TOMAHAWK - A cup of coffee helps Paul Nelson focus his thoughts, but he knows his inspiration comes from a place out of his hands.
"I'm just a facilitator. I'm just a conduit," Nelson said.
The pastor from Tomahawk will soon welcome anyone into certain rooms inside Prince of Peace Church with a purpose of finding strength through a higher power.
"It's going to take a lot of courage to walk in here," Nelson admitted.
Last year, a group within the church decided to develop "Community Healing Rooms." They offer a private space for anyone in search of physical, mental, or emotional repair through prayer.
"We're interested in all parts of healing, you know, the mind, the soul, the body," Nelson said. "The whole body, the whole person."
The rooms are free and prayer sessions last about 20 minutes after an initial check-in and welcome form gets filled out.
"It makes all the difference," pastor Diane Frisch said of prayer. "It brings hope when there isn't hope. And it brings healing."
Frisch says they've coordinated with the Healing Rooms Ministries' international association for training. An organization in Green Bay offered its services in helping the Northwoods group get off the ground. Now, 25 volunteers in Tomahawk are qualified to help pray over people, but Frisch stresses their work shouldn't replace medical care.
"This is not in place of that. This is in addition to that," Frisch said. "Even doctors will say that when someone has hope and the spiritual aspect is included, healing comes much easier."
The group sees a big need for healing across north-central Wisconsin, especially with an aging population. They also encourage children and teenagers to come.
"It might not be physical, they may be more emotional, but they can be physical too," healing room director Paula Thomas said of teenagers and children. "We don't want to create any fear or apprehension, we just want people to come and just receive."
The church sees these four rooms as a placeholder for now. They're working on buying a building in the Tomahawk area to grow the ministry. Frisch says they have the money available to develop the Eagle Summit Healing Center, Inc. soon.
"This is the time and this is the place and we feel like this is just the beginning of what's going to be going on," Frisch said.
Starting next Thursday, those four rooms will be ready to receive people in all sorts of pain, welcomed into a place where Nelson knows they'll be in good hands.
"Everybody has a little ministry, a mini-ministry [in them,]" Nelson said. "[We all should] influence those people around you and this happens to be our calling."
The church's healing rooms open Thursday, January 17 at 6 p.m. through 8 p.m. The prayer sessions are first come-first served.
The church is located at 1328 County Road A in Tomahawk. You can call with any questions at 715-453-8783.
(Suspects identified clockwise, beginning with upper-left: Robert Daniels, Andrew Phillips, Richard Harris, Geraldine Dubray, Allyssa Wamego, Tammy Mann)
A report of a noisy house party and fight near Crandon led to six drug-related arrests earlier this month. Officers eventually found heroin, cocaine, and guns along with other drug items inside, but getting there took some extra work.
According to a release from the Forest County Sheriff's Office, police responded to a home at 7840 Love Knot Lane in the Town of Lincoln, which is east of Crandon, on March 7 around 7:15 p.m.
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander man could face prison time after police arrested him in an online underage sex sting. Oneida County prosecutors charged Adam Van Roy with three felonies on Monday.
A Wisconsin Department of Justice Special Agent working with the Oneida County Sheriff's Office posed as a 19-year-old woman named 'Julia G' on several social media applications March 13-15. Van Roy, 36, started talking with 'Julia' during that time.
'Julia' soon told Van Roy she was actually only 15 years old.
The agent's notes show Van Roy asked 'Julia' for pictures, including nude images, and asked her "what do you like in the bedroom?"
CRANDON - Recently, flooding closed roads and frustrated communities from Rhinelander to Plover. A bad combination of rain and melting snow led to days of flood warnings. As those warnings go away, a related risk could do a lot more than frustrate you - it could make you sick. Flooding can cause contamination in wells, but the Northwoods is lucky to have a world-class water testing facility.
RT Krueger's Northern Lake Service in Crandon has about 50 specialized machines that test drinking water for half of the municipalities in Wisconsin. Krueger tests Rhinelander's water three times a week. Every year 65,000 water samples flow in and out of this lab.
"The safe drinking water testing for the city of Madison is being performed up in little tiny Crandon," said Krueger.
Many people have their own wells, which are not tested regularly like municipal water. If your well is submerged due to flooding, filtered groundwater mixes with potentially harmful surface water.
"You're introducing the bacteria and all the compounds and organisms that are normally above the water that you're drawing," said Krueger.
MILWAUKEE - Officials say a man shot by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee police on campus is hospitalized in stable condition.
University Police Chief Joe LeMire said at a news conference Tuesday two officers found the man, armed with a gun, sleeping on a bench in the Fine Arts Complex building around 7 a.m., an altercation occurred and he was shot. The police officers were treated for minor injuries.
We talk to a snowplow driver in Lincoln County who says he was attacked with a baseball bat after accidently knocking down a mailbox.
We'll take you to the ribbon cutting for a new utility garage in Stevens Point and show you some sustainable design features that are part of the facility including the largest solar array in Central Wisconsin.
And we'll speak with a water testing specialist in Crandon to go over the importance of testing groundwater especially after there has been flooding in the area.
We'll bring you this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.
PLOVER - Firefighters tried to go inside a burning church in Plover twice on Monday, but were forced out by fire both times.
Metro fire crews from Plover, Stevens Point , and the town of Hull were called in to The Springs United Methodist Church on Plover Springs Drive around 10:30 a.m. Deputy Fire Chief Ken Voss said no one was inside at the time, but a passerby called in the fire.
The Point/Plover Metro Wire sent Newswatch 12 video, pictures, and information on the fire.
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