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A legacy of art: Merrill teacher guides last mural project before retirementSubmitted: 06/20/2018
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

A legacy of art:  Merrill teacher guides last mural project before retirement
MERRILL - As Linda DeBroux walks through Merrill High School, she can see the halls she helped create.

What started as plain, whitewashed walls now look like an art gallery. For each of the last 13 summers, DeBroux has guided a select group of her art students to create murals to fill the walls.

"When I walk down, I don't just see the painting, I see the student, right there, painting on that wall," she said Wednesday. "I think of all the struggles, the struggle points they had, and parts where they celebrated."

Murals by ten students this week will bring the total to 157 on school walls. Like it does every summer, it will take long days to accomplish the project.


"We get here at eight in the morning. We don't leave until at least eight at night. We get to work right away," said Bailey Iwen, who will be a senior in the fall.

Iwen and these students are a special group. It's the last DeBroux will lead after 34 years of teaching.

"The part I'm going to miss the most is the kids and the relationships," she said.

Students agree DeBroux has become a local legend for her work.

"She cares about you very much, each individual. She can see you can grow and she helps you," Iwen said. "We definitely are who we are today because of her."

Each of this year's murals depicts a decade of the 1900s.

In retirement, DeBroux plans to spend more time on her own art.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Green Alert IssuedSubmitted: 09/18/2018

EAU CLAIRE - A Green Alert has been issued for a 38-year-old veteran.

Nicholas Wagener was last seen in the City of Eau Claire on September 5, 2018, at approximately 3 p.m.
  
Wagener was riding a bright green bicycle and had a large backpack with him. He said he was going camping with his father, but no family member or friend has been in contact with Mr. Wagener since September 5th.

Wagener has left without contacting anyone for long periods of time in the past, most recently living in the woods using his advanced outdoor survival skills.

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EAGLE RIVER - A state department will look to an Eagle River company as an example for growth and innovation. Eagle Waste and Recycling serves 74 communities across northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula.

About two weeks ago, the company finished several equipment upgrades and even expanded some of its facility to keep up with demand. 

In a couple weeks, the Wisconsin Council on Recycling will make a stop in Eagle River for a tour and to learn about what makes the business so successful.

"This is the only one in northern Wisconsin that's doing exactly what it's doing, which is processing single stream recycling to the tune of about 150 tons a day," said Sales Manager Jim Whittinghill.

Eagle Waste and Recycling recently added a third baler and doubled the size of its intake building. Whittinghill says the company is even considering adding a second shift for workers to process even more product.

He says they look forward to the state visit.

"We think it's a pretty great thing," said Whittinghill. "We like to show off our facility and make people aware of what's here, what it's doing for the state of Wisconsin, what it's doing for northern Wisconsin."

The Wisconsin Council on Recycling plans to visit Eagle Waste Recycling on Oct. 1 at 11 a.m. The meeting is open to the public. 

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PHILLIPS - In Missouri, the ruffed grouse population could vanish in the next few years. The bird is losing its habitat, and a state conservationist calls the situation "perilous."

That trend convinced biologists to try something creative with help from Wisconsin.

Over the last month, the Missouri Department of Conservation has scouted, set up, and collected grouse from specially-designed traps in Price, Lincoln, and two other Northwoods counties. This weekend, the Missouri team caught and moved its 100th and final grouse to Missouri.

It's an effort that's needed for that state, which hasn't had a grouse hunt since 2011 because of dwindling populations of the native bird. This is the first year of a three-year project to move 300 healthy grouse from the Northwoods to land in Missouri just west of St. Louis.

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RHINELANDER - Fruits and vegetables might sit uneaten for days or maybe weeks in your house. At Wild Instincts in Rhinelander the staff is desperately trying to keep their fridges full of those foods.

Bear cubs have been eating a ton of food this summer. More 100 pounds is used a day. This gets expensive, which is why they are asking for donations. Wild Instinct's 10 bear cubs this year came from different backgrounds

"Some of them were in a situation where their mother was killed by the car and there were three or four young ones and some were just abandoned all by themselves." Wild Instincts Rehab Director Mark Naniot says.

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WISCONSIN - Emergency teams met in groups throughout Wisconsin Tuesday for the North Central Wisconsin Healthcare Emergency Readiness Coalition.

The groups called in on a conference call to work through fake scenarios in each county.
Each county had to work through an emergency plan for a mass shooting.

Oneida County worked through a mock scenario at Hodag County Fest.


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RED CLIFF - The Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa says plans are underway for a cell tower on its reservation in northern Wisconsin, a need that was underscored by the recent drowning deaths of four family members in the Apostle Islands.

The family's calls for help on Lake Michigan went unanswered for hours due to poor cell coverage.

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MADISON - A former prison guard who falsely claimed she had checked on a suicidal teen inmate has her job back.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the state Employment Relations Commission decided Wednesday to reinstate guard Rosemary Esterholm with $29,000 in back pay.

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