PHILLIPS - Embrace Sexual Violence Program Coordinator Becky Steinbach says the Northwoods has the highest sexual violence rate in the entire state.
"I think it's a hidden crime still," Steinbach says. "I think that we want to believe that this is not going on. But it is. We know the numbers; we see it happening at such a high rate."
Steinbach says people no longer pay attention to awareness ribbons. Therefore, Embrace teamed up with SaLona Head to Toe Salon in Philips to use teal-colored hair extensions instead of ribbons to raise awareness about the problem.
"We thought it would be a good partnership, especially because people come in and they talk to their stylist… they tell them their stories," said Steinbach.
Stylist Josie Teeters says the extensions can't be ignored, and she hopes sexual violence won't be either.
"It's bright!" Teeters says of the hair extensions. "I mean, it's right in your face when you're talking to someone. They can't ignore it."
Owner of SaLona Lona Kempen says it's more than just a piece of hair.
"I had a co-worker whose mom was shot and killed and she was abused. She went through a horrific situation," said Kempen.
Steinbech has seen more sexual violence cases this year in Price County than in all of 2016. However, she hopes this awareness will help.
"We're hoping that it's not an increased issue, but that people are just more aware now and are reporting it more often," said Steinbech.
In 2016, Embrace provided supportive services to 372 sexual assault survivors, a 68 percent increase compared to 2015.
RHINELANDER - A scoop of frozen custard goes down pretty well on a humid day like the Northwoods saw Friday. Rhinelander's Associated Bank made grabbing a scoop an easy way to help others.
Culver's set up a mobile custard stand outside the new bank building on the corner of Lincoln Street and Oneida Avenue from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Fifty cents from every $2.50 cup sold went to Associated Bank's Children's Miracle Network fund.
The bank is hoping to raise $500 through its fundraisers for CMN this month.
MERRILL - A Northwoods school pulled off a big surprise on Friday to honor a few veterans. After months of planning, students and staff at Kate Goodrich Elementary got to see the payoff of all their hard work.
"It was like kind of overwhelming," said Wolfgang Lenk.
Lenk, Todd Annis, and Randy Perry had no idea they would be the guests of honor.
"To see all these kids and knowing how hard they worked selling all this, and now your name comes up that you're one of the three recipients, it was awesome," said Annis.
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