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Cowgirls and Gypsies- Salute to AmericaSubmitted: 08/26/2013
Story By Hayley Tenpas

EAGLE RIVER - We honor America every 4th of July.

We often celebrate with parades, picnics and fireworks.

Some Eagle River girls are taking time to honor our nation the entire summer, and they're doing it on horseback.

Jenna and Jessica team up to perform "Cowgirls and Gypsies- Salute to America"

The show features Gypsy Horses, Rex and Henry.

The horses are a rare breed.

Only about 4 thousand of them are in the United States.

Together they ride along to patriotic songs.

"We have the 'Star Spangled Banner,' which we have at the beginning to show that we respect our flag, and it's something that should be respected. Then we do, 'Proud to be an American', because we are very proud to be American, and then we do 'Color me America' for our finale," said Jenna Kukanich.

The girls and horses have been training together for 6 months.

This is the first year of the show.

"Watching them perform is just, amazing and to see that they really do love what they're doing is awesome," said mom Laura Bonson.

"Cowgirls and Gypsies" performed at the Vilas County fair this summer.

They'll be there again next year.

They are looking for more opportunities to perform.

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STEVENS POINT - David Appel doesn't say too much these days.  Instead, he lets his artwork speak for himself.

"Oh yeah, he likes to show them off," David's son Dan said.

The recently turned 82-year-old spends his days in the Portage County Skilled Nursing Facility during his weekly visit from family often admiring the oil paintings he once crafted.

"I wouldn't call it a shock, but I didn't know he had that artistic skill," Dan Appel said.

Appel's son and daughter-in-law, Dan and Julie, first found out about David's talents as the father's 47-and-a-half year career with Copps Foods started to come to an end in the late 1990s.

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WAUSAU - Police in Wausau expect to forward forgery charges to the Marathon County District Attorney against four people after finding counterfeit money in the area.

Patrick J. Eppolite, Jr., 22; Michael A. Beck, 27; Jeremy J. Hess, 36; and Amanda M. Bender, 32, are currently in jail on probation holds, but investigators believe they're connected to some counterfeit 20 dollar bills in the area, according to the Wausau Police Department.

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EAGLE RIVER - The Northland Pines fishing team is about as basic as it gets.

Just two kids, bait, and their gear.

"I didn't expect to go anywhere," said Northland Pines Junior Mike John.

But in their first year the team is headed to nationals after getting second BASS Wisconsin High School Fishing Tournament. It was the first tournament they've competed in together.

Mike John is going to be a junior. Harmon Marien became a freshman right before the state tournament started.

"Wednesday previous I was in 8th grade and then that Saturday and Sunday we took second in the high school tournament," Northland Pines Freshman Marien said. "That was pretty cool, good way to start high school."

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MANITOWOC - A Manitowoc doctor is charged in federal court with drug trafficking.

A grand jury this week indicted Dr. Charles Szyman on 19 counts of unlawfully prescribing prescription drugs.

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GREEN BAY - Prosecutors have charged a 26-year-old man accused of fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend and her mother and injuring a third person in the Green Bay area.

Jacob Cayer of Ashwaubenon was charged Friday with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide. WLUK-TV reports Cayer also is charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide, burglary and bail jumping.

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Volunteers Document WildlifeSubmitted: 06/24/2016

MERCER - You don't expect to see crowds in secluded parts of Iron County, but loons tend to be a big draw.

"There's a lot of people who have had interest in loon research," said DNR wildlife biologist John Olson.

"Monitor change overtime in the wildlife population here in the Turtle Flambeau Flowage. Are loons increasing or staying stable or decreasing the numbers of breeding pair?" said retired wildlife biologist, Bruce Bacon.

The community has shown interest in the animal and with the research collected, the volunteers can maintain a steady population of loons in the water.

"Over the years, there have been a number of people who have done real exciting loon work up here," said Olson.

Over the last few surveys, the DNR have decided to expand its research to all wildlife in water and on land, not just the loons.

"The survey has developed into being more all-inclusive of any wildlife we see out here. Especially breeding birds," said Olson.

Some animals seen on Friday include a deer and her fawn, ducks, geese, eagles, ospreys, and of course multiple loons.

The Turtle Flambeau Flowage is a total of 14,000 acres. Individual volunteers maintain the area year round. If they notice a home or shelter destroyed, they will help start a new one for the animals.

"It's rewarding to see a place like the Turtle Flambeau Flowage in Wisconsin and this monitoring gives us a sense of how to monitor and protect it," said Bacon.

Overall, the goal for the group is to collect data on the animals and maintain that number to keep the Northwoods booming with wildlife.

The power of volunteerism was in full effect on Friday. Six boats covered all 14,000 acres of the Turtle Flambeau Flowage.

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MADISON - Wisconsin state employees will face a new world when they show up for work July 1.

An overhaul of the state's 111-year-old civil service system takes effect take that day. It will leave 30,000 state workers and an untold number of job applicants to face new hiring and firing protocols.

Mandatory pre-hiring examinations will be a thing of the past. So will bumping rights, which protect senior employees from layoffs.

Probation periods will be longer, just cause for disciplinary actions will be clearly defined and layoff decisions will be based on performance rather than seniority.

Supporters insist the changes enable state agencies to fill retirees' positions quickly and impose proper discipline.

Democrats and other critics say Republicans are trading a clean, fair employment system for political patronage and cronyism.

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