PARK FALLS - Amanda Poler USED to take her kids to Peace Lutheran's Daycare in Park Falls.
"I never thought that this daycare that I recommend would have something like this against them," said Poler. "I'm shocked to actually hear about it."
The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families revoked the daycare's license last Friday after discovering 39 state violations, including reports of child abuse.
Daycare Board President Sue Bever heard that a daycare employee was physically abusing kids and reported the employee to the Department of Children and Families.
"She's slapping hands, and she's popping [kids] on the butt," said Bever. "[When we heard about it] we had a cry session over it."
In the department's report it also states the daycare did not have certain certifications, an unclean diaper changing station, babies sleeping in improper places, and a staff member being left alone with children who was not teacher qualified.
"When you take your kids to daycare you expect backgrounds have been checked and that they are taking very good care of your kids," said Poler.
Bever blames the daycare's violations on lack of staffing.
"They want good care but we don't have the man power to give good care," said Bever.
Poler says there are only two other places that offer daycare services in the area. She fears many families will be struggling to find help.
"It's very sad that a place like this is closing down because we do need it in a small town like [Park Falls]," said Poler.
The daycare has been in operation since 1989. They had 42 kids registered.
The daycare decided not to fight the state in court and agreed to just shut down.
RHINELANDER - Oneida County Supervisor Bob Mott felt sadness as he toured the Doctors Foster and Smith property in Rhinelander on Feb. 22. Mott knew he couldn't save the nearly 300 jobs that are disappearing after Petco announced in January it was closing most of the facility.
However, Mott is now pushing the county to look at a new option for the buildings and land that could generate money and create jobs.
At Tuesday's county board meeting, Mott submitted a resolution that would form a committee to look at Oneida County buying the property from Petco.
RHINELANDER - By landing in New Zealand last week, Rhinelander's Darlene Machtan and her husband checked off another continent in their world travels. They landed and were confronted by huge national news.
"It's all people are talking about," Machtan said in a FaceTime interview.
Last Friday in Christchurch, New Zealand, a white supremacist started shooting at two mosques in a terrorist attack, killing 50 people.
Most years, the entire country has fewer than ten homicides with guns.
ANTIGO - A sandbag can serve as a cheap, easy tool to stop floodwater from reaching homes, businesses, and other buildings. In Antigo, city workers have seen their fair share of sandbags lately. The city made a thousand of them. It's something workers do every year, but hope to never use them.
"Every melting season," said Antigo Public Works Project Manager Charlie Brinkmeier. "We never know, the weather changes day to day."
Since the flooding that took place in 2004, the city of Antigo has been doing its best to stay prepared.
"Everybody in this community has institutional memory from the 2004 event," said Antigo Administrative Services Director Mark Desotell. "It was quite an impact on the city. It impacted a lot of businesses."
RHINELANDER - The first day of spring on Tuesday greeted us with snow and cold, but a handful of people across Rhinelander did their best to deliver some warm feelings.
Hometown Chiropractic employees stood outside the Rhinelander District Library starting at 12:30 p.m. with motivational signs. This is the third year the chiropractic office decided to do "Sunshine on the Street."
It was a simple half-hour commitment to spread joy.
MERRILL - Dozens of people in Merrill considered who is representing them in city government. A group is pushing to recall five of the city's eight representatives and held a rally Tuesday night to make their case to their fellow taxpayers.
"It's now or never," said LaDonna Fermanich, one of the rally organizers.
The Recall Rally was held at Les and Jim's Lincoln Lanes less than a mile away from Merrill City Hall, where a common council meeting was taking place at the same time.
"This is nothing personal for the alderman. We believe you're all of good character," said Steve Sabatke, addressing the council. Sabatke plans to run for Merrill's 8th district seat.
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