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Family benefits from Heat Up Wisconsin programSubmitted: 10/06/2013
Story By Adam Fox


WAUSAU - A Wausau family will feel a little warmer this winter after winning a free furnace through the Heat Up Wisconsin program.

Dan Hackbarth found the contest in a local advertisement, so he thought he would apply and see how he could do.

It's a Lennox program that provides free installations of high-efficiency gas furnaces for people and families in need.

Hackbarth describes his tough times.

"I kind of put down that two years ago I lost my job and then the following year I lost both of my parents," Hackbarth said. "They had been helping me out quite a bit because a loss of job means loss of income too."

The Hackbarths old furnace was more than 50 years old.

Their son Zachary, 1st grade, is excited for the upgrade.

"I think its awesome," Zachary said. "We think its going to be nice and cozy, we think its going to be awesome."

The Heat Up Wisconsin program stretches from Wisconsin to Minnesota, as well as the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Individual Lennox dealers select from applicants in their area. They then decide which person is in the most need from their stories.

More than 300 families have received free furnaces since the program started in 2010.








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 IN OTHER NEWS

MOLE LAKE - Native Americans often pass on traditions through storytelling. This week, one tribe local decided to take it a step further.

Kids learned about how their ancestors harvested food in winter more than a century ago.

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TOMAHAWK - Patricia Tholl from Rodeo Saloon in Tomahawk put her cooking skills toward a good cause Saturday night.
 
"Today I made a bratwurst soup. It's a beef base, your regular onions and carrots and celery," said Tholl.

Tholl is the defending champion of the Empty Bowls soup competition. 

"The prize is a little ladle. It's a lot of fun, I was really happy to have this honor for a whole year," said Tholl.

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STEVENS POINT - A former Portage County doctor could go to prison for sexually assaulting his patients.  Wilton Calderon pled guilty to three felonies Friday.

Calderon was a caregiver at the Plover Family Practice until leaving it in 2015.  He then moved to Connecticut.  

At least seven women accused Calderon of sexually assaulted them during appointments.  Some patients said Calderon placed his genitals in their hands and performed unwanted gynecological exams by penetrating them with his fingers.

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PLOVER - A 19-year-old man robbed a Plover gas station at gun point Saturday at around 1:30 a.m.

According to the Plover Police Department, a white male wearing dark clothing showed a handgun and demanded cash at the Moto Mart Gas Station on Plover road.

The suspect, Cody Krueger then left on foot.

Police later went to a home on the southwest side of the Plover. Around 11:45 a.m. Stevens Point and Plover joint SWAT team got a search warrant, but Krueger was not inside the home.

Around 1:30 p.m., police were able to find Krueger in Stevens Point. He was taken to Portage County Jail waiting charges associated with armed robbery.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Plover Police Department at 715-345-5255. 

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CONOVER - Crowds gathered in Conover Community Park today for a little winter fun. The Northwoods Blizzard Blast provided winter games for people of all ages. 

Dylan Kleffman spent his Saturday doing some of his favorite winter activities. 

"So far my favorite thing was the pony and the snowshoeing," said seven-year-old Kleffman.  

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STEVENS POINT - An alarm system used only in extreme emergencies -- like an active shooter -- went off at a Stevens Point school Friday.  Thankfully, that report was a false alarm.

Stevens Point police were called to Ben Franklin Junior High School at 12:19 p.m.  Police responded within three minutes.  Some students were already leaving the building when officers got there.

Police made sure students outside got a safe distance away, then sent teams in to sweep the building.

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SUGAR CAMP - Update Feb. 17, 2017 10:20 p.m. -- The woman who runs an Oneida County animal rescue could face animal mistreatment charges.

Oneida County Deputies booked Stephanie Schneider on Thursday. She is due in court on Feb. 27.

Last week, deputies removed 39 dogs from Schneider's "It Matters to One" in Sugar Camp and put them at the Oneida County Humane Society.

Police are recommending charges to the district attorney, which include failing to provide food and water, mistreating animals, and obstructing officers.

People who know Schneider say they can't believe this is happening.

"I'm just heartsick about this, and I'm sick at heart for her," said LynnAnn Thomas, a Sugar Camp resident who says she's friends with Stephanie Schneider.

"Those are her children. She would never, ever , ever mistreat them," Thomas said.

But that's exactly what police believe Schneider did. Last week they removed the dogs from the facility after a weeks-long investigation that was prompted by complaints and concerns from several people.

"People that had worked or volunteered there were concerned about the conditions that the dogs were in and the fact that they were not receiving food or water," said Oneida County Sheriff's Capt. Terri Hook.

Those accusations baffle Thomas.

"I been over there several times, it's always been meticulously clean, happy dogs," Thomas said.

Thomas believes whatever condition the dogs were in, they came to Schneider that way.

"She does get some really, really, really desperate cases, and I imagine that they take a long time to heal," Thomas said.

Thomas added she got her own dog from It Matters To One a few years ago.

"I got my little Hankey, he came in in really bad shape, and she wouldn't let me have him until he was nursed back to health," Thomas said.

Since the dogs were removed, It Matters to One posted certificates of veterinary inspections on its
Facebook page for most of the 39 dogs. The Sheriff's Office has seen those and is including them in its investigation, which is ongoing and may not end soon.

"Just to ensure that all the dogs are healed and make sure they've received all the care they need," Hook said.

Newswatch 12 has reached out to It Matters to One and has been communicating with the rescue via email.

The state Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection is helping the sheriff's office with its investigation and will decide if the rescue can keep its license.

Newswatch 12 also reached out to the veterinarian who conducted the inspections for the rescue, but has not yet heard back.




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