Dare 2 Know campaign targets teen dating abuse in Rhinelander areaSubmitted: 08/20/2018
Story By Ben Meyer

Dare 2 Know campaign targets teen dating abuse in Rhinelander area
WISCONSIN - Expect to see extra publicity on teen dating violence in the Rhinelander area soon.

The "Dare 2 Know" campaign is targeting local movie theaters, radio ads, and social media.

One in five teens experience abuse in a dating relationship, according to End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, the group organizing the program. The group used input from teens to craft the campaign.
"We're making sure that it really is a youth-led and youth-driven effort. We are really just the conduits for a lot of that energy and creativity," said End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin Associate Director Tony Wilkin Gibart

End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin says obsessive or controlling behavior, especially using technology or social media, is common in teen dating violence situations.

The "Dare 2 Know" program draws attention to the issue.

Two of three teens don't tell anyone when they're in an abusive relationship, according to End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin.

Find out more about the campaign here.

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MARINETTE - A judge ordered another competency exam Monday for an 83-year-old man charged with killing a couple in a northeastern Wisconsin park in 1976.

An attorney for Raymand Vannieuwenhoven asked for a second opinion on the most recent psychiatric exam, which showed the defendant is competent to proceed with the case against him.

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MADISON - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials are asking Gov. Tony Evers to renew the agency's contentious land stewardship program for another decade and substantially increase its borrowing authority.

The DNR uses stewardship funding to purchase land for the state and help conservation organizations purchase land. Republicans have criticized the program for running up too much debt and taking too much property off tax rolls. Debt payments stood at nearly $83 million last year. Still, GOP legislators agreed to extend the program through mid-2022 and authorized it to borrow up to $33 million annually.

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PHILLIPS - There are few cities and towns across the country that haven't seen at least one business close its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But in Phillips, one new bistro is bucking that trend, opening their doors when so many others are shutting theirs.

"After the remodel and all the clean up, it just happened to be during the COVID-19 pandemic," said owner of Red Beard Bistro, Tricia Meyer. "But we had to go forward and open up during this time."

Meyer bought the property and began the opening process long before COVID-19 became commonplace. When doors opened on May 23rd, Meyer found the community to be welcoming. Meyer honed her craft across the Midwest, working in major cities before coming home to the Northwoods.

"I grew up in Phillips and I wanted to just bring back the Vienna Beef and Italian beef, Vienna Hot Dogs, Chicago Dogs, Gyros," Meyer said. "I just wanted to bring something back to my community that people would enjoy."

Even the name of the restaurant's name means something significant to Meyer.

"I wanted to have a unique name and I wanted to name it after my father who passed two years ago so I decided to name it after his red beard that everyone knew so well," Meyer said.

COVID-19 continues to be a challenge for the new restaurant. Meyer hopes the pandemic's end will bring back tourists back to the area and encourage locals to come out.

"As the pandemic will hopefully, eventually calm down, we can have more tourists and more people come try out the place."

Meyer will be hosting a Fall Festival Saturday, September 26th. Doors open at 9 with the event wrapping up around 1PM. 

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Vilas County is changing the rural America  narrative as we know it. Rural sociologist Ben Winchester introduces The Brain Gain of Rural America and how the Northwoods economy is changing for the better.

"I started to notice that the narrative that's being used to describe rural communities really isn't matching up with everything I was seeing on the ground," says Winchester.

Collecting data, Winchester concluded that rural America is in fact thriving. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Vilas County is ranked 12th in the state in population growth since 2010. 

However there are two factors as to why the growth can increase at a slower pace. The Brain Drain occurs when a negative perspective is put upon a town depicting little growth because of the environment. Another conflict is housing in rural areas. 

Winchester says "if rural America is dying, then why can't I find a house to buy?"

Executive Director of Vilas County Economic Development Corporation Kathy Schmitz says people are discovering their successes in Vilas County every day.

"People are finding out that they can live in a rural area like Vilas County and live and work successfully," says Schmitz. Work is no longer a destination, it's an outcome. And I couldn't agree more, it's a place and people are choosing Vilas county to live and work.

On September 23rd, Winchester will hold a virtual event on how the population has grown and other factors leading to a positive narrative in Vilas county. You can register on the VCEDC website for the event.

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Ellyn Reese is a Northland Pines student by day and a Junior Dog Musher by night.

"Being out on the trail with the dogs is an amazing feeling, it's the best the dogs are so excited their energy transfer right over to the musher," said Ellyn Reese.

Ellyn said her parents are one of her biggest supporters who helped her with her start.

"My parents were super supportive about Dog Mushing, they thought it was super cool," said Reese.

After sitting down with Josh and Wendy Reese, they gave us their thoughts on when their daughter first brought mushing to their attention.

