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.
RHINELANDER - It costs nearly $240,000 to run Rhinelander's homeless shelter every year.
Frederick Place got an extra boost this month to help cover those costs with two grants totaling $8,000.
"With our just shy of $240,000 annual operating budget, we typically only get $40,000 from the state and federal government. So we are raising that $200,000 every single year," said NATH Executive Director Tammy Modic.
RHINELANDER - Thursday Rhinelander turned into the city of lights. The Light of the Northwoods kicked off its drive-through light show at Hodag Park today. "We never got to do anything like this when I was a kid," said volunteer Corey Passmore. However, Passmore's son will get the chance to experience a Christmas in a way his father was never able to. "As far as I can think back we've never had anything like this in Rhinelander," said Passmore. Months of preparation, hundreds of hours setting up, and more than a dozen creative minds helped create magic in Rhinelander. "Symbolizes an opportunity for community to come together," said YMCA of the Northwoods CEO Ryan Zietlow.
IRMA - Until Thursday, we never got an inside look at Lincoln Hills School and Youth Prison. We have heard from Lincoln Hills line staff and the Department of Corrections, but never were able to see the facility.
Thursday the DOC held a guided media tour of the school and living units. Newswatch12's Rose McBride has been following the stories that come out of Lincoln Hills for months now, and she went on that media tour.
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