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NEWS STORIES

Parade float brings transplant recipients togetherSubmitted: 07/02/2013

RHINELANDER - "Last year in early May, she woke up very ill after a weekend of birthday parties," said Michelle Wolfe. "She woke up, and by that evening, we found out she was in heart failure."

Wolfe found out a few weeks later that her daughter, Lauren, needed a new heart.

On June 27, she got one.

"We do think of that family often, to think about the fact that, in the face of a loss, they chose to give someone else new life," Wolfe said. "To see that life in front of us, that we share every day, is really special."


While most families were celebrating on Independence Day last year, Lauren and her family were in the hospital.

"It was a very emotional summer, and it impacts the whole family," said her grandpa, Tim Helmick.

This summer, they're not in the hospital. But Helmick still remembers all the other families who are waiting for an organ.

"It happened shortly after Lauren had her transplant, and it just popped into my head as something I felt I should do," Helmick said.

Tim is busy building a 4th of July parade float for transplant recipients and their families.

"When you see the impact and the new life it can give to somebody, it's like the ultimate gift of hope," Wolfe said.

Wolfe and Helmick hope people watching the parade will think about becoming a donor.

"There's an online registry that people can go out to sign up and commit their wishes to be a donor, [to] encourage people to think about it and decide whether they want to be an organ donor if that opportunity was ever presented, and to share those wishes with family members," Wolfe said.

To sign up for the organ donor float, call Tim 715-490-1261.

Story By: Lex Gray

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Merrill's downtown mural by student artists evokes history, cultureSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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MERRILL - "We normally do murals inside the high school by famous artists, and we do a re-creation of their work," says Merrill high school junior McKenzie Broeking.

But Broeking is painting with six other juniors, not only outside of the high school, but completely outdoors.

"They've run out of room in the high school for these murals. They have many of them now in the school. They decided to move their talents outside," says Art Lersch, a Community Resource Development Educator with the Lincoln County UW-Extension.

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Wisconsin man gets 9.5 years for drunk drivingSubmitted: 07/28/2014

MILWAUKEE - A Wisconsin man has been sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison for leading police on a drunken driving chase that ended in a near-fatal crash.

The Journal Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/1nSZKzi ) 41-year-old Kevin Hutchins Jr. of Milwaukee reached speeds of 100 mph during a seven-mile police chase. Deputy Scott Griffin was critically injured when Hutchins' vehicle bounced off of a barricade and smashed into his squad car.

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Speeding past orange barrels could bring $300 fineSubmitted: 07/28/2014

MINNESOTA - Getting caught speeding through a road construction work zone is about to get more costly in Minnesota.

Starting Friday, the offense comes with an automatic $300 fine plus the normal traffic ticket surcharges. That's under a new state law approved during the legislative session.

Officials from the Department of Transportation, a highway contractor and the State Patrol planned a news conference Monday to highlight the change. They hope the steeper penalty will serve as a deterrent.

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Golden Harvest opens its doors at a new locationSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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RHINELANDER - Doors officially opened for one Northwoods Grocery store.

Golden Harvest Market welcomed customers to their new location on County Road G Monday. The 17,000 square foot building has been under construction since November.

Timothy Conjurske, Golden Harvest's president, says the entire team has been working extremely hard the past few weeks.

"We've already added a few thousand items in all categories," says Conjurske. "Also, the deli is new and will be opening here in the next week or two. We're slowly working our way up to more production in that area."

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80-year-old dies after getting hit by trainSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS - An 80-year-old woman died Sunday in Wisconsin Rapids after getting hit by a train.

Police say Joyce Huber, 80, died at the scene.

Huber tried to cross the tracks and was hit by a Canadian National Railway train that was going south.

Police say the railroad crossing safety arms and lights were working.

They also say the train's horn was working.

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Study: fist bumps spread 90% fewer germs than handshakesSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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NATIONWIDE - You could spread fewer germs by going with the fist bump instead of a handshake.

A new study from Aberystwyth University in Wales shows a fist bump spreads 90 percent fewer germs compared to a handshake. That could be the difference between staying healthy and getting sick.

"That portion of our hands is subjected to every surface area, desktops, and countertops as well," said Oneida County Public Health Nurse Charlotte Ahrens. "We probably have a gazillion germs that are hitting that surface at any given point in time."

Researchers say the fist bump may be more hygienic because of its speed and smaller surface area. Health leaders like Ahrens say the transfer of some germs can actually help us.

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Volunteers start setting up Oneida County FairSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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RHINELANDER - Volunteers started preparations Monday for the Oneida County Fair.

About 50 people helped set up.

A lot of work was completed ahead of schedule thanks to volunteers.

Fair leaders think most of the setup will be done Monday.

"We're hoping to be done pretty much today with the initial setup," says Fair Coordinator Nancy Gehrig. "K&M Amusement is already setting up today, which normally they aren't setting up until Tuesday. So yeah, we're ahead of the game already."

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