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Pushing for springSubmitted: 04/14/2014
Story By Karolina Buczek

Pushing for spring
RHINELANDER - The snow can't stop some people from preparing for spring.

Despite the weather, some local hardware stores have more customers buying spring products like flowers.

Some stores are pushing spring items because they want to help their customers move on from winter.

"We're into spring. We're getting ready for summer. Despite what it may look like outside, we're pushing to get the spirit of warmth," said Don Pelkowski, an employee at Rhinelander Home Depot.

Some stores have already sold out of vegetable plants.

They believe people are excited to start gardening because they're sick of the cold.

Even though there is snow on the ground, not many people have been coming in for snow supplies.

Some stores don't have any more winter supplies in stock.

"We haven't has any shovels or roof rakes in about a month and a half. We have about a half dozen bags of winter salt left and we have one snow blower that was returned to us. Other than that, our winter stuff is pretty well gone," said Pelkowski.

Employees expect more people to buy spring plants when their next shipment comes in.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

FOREST COUNTY - Bringing your pet along to watch fireworks might seem like a fun way to spend the Fourth of July, but you could be doing more harm than good.

July 5th is one of the busiest days of the year for most animal shelters.

That's because fearful pets try to escape the bangs and flashes from fireworks and end up lost.

Forest County Humane Society president Jay Schaefer says don't let yourself add to your pet's stress.

Play it down, and make the fireworks a good thing with positive talk and treats.

"They're reading cues from us constantly. So be careful of your body language and the cues you're giving them. If you act like fireworks are a big scary thing they're gonna be like, 'oh my god fireworks are scary,'" says Schaefer.

Exercise can be another way to calm your pet before the big light show.

Burning off the energy earlier in the day may help your pet go to sleep early.

"Take them for a jog on the Fourth of July. I know it's hectic, but do something so they're not all amped up at night when the fireworks go off," says Schaefer.

Like many humans, pets like the smell of lavender.

You can try diffusing the scent around the house to put your pet at ease.

Make sure you have a well-fitting collar and identification tag on your pet.

If flashes are too bright, you might want to close the curtains.

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WAUSAU - Every year, firefighters around the country ask their communities to fill up boots with money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Wausau Fire Department kicked off its "Fill the Boot" campaign Tuesday morning.

The fire department will be at local events throughout the summer to collect donations.

The fundraiser helps with research and treatment for neuromuscular diseases for kids and adults.

"It's kind of a rewarding part of the job. Most of what we do is off camera, you don't really get to see all aspects of the fire department. It is a great chance for us to get out there and see all the programs we are involved in to help,"says firefighter Matt Tormohlen.

The fundraiser also gives Wausau-area kids the chance to go to a MDA camp.

15-year-old Roy Thorson lives with spinal muscular atrophy and has gone to the camp for the last ten years.

You can find him collecting "Fill the Bucket" donations right alongside the firefighters this summer.

"It's nice to see the generosity of the public. It's nice to the firefighters willing to put their times towards this. It's just cool to see a group come together for a good cause," says Thorson.

You can also send in "Fill the Boot" donations online.

See link below.

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MADISON - Republican legislative leaders and Governor Scott Walker are once again set to meet as a deal to pass the state's $76 billion budget remains elusive.

Walker was to meet privately Wednesday with Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.

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WAUSAU - Drugs led to four arrests and one death in north-central Wisconsin on Monday.

The Marathon County Sheriff's Office reports a 37-year-old Shawano man died after apparently overdosing on methamphetamine.  

Witnesses say 37-year-old Lucas Groshek and his wife, Carolyn, were shaking and convulsing in a car in the eastern Marathon County town of Norrie.  Mr. Groshek died before getting to the hospital.   Mrs. Groshek, 33, is in stable condition as of Tuesday afternoon.

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ADAMS COUNTY - Police are asking for help finding an Illinois man who disappeared while out for a walk in Adams County.

Fifty-nine-year-old William Sheeran was last seen near a boat landing on Browndeer Avenue in the Adams County Town of Monroe.

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MADISON - Budget talks between Wisconsin state Assembly and Senate Republicans have broken down.

On Tuesday, leaders from both sides called each other's positions on how to pay for road construction projects "laughable." A meeting with Republican leaders abruptly ended after 40 minutes.

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RHINELANDER - Three decades-old signs greet people coming into Rhinelander from various sides.  But if you drive past them every day, you likely don't even notice them.  Rhinelander wants to make sure those old signs stand out.

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