RHINELANDER - A number of Rhinelander police and firefighters will work a weekend morning shift in December and won't get paid for it. It's an extra task they're happy to help with.
The Rhinelander Police Department's Shop With a Cop program returns December 16. Police and firefighters take 20 third grade students from Crescent, Pelican, Zion, and Nativity schools shopping for Christmas presents at Walmart. The schools recommend students for the event.
Each child gets $100 to spend on themselves and family, but organizer and patrolman Chad Brown says the real present isn't something you can buy.
"When I'm out in the community and a bus drives by of a bunch of kids waving, "Hi, Officer Brown!' out the window, that's what's great to see," Brown said. "They put a name with the face."
Brown brought the program to Rhinelander in 2008. The morning includes free breakfast at Burger King and an emergency vehicle escort on a donated Bowen's school bus. The program runs entirely on donations, which Brown says the police department can always use more of.
"You never know if these kids are going to get the Christmas that they want based on economic issues in their families, so we really like to be able to help these kids get that one gift that they really want," Brown said.
Brown says a number of businesses and individuals donate each year, which makes his job of finding enough money easier.
If you'd like to donate to the program you can drop off money at the Rhinelander Police Department during normal business hours. Checks should be made payable to the Rhinelander Professional Police Association.
The police department's mailing address is 201 N. Brown Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501.
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander student made it onto her school bus and to class unhurt last Tuesday, but she almost didn't. A recent close call left Bowen Bus Service employees wondering if Rhinelander will be the next to see a student killed while simply trying to get to and from school.
On Hwy 8 last week a student was nearly hit by a truck at her bus stop, leaving the bus driver in disbelief. In a surveillance video from the bus, you can hear the bus driver say "That car like just missed you. That truck just missed her."
RHINELANDER - It's easy to slip on ice, skid on roads, or get stuck in the snow.
One thing that also happens is joint pain from common winter activities.
Shoveling heavy snow is one of the biggest problems Rhinelander Chiropractor Dr. Tony Lowenberg sees causing this pain.
He said shoveling is a physical activity that can cause excessive stress on the body; especially for people who don't lift heavy often.
"Lifting and the twisting creates wear and tear on their body. Then [people] feel it as pain and then their muscles get tight because they are not used to lifting stuff," said Dr. Lowenberg. "It's more people that are not used a physical job, shoveling can be [troublesome]."
TOMAHAWK - After a bitterly cold November, road crews in Tomahawk enjoyed a warm up on Monday. But temperatures shifting above and below freezing this week will create perfect conditions for a lot more work. John Cole is the Director of Public Works for the City of Tomahawk. He says that pothole issues are something that his crew fights all season long.
"It's job security, it's not a good job security, but it is job security for sure because you always have potholes to fill," said Cole. "When you get that expansion and contraction, we get water in those cracks, and when you get the traffic and people driving on them."
In Tomahawk, Cole sends crews out every week to look for potholes and fill them. He also sends out crews whenever they get a call about a bad pothole.
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