"When she wanted to Dog Mush, we were excited we think it fits her, I think she's dog lover, we wanted to give her a chance to do what she wanted to do when she was little kid," said Josh & Wendy Reese.

Josh and Wendy Reese said they wanted to make their daughters dream come true, which didn't happen until they ran into Diane Gagliano.

"We had gone to a few races and met some mushers but didn't have the opportunity to connect to a kennel, until I met Diane Gagliano," said Josh and Wendy Reese. "I was actually at the dentist and she said we have a kennel and we would love to welcome your daughter, to see if it would be a good fit as a junior musher."

Ellyn said after the initial connection, it turned into the experience of a lifetime.

"I connected with Diane and Amelia Gagliano at Top of the Hill Huskies, I got to try 2 dogs with a sled and I thought that was amazing, so I have been there ever since for 7 years now as a junior musher and yeah it's been great," said Reese.

Seven years that Josh and Wendy got to see their little girl progress.

"When she was little she would head out on this sled with 2 dogs like out 4 miles and back. It's been awesome to see her progress from 2 dogs, to 4 dogs, to 6 dogs and to watch her on a sled getting pulled Mach 3 by these dogs when she was little, was awesome and unnerving because they go really fast," said Josh and Wendy Reese

Little did the Reese family know that Ellyn's progress would soon land her on a competition television show to teach others about Dog Mushing, which required her to film in Canada for 3 months.

"I was first introduced to All-Around Champion when they reached out to my club the Wisconsin Trailblazers and they reached out to me and all the junior mushers in my club, so I ended up applying and I ended up getting in and that was so exciting, said Ellyn Reese.

Ellyn's parents were split on the decision on whether to send their daughter to Canada, but ultimately feel they made the right decision.

"I thought what a chance in a lifetime, let's look into this and see what can happen, and I thought no way there's no way we're doing this, this is a bad idea, in hindsight I am super glad she went, and super glad this all worked out," said Josh Reese & Wendy Reese.

A representative from Top of the Hill Huskies, Amelia Gagliano said they were excited for Ellyn and the exposure it gave the mushing sport.

"We knew it that it would be a possibility since we connected her to the application process. But we were so excited but then also Ellyn is a huge helper for us but so we were a little sad because she would be gone for the winter, but more excited than we could possibly explain not only for Ellyn, but the mushing sport," said Gagliano.

Ellyn said she enjoyed her experience on the show, but ultimately thanks the people who supported her journey, her parents agree.

"We too are really grateful because don't have ability to have and house 30 dogs but that team of women at top the hill huskies make an amazing team and an amazing team, so we are really grateful for them," said Josh and Wendy Reese.

Season 2 of All Around Champion, featuring Ellyn Reese is set to drop on Tuesday.

To watch you can visit the BYUtv website or download the BYUtv app onto your cellphones.

Future events from Top of the Hill Huskies visit their website.

  • Fundraisers
    •  Sept 26th at the Backyard Feed Store in Eagle River there is an open house and fundraiser for the Vilas County Animal Shelter.
  • Races
    • Jump River in Catawba, WI on Oct. 10th and 11th
    • Doty Dusty Dog in Mountain, WI Oct. 17th and 18th

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MADISON - A federal judge ruled Monday that absentee ballots in battleground Wisconsin can be counted up to six days after the Nov. 3 presidential election as long as they are postmarked by Election Day.

The highly anticipated ruling, unless overturned, means that the outcome of the presidential race in Wisconsin likely will not be known for days after polls close. Under current law, the deadline for returning an absentee ballot in order to have it counted is 8 p.m. on Election Day.

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TOMAHAWK - The Tomahawk Fall ride concluded Sunday. The three day motorcycle festival had less attendance than in previous years due to COVI-19, but it did not stop local businesses from enjoying the visitors from all over the country.

Local and small businesses were out in full force trying to make profits for the season with Fall ride concluding the festival season. The town of Tomahawk had less attendees than last year but the hotels had no problem filling their rooms. The owner of the Four Seasons Motel, Andy Wadia, said September is their busiest time of year.

"So many people came from Chicago, Minnesota, Iowa, some from California so it's good," said Wadia. "Good for the business good for the town, you know local business is good for local business you know." 

Not only were there visitors from all over the country but business vendors like Eli Villarreal, Owner of Marie's Famous Headbands drove all the way from Corpus Christi, Texas to keep his business alive through the pandemic.

"We didn't hit our numbers like we did last year," said Villarreal. "This year we're probably like 40 percent down, but like I said with everything being cancelled across the US we'll take it right now. I mean we need it, that's our bread and butter." 

Tomahawk businesses love when fall ride comes for the three day weekend as it is the last push for businesses to make their final profits before the off season takes over and the influx of tourism grinds to a halt.

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