EAGLE RIVER - The younger generations of Americans will lead our country one day soon, so educators and veterans in Eagle River want students to understand the meaning of patriotism, freedom and sacrifice.
Polling data shows younger Americans don't turn out to vote at nearly the rate older people do. But some veterans hope encouragement earlier in life will help kids to strengthen their connections to their state and their country.
With that goal in mind, teachers at Eagle River Elementary School founded the All American Kids Club and hosted a social gathering with local veterans to help kids build those connections. The event gave students an opportunity to ask the veterans questions and thank them for their service.
"And what better time to start, you know?" says VFW Post 8637 Commander Al Pittelko. "I think some of our older kids--high school kids and even beyond-- have lost a little bit of patriotism [that] we used to have. Starting this young, we're hoping that it will stick with them."
Piettelko says the event offers everyone involved a chance to learn.
"And they're teaching them things, about how to be a patriot, what patriotism means," explains Pittelko. "And they're bringing in some of the VFW people to tell their experiences, what they've been through the years. I think it is a great learning process."
This was the 2nd Annual All American Kids Club Social. Many of the veterans who talked with students served in the Korean or Vietnam Wars.
MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee's former police chief, who was demoted to captain in part for using tear gas against protesters demonstrating over George Floyd's death, has chosen to retire instead of staying with the department.
The city's Fire and Police Commission voted unanimously last week to demote Chief Alfonso Morales.
Commissioners criticized how Morales handled multiple incidents involving Black people, including the arrest of Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown.
Speaking Wednesday on WTMJ-AM, Morales said he's retiring because if he returned as a captain it would be at a reduced salary and would negatively impact his pension payments.
Morales also defended his record as chief.
His attorney says he and Morales are exploring a range of legal action, including filing a claim for damages.
MADISON - The University of Wisconsin-Madison has received less than 1% of the money that Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group pledged to it two years ago amid the electronics giant's expansion plans in Wisconsin.
In August 2018, Foxconn committed $100 million to the university to help fund an engineering building and for company-related research. It gave the school $700,000 in the first year of a 5-year agreement and records show the school has received no additional money over the past year.
RHINELANDER - After over 50 years of staying open, Hodag Lanes in Rhinelander has officially closed its doors.
"I mean COVID has hit the bowling business really, really hard no matter where your bowling center is," said Sharon Cline, bowling manager at Hodag Lanes.
And with the construction on Stevens Street, the bowling alley was in a tough situation.
"The construction was also a big play for us because with all the construction out here it was tough for anybody to get through," Cline said.
A lot of memories were created in the bowling alley for various citizens in the city.
"I probably started bowling in the early '80s on the Wednesday night women's league," said Sherri Schilleman, Rhinelander resident. "We had the 9 o'clock slot I believe back then."
For her and many families in Rhinelander, bowling was very popular.
"Bowling is actually a big sport in Rhinelander," said Schilleman. "And I think in the last couple of years bowling was actually starting to make another comeback. So it's sad because people are gonna have to find something else to do."
But Cline is hoping that this won't be the end for Hodag Lanes.
"It is costly to have a bowling center but we're just hoping again that we can get up and running again," said Cline.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on many businesses. Even something as simple as networking with other business owners can be complicated. But, the Wausau Chamber of Commerce is trying to help. They've hosted their networking events for years, but since going virtual they've had to adjust to help local businesses stay on track.
"This desire was out there," said Chamber Marking Manager, Brian Otten.
There was a common desire among businesses to get back to normal and doing so meant making changes.
- The Rhinelander school district announced today a blended reopening plan for the 2020-21 academic year. The blended option will include high school and middle school students attending in-person classes twice a week, with the remainder of the week being online. Meanwhile, K-5th will have a four day school week, with Wednesdays off for a school-wide cleaning. Despite the district's decision to offer partly online classes, not all parents are ready for their students to return back to the school hallways.
"We have to put health in front of money. we have to put health in front of other important things to make sure everybody is okay to continue to enjoy the things we like so much. and if this is just one way we can keep her safe and the family safe,..again we just decided as a family that's the best route for us," Rhinelander parent, Kate Bauman said.
For parents wanting an alternative option, they can sign up for the districts online option by tomorrow night, August 9th, 2020.
MADISON - The state Assembly's chief clerk released records of a legislative aide's sexual harassment complaint against a freshman Democratic lawmaker, months after news organizations sued to gain access to them.
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