EAGLE RIVER - Earth Day may still be a couple days away, but students at Northland Pines High School got an early start with some community service.
Nine buses took the kids to different locations in the Eagle River area Wednesday. This is the 13th year that Northland Pines High School has been taking part in the community service project.
"We're doing what we call our Earth Day Community Service Project," said SOAR Administrator Ann Perry. "It started as an idea from a group of teachers from a different school district where they send students out into the field just to give back to the community and take care of the environment."
Many of the spring sport teams went out together as a group for the project. Organizers hope that it will help spark more interest for the students to give back to the community.
"I think a lot of times people get nervous about the word service or community service," said Perry. "They think it's a punishment, and it really isn't. A lot of our groups will go out and look forward to this day. I've heard a lot of my students say, 'It's one of my favorite days because I get to go out.' A lot of our teams go out together so we have our girl's soccer team going out as a group so it's a little bit of team building."
Each group had between five and eight locations to work at Wednesday. The students enjoyed spending a day outside the classroom to help make a difference in their community.
"Well, [Wednesday] our school went out to surrounding communities of Eagle River for Earth Day, and we're all raking and picking up yards for people who are either disabled or can't physically do it themselves," said Northland Pines senior BethaLynn Bontrager.
The reaction from students was very positive.
"I think it's good to get involved with the community and help people, like Beth said, who aren't able to do yard work," said Northland Pines junior Laine Vanden Boom. "We can contribute to the community and give back to them."
Along with helping residents in Eagle River, the students also enjoy being able to spend a day with their team off the playing field.
"I guess this is a really good opportunity for teams," said Bontrager. "Like, we're the softball team so we get to team bond. In previous years I've been on the track team, and we go from yard to yard having fun, raking, listening to music, and helping people."
Many groups stopped for a cookout during the lunch hour, with work finishing up in the afternoon.
SEYMOUR, IND. - A chain-reaction crash in southern Indiana killed a Minocqua couple on Wednesday morning.
Glenn Cardelli and his wife, Kathryn, both 57 years old, were traveling in south an RV near Seymour, Ind., on Interstate 65. The RV was behind a semi and an SUV, both of which slowed due to highway maintenance.
Another semi failed to slow down behind the stalled traffic and crashed into the Cardellis' RV. The crash killed the couple and John Mumma, 67, an Illinois man driving the SUV.
The vehicles caught fire. Interstate 65 was closed for about eleven hours for cleanup and crash investigation.
All sorts of animals are affected by icy conditions. Some Northern Wisconsin owls dive INTO the snow to hunt small rodents. But recent freezing rain has formed an ice crust that owls can't break through. That means owls are beginning to starve.
Amanda Schirmer has been working at the Northwoods Wilderness Center for the past four years. She says that owls may hang around birdfeeders to prey on smaller birds. They may also be seen near roads.
RHINELANDER - A former contracted janitor accused of sexually assaulting a Rhinelander student appears headed for a trial.
Stavros Iliopoulos appeared in Oneida County Court on Friday afternoon. Attorneys told Judge Michael Bloom they had not reached a plea deal. Bloom decided to schedule one final pre-trial conference for late August before a two-day jury trial was set for Sept. 4 and 5.
In late November, police said Iliopoulos, 65, took a girl into a dark closet and hugged, kissed, and touched her inappropriately at Northwoods Community Elementary School, a public charter school in Harshaw.
Iliopoulos worked for a contracted company, Victory Janitorial, at the time.
THREE LAKES - Plenty of Three Lakes High School students didn't know what they want to do for a career as of Friday morning. By Friday afternoon, many still weren't sure, but dozens got an inside look at possible careers.
The school held its annual Career Day on Friday morning. About 25 presenters included police, an FBI agent, college teachers, and graphic designers.
The school first held Career Day in 2009. Organizers hope students realize they have plenty of opportunities close to home.
WOODRUFF - Shoveling snow can hurt your back. But some may not know that staring at all that snow can hurt your eyes.
The term albedo tells us the amount of light that's either absorbed into the ground or reflected back up. On days like Friday, the snow pack will really make it look brighter out and boost the albedo amount. That's hard on the eyes.
Dr. Kirby Redman is an Optometrist in Woodruff. He says there are simple ways to protect your eyes from the sun's damaging rays.
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