and really going to come together and improve Rhinelander, and improve athletics in Rhinelander," said Rhinelander Ice Association Rink Manager Brett Aylesworth.
NORTHWOODS - The high-dosage flu shot for people 65 and older is stronger than the regular one, but holding off for a couple weeks could help keep you flu free for even longer.
The CDC says all ages should get the flu shot as soon as possible, and many pharmacy chains have started pushing shots in the late summer. But some health professionals think waiting a couple weeks might pay off.
"Why they advertise it so early doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. It takes two weeks for it to kick in, and flu season lasts six months. So if you do get vaccinated too early you do run the risk of being prepared for the early part of flu season, but you may not be covered then through the end of flu season," said St. Germain Health Mart pharmacist Jennifer Hansen.
FLORENCE - In Florence County, more people work in forestry-related jobs than in any other industry.
"It's unbelievable, the way I put it," said logger Jaden Streu. "There are a lot, a lot of jobs and a lot of people that are retiring."
Streu graduated from Florence High School this spring and immediately went to work for his family's business, CTL Timber Harvesting.
Streu was among the presenters at Wednesday's Log-A-Load educational day at Florence.
"I think the big thing is, this industry is changing, from some of the equipment [the students] saw that was working here today. It's highly technical equipment," Florence District Administrator Ben Niehaus said.
"My favorite station was the sawmill," said Florence fourth grader Hannah Holdaway. "I didn't know that they cut it with a machine. I thought they just cut it with a saw."
"I think they leave here with a whole different perspective of, 'Wow, this isn't just a chainsaw and something that looks like a bulldozer that picks wood up and decks it on a log truck. There's a lot more to it,'" Niehaus said.
People like Streu would like to leave a positive impression of the forestry industry on students.
"We hope that they leave [saying], 'This ain't bad. This is a good thing,'" he said.
Hopefully, as Streu sees it, some of these learners will someday become his coworkers in the forest.
"We need the younger generation to come in, like me, to take it over and keep it going," Streu said. "It's a family business and I can have kids, hopefully, and be able to show them and bring them up in it and keep it going generations after generations."
Students from both Florence and Wabeno came to the Log-A-Load day.
STATEWIDE - City, county, and town leaders hope you Turn Out for Transportation Thursday night. Seventy-one of the state's 72 counties will hold public forums for people to learn more about the state's transportation budget.
The idea comes from the "Just Fix It" campaign, which many counties have signed encouraging state lawmakers to find a better way to pay for roadwork.
You can find the location and time for your county's meeting via the link below.
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