Teachers create a new way to keep students reading through summerSubmitted: 06/06/2014
Story By Melissa Constanzer

ST. GERMAIN - Kids can easily get bored in the summer. Reading a book is one way kids can stay on track with school and not be bored.

Some Northwoods teachers have come up with a creative way to do that. St. Germain Elementary School is starting a new program called Popsicles in the Park. Kindergarten through Second grade teachers will bring a wagon of books to the park. Kids can exchange books and enjoy a popsicle with their friends.

"Keep them reading and then when we meet in the park, we want to hear all the great stories that they've read. And just keep boosting that great reading that they've done," said Carrie Olson, Kindergarten teacher.

Teachers hope this will help keep students' minds active during the summer. They also hope kids are as excited about it as they are.

"If we get even one child that's reading more than they would've, it's worth it to me personally. But I would love to see a big turnout and just kids coming down to the park to join us," stated Olson.

They hope it'll be a good chance for kids to see their friends and talk about stories they have read. Their main goal is simple.

"Enjoying the love of reading, which is life-long. And we also are looking for parents to come down with their child and just enjoy. Maybe they want to chat about stories that they've been reading over the summer because it's a great time to enjoy a book," says Olson.

Popsicles in the Park will have two meetings this summer. It will last about an hour at the St. Germain Pavilion.

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MINOCQUA - The Minocqua Town Board always knew it would need to replace Supervisor Bryan Jennings eventually. But the Board didn't think it happen so soon.

Jennings died September 8, two days after he was struck by lightning while walking his dog.

Town Chairman Mark Hartzheim says the Town is now accepting letters of interest from anyone wanting to fill Jennings's seat.

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RHINELANDER - A Marathon County man who drove to Rhinelander to meet up with a 15-year-old girl for sex told police he nearly turned around.

Instead, Dustin Zernicke pulled into the Shopko parking lot Friday night and found officers waiting for him.

The 35-year-old Zernicke made his initial appearance in Oneida County Court Monday afternoon.  Undercover officers posted an ad on Craigslist pretending to be a 15-year-old girl.  The post said "Mom sent me [to] Rhinelander for the weekend and I have nothing to do."

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RHINELANDER - We likely won't find out who Rhinelander's next police chief will be until early next year.  But the city is already working to replace Chief Mike Steffes.

Newswatch 12 learned earlier this month Chief Steffes is leaving Rhinelander to take a job with the Department of Justice.

Steffes beat out 34 other candidates to win the chief job in 2007.  Police and Fire Commission President Todd McEldowney expects to see dozens of new applicants this time.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 10/24/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll update you on the details of a fatal car crash in the Town of Stella that took the life of a teenager late Saturday night.

This year marks the third highest bear harvest in state history. But it also marked the highest number of hunting dog deaths. No one knows for sure why, but we'll tell you about some possible reasons.

And the Elcho-White Lake High School football team agreed to play an 8-man football game against a nearby high school's team. We'll tell you how it's helping out the nearby team.

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

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WAUSAU - This fall Wausau's Woodson Art Museum will bring together artists from all over the world. 

The Birds in Art exhibit gives artists an opportunity to share a piece of themselves with their audience.

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WISCONSIN - This year marks the third highest bear harvest in state history.

The totals cement Wisconsin's title as the best state in the U.S. for bear harvests with 4,643 registered.

But it wasn't all good news for bear hunters. 

This year also marked the highest number of hunting dog deaths.

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MERRILL - The Merrill Fire Department sees the need for more, younger EMTs to get into the business. Like other area departments, it wants to ensure its staff will stay strong for years into the future.

People like Dylan Schielke can help make that happen.

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