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NEWS STORIES

People brave cold temperatures at 14th Annual Polar Bear Plunge Submitted: 01/04/2014

ST. GERMAIN - Bone chilling temperatures didn't stop people from jumping into an icy lake.

It was all to help people affected by cancer.

Newswatch 12 takes you to St. Germain for the 14th annual Polar Bear Plunge.

For a few seconds you feel paralyzed and shocked after jumping into a freezing lake.

"It'll take your breath away, but I understand the concept of it. 30 seconds of freezing cold water is nothing compared to people dealing with cancer have to go through every day during their treatment." said WRJO's Co-Emcee, Amy Linnett.

For 14 years, people who have or are affected by cancer jump into a very icy Big Saint Germain Lake.

It raises money for Angel On My Shoulder; an organization founded by Lolly Rose after her husband died from cancer.

"My children and I wanted to make something good out of something bad. We wanted to start a foundation that would support those living with or affected by cancer." Rose said.

"Our daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She was actually one of the 22 cases ever known in the world," said volunteer, Eric Schoeneck.

"We spent a lot of time down in Madison for surgeries and saint Joe's in Marshfield. After seven months she lost her battle with cancer. She passed away three and half years old."
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Through the support of the foundation, Schoeneck and other families get the support they need.

"Everybody in the organization wanted to make sure we were comfortable and taking care of that we could focus on Jadelyn's care," Schoeneck said.

"It's just a heartwarming experience. That's why we do what we do with the volunteering."

It might sound crazy to jump into an icy lake.

But if you're brave enough to do it, there are some things to consider.

"We always recommend shoes because once you get out of the water, you're back on the snow and ice and it's not good on the feet." Linnett said.

"You want to make sure you put light clothing on because when you once you get out of the water… make sure you're hydrated as well." second time jumper, Margaret Willis said.

Freezing is an understatement, but it's definitely for a good cause.

Story By: Shardaa Gray

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Summer temperatures impact local toy salesSubmitted: 07/25/2014

RHINELANDER AND MINOCQUA - Summer gets us outside playing games on the lake or in the yard, but with cooler temperatures this year, trips to the lake may not be as popular.

That impacts certain businesses in a good way. Imaginuity toys stores in Minocqua and Rhinelander have noticed a difference in the toys they've sold this summer.

"We're definitely getting a lot more traffic with the cooler temperatures. A lot more people in the door, which we're loving. We are seeing a lot more people buying more project based items. They're buying a lot of the active play but not so much the water active," said Jessica Hatch, Store Manager.

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Garden tour Saturday to raise money for hospiceSubmitted: 07/25/2014

RHINELANDER - You can learn how to improve your garden while also supporting a Northwoods hospice provider.

The Master Gardeners of the North and Ministry Hospice will host a garden tour Saturday, July 26th. People will get to tour six gardens in Rhinelander's historic courthouse neighborhood.

Organizers hope the event will raise at least $2,000. That money will go to patients who are unable to pay for their services.

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Wisconsin leads nation in producing mink peltsSubmitted: 07/25/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin leads the nation in the production of mink pelts.

Some of those pelts come from the northwoods, with mink farms in the Tomahawk and Irma areas.

The state accounted for one in three U.S. pelts last year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Wisconsin produced 1.13 million mink pelts last year.

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Baldwin introduces bill to create more VA doctorsSubmitted: 07/24/2014

MILWAUKEE - U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin has introduced legislation aimed at increasing the number of doctors at Veterans Affairs medical centers and reducing wait times.

The Wisconsin Democrat said in a statement Thursday that the bill would create 2,000 residency positions over five years at Veterans Affairs hospitals nationwide. Residency is the next step in doctors' training following medical school.

The bill also would require the VA to allocate the residency positions based on doctor shortages at its facilities and to prioritize training for specialists who are needed.

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Program focuses on possible climate change in the Northwoods Submitted: 07/24/2014

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NORTHWOODS - A warming climate could challenge many of the plants and animals that live in the Northwoods.

People in Boulder Junction learned about some of those risks at the Community Center Thursday night.

The speaker says even though we've had harsh winters these past two years, the lack of ice in the long term could impact fish, evaporation rate and skiing.

"Winter's kind of the limiting factor of the Northwoods. So when you reduce winter, those species that are adapted to being here in this kind of winter, they're going to move further north and actually follow where the winter is because, it's hard to believe, but a lot of species can't live in warmer temperatures," said Naturalist John Bates.

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Local children explore emergency fields at NTCSubmitted: 07/24/2014

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MERRILL - Instead of just dreaming of being a firefighter, some children in Merrill actually got to try it out.

The Boys and Girls Club of Wausau went to Northcentral Technical College's Public Safety Center of Excellence in Merrill on Wednesday to explore careers in emergency fields.

"They're going to do one scenario where they're actually going to get put up into fire gear. And they're going to hook up a hose line on a fire truck and they're going to put out a dumpster fire," says Bert Nitzke, the Executive Director of Northcentral Technical College's Public Safety Center of Excellence.

Student's putting out the fire's say it was more difficult than it looked.

"It's kinda hard cause like the hose is pushing back really hard," says Jordyn Schalow, one of the students that took part in the training.

Students also got to experience EMS and police scenarios.

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Oneida County wants your opinion on boathouses and piersSubmitted: 07/24/2014

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Leaders in Oneida County want to know what you think of boathouses and piers on lakes in the county. The online survey they've put together could give them better information on the issues.

Planning and zoning workers say the two topics have been debated for years. Oneida County Planning & Zoning's Karl Jennrich says the county started allowing boathouses and regulating piers in 2000 when it rewrote its comprehensive plan.

The board looked at both topics a year ago, but didn't take any action to change current rules.

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