MINOCQUA - The dragon boat festival returned to Minocqua with a new sense of purpose: to try and complete a project started at last year's races.
The Howard Young Foundation uses the dragon boat festival to raise money for a new tick-borne illness center.
Minocqua's dragon boat races serve as one of the biggest fundraisers for Howard Young.
The 21 teams who signed up this year raised more than $10,000 in registration fees alone.
"We get emails, messages, any way people can contact us, about their story that they'd like to share about how they've been impacted by tick-borne illness," site coordinator Elizabeth Gering said. "Its been overwhelming and so it really pushes us to make this center a reality."
Rowers came from 13 different states to take part in the festival.
Anyone and everyone showed up, from first-timers to skilled rowers.
Skill level wasn't the only way that the teams were different.
"We have paddlers of all ages, from 15 to 86, so it's really something that all people of all athletic abilities," festival organizer Gami Miller said.
WISCONSIN - Every year we get our fair share of winter weather. From Blizzard Warnings to Winter Weather Advisories, the National Weather Service uses various tools to alert the public. Now, they have a new warning intended to keep you safer.
A new alert called a Snow Squall Warning will now be issued by National Weather Service offices in the Midwest, including our region.
"It's different than say a winter storm where the storm might last anywhere from 12 to 18 to 24 hours," said Green Bay National Weather Service Meteorologist Jim Skowronski. "This is something that might move through a location in 20 to 30 minutes."
WAUSAU - People in the Wausau area will never forgot March 22, 2017.
Four people died in a shooting that still has a major impact on the community.
On Wednesday, the victim's loved ones unveiled a new memorial in Kennedy Park dedicated to their lives.
It stands as a reminder of the tragic events that happened and as a symbol for the strength of the community.
"This is what Wausau does when times are tough," said Wausau Metro Strong member Cassandra Ambrosius. "We get together and rally behind each other and really make a difference."
Ambrosius organized the Run to Remember fundraiser, which made the memorial possible.
She was pleased to see such a large turnout.
"It's amazing to see so many people from so many walks of life here today to come together to see this become a reality," said Ambrosius. "I think it's a nice place people can come; we'll have some benches eventually. They can sit and reflect, or read, or just be and think about those four people and the impact they had."
Wausau Metro Strong formed after the 2017 shooting.
Former chief of police Jeffery Hardel started the group after outreach from community members looking to get involved.
"We didn't know what we could accomplish, but we knew that we wanted to make a difference. That's how Wausau Metro Strong started and we've been meeting monthly ever since," said Hardel.
Hardel says it took a lot of moving parts to make this memorial a reality.
From raising the money to finding a location, and leaning on the community for support.
"I feel very good right now knowing all our efforts came to fruition and we have a memorial that will honor those four victims forever," said Hardel.
MADISON - A jury in Wisconsin has awarded $450,000 to the father of a boy killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting after he filed a defamation lawsuit against conspiracy theorist writers who claimed the massacre never happened.
A Dane County jury Tuesday decided the amount James Fetzer must pay Leonard Pozner, whose 6-year-old son Noah was among the 26 victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
SAYNER - After centuries, the bald eagle continues to represent the United States through the bird's strength and beauty.
But one eagle in the Northwoods needed a little help getting back to flying high.
"He came in the week after Fourth of July and he had burns reaching from his neck all the way down to one of his wings, which we suspect either from a lightning strike, or he was hit by a firework," said wildlife rehabilitator Amanda Schirmer.
Uncle Sam, as the Northwoods Wildlife Center (NWC) named the eagle, was discovered with burns and a broken bone near Plum Lake in Sayner, Wisc. But the organization had one problem before they could help: it was nowhere to be found.
"He kept disappearing on us, so we can't do anything for wildlife that we can't find," said Frances Torres, an intern with the NWC.
Luckily for the group, another intern at the Northwoods Wildlife Center went to an extreme length to find the eagle and bring it back to the facility.
"She went out and she caught him," said Torres. "She had to trudge through the lake to catch him, but she caught him and brought him in. And the rest is leading up to now."
Workers treated Uncle Sam with medications and used a splint for its broken bone. But the eagle still went through a long recovery.
"There was like a three-and-a-half to four-week period when he wasn't flying in the eagle flight. And we were getting quite nervous that he wasn't going to fly," said Schirmer.
But Uncle Sam earned its name for a reason. The eagle wouldn't accept being grounded without a fight.
"And then, all of sudden, within a week span, he decided that he was ready and 'I'm gonna start flying.' And he was flying up to his high perches very well," said Schirmer.
Finally, the tireless bird could fly like an eagle.
"To just watch it start standing on its own, eating on its own, to Uncle Sam flying on his own â€" there's nothing I can compare it to," Torres said. "It's so great to be able to see him take off like he did today."
Uncle Sam was released Wednesday afternoon at the Plum Lake Golf Club, which is where the eagle was originally found.
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Rockfleet Broadcasting / Northland Television, Inc. and By Request Web Designs shall not be held responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, or misprints.