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Remembering President Kennedy in the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 11/22/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson

Remembering President Kennedy in the Northwoods
RHINELANDER - We will all experience at least one moment in life we'll never forget.

For many people, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was one of those moments.

"Everybody couldn't imagine...What happened?" remembers Shirley Swearingen.

"I was confused and shocked. And watched it on TV," adds Susan Piazza.

Fred Kauzrich loved politics growing up. The news of President Kennedy's assassination came as a shock: "It's something that doesn't happen usually in most people's lifetimes."

Walter Meyer remembers where he was when he heard the news.

"I was working at the Rhinelander Paper Company and one of the supervisors came out and told me that President Kennedy had just been assassinated," he recalls.

"It was parent-teacher conferences that day," says Susan Piazza. "My parents went to my teachers to find out how I was doing and they came out after the conference and they were crying. And I thought, 'Oh my goodness, I didn't realize I had done that badly.' But that was not the case at all."

Sam Metoyier was serving a tour of duty in Schweinfurt, West Germany.

"I was with the Third Division. And I was out in the field and everybody in our forces would tell us that, 'Hey, you know Kennedy just got shot?' And we all said a prayer for him at the time," he recalls. "It was very hard on the military forces because we knew we could expect anything from our enemies. We knew that we had to stand our ground and just keep on going."

When asked how he thinks the day changed our country, Walter Meyer responds, "I often wonder what it would have been like if he wouldn't have been assassinated, how much of a change he'd have made in the country."

Though 50 years ago, the anniversary "brings back emotion and a whole lot of thought about what happened that day, and the fact that it happened shortly after, a few years after, to his brother. That it is real. It did happen. And it's a sad day for everyone," says Piazza.

Walter Meyer sums up why it's important to commemorate the anniversary.

"You have to remember history. If you don't remember history, you tend to repeat it."

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 09/21/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll tell you why the Northwoods Transit Connection which provides transportation in Oneida and Vilas Counties may discontinue some operations temporarily.

We'll bring you the details of a Rhinelander swimming coach who has resigned from her position after her third year as head coach for the girls and boys team.

And we talk to a group of people who are walking from Portage County to Madison to help bring awareness to the dangers of drinking and driving after a motorcyclist was killed by a drunk driver in July.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MADISON - Republican legislators are circulating a bill aimed at ending the federal requirement to use reformulated gas in six southeastern Wisconsin counties.

The legislation asks President Donald Trump's administration to grant a reprieve from use of the specially formulated gas that reduces ozone pollution. The requirement was implemented in 1995 in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington, Racine and Kenosha counties. Supporters say the gas is no longer needed because of advancements in emission control equipment.

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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander facility helps people shake drug addictions, counsel families, and get their lives back together after things like a drunk driving arrest.

The human service center saw a 36 percent increase in the number of people it's helped this year.

However, financial changes could dramatically impact those services.

Center Director Tamara Feest sees the good her facility can do on a daily basis.

"We know that people need these services," said Feest.

The center helps people with drug and alcohol problems, developmental disabilities and mental health disorders.

"Not only are we having more people come in, but they are also needing to stay longer," explained Feest.

But the latest state budget could impact the center's ability to help those people.

"That was an unexpected cut," said Feest.

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WASHINGTON - An inscrutable provision in the Republican health care bill would apparently steer extra cash to Wisconsin. That's the home state of GOP Sen. Ron Johnson, a co-sponsor of the bill.

One health care consultant says the language could mean hundreds of millions of dollars for Wisconsin, though others say it's hard to tell how much money is at stake. Several analysts said they weren't aware the provision would apply to any states but Wisconsin.

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MANITOWISH WATERS - Heavy, gray smoke poured out of Kay Lackas's home in Manitowish Waters on Wednesday morning while firefighters rushed in, keeping her in a daze.

"I feel like that smoke, foggy," Lackas said.

Lackas was sleeping inside around 8:20 a.m. when she heard a loud bang of thunder, but she didn't think much of it until she smelled smoke.

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PRICE COUNTY - Fall officially starts Friday, but you can already see signs of it in the trees.

One of the best places to view those colors is the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

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RHINELANDER - An Oneida County detective believes that if a toddler hadn't been left in the care of his stepmother, 28-year-old Ellen Tran, he might still be alive.

Twenty-month-old Avery Edwards died in April of blunt force trauma at a Rhinelander home, and Tran is charged with first-degree reckless homicide in the death. She said the child slipped in the shower, but evidence pointed to an intentional act.

On Wednesday, Ellen Tran's husband, Trung, was also charged in the death of his son. Prosecutors say he knew leaving the toddler with his wife was dangerous, and he deserves some of the blame.

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