LAKE TOMAHAWK - With nearly 140 dues-paying Legionnaires, American Legion Post 318 in Lake Tomahawk already surpassed its membership goals for 2020.
The post hopes to welcome even more members soon following the passage of a new law that expands the definition of who can join.
"This act was probably the greatest thing that's happened in a long time," said Gary Madden, Legion Post 318 commander.
President Trump signed the LEGION Act in July, which opened Legion membership to all veterans who served from Pearl Harbor to the president day.
When the Legion was established in 1919, only soldiers, sailors and marines who served during World War 1 and six other officially declared periods of war were allowed to join.
Servicemen who fought during periods of "police action" were denied membership.
Once the LEGION Act took effect, 6 million previously ineligible veterans were granted access to the organization.
Post 318 in Lake Tomahawk held an open house Saturday to accept newly eligible members and celebrate the rule change.
"I think a lot of the veterans that weren't eligible made noise about it, a lot of the legion members made noise about it," said Madden. "Finally the congress decided to act and say hey maybe we're doing this wrong and correct it."
The legion connects its members to a variety of veteran's benefits and a society of fellow servicemen locally and around the country.
Legion Post 318 also supports the community through various fundraising efforts like monthly meat raffles.
Madden says newly eligible veterans are welcome to attend Legion meetings and social nights on the first and third Thursday of every month, respectively.
New members will also be able to participate in social activities like the Legion's pool league.
For more information, visit the website for Legion Post 318.
MINNEAPOLIS - Minneapolis agreed Friday to ban chokeholds by police and to require officers to try to stop any other officers they see using improper force, in the first concrete steps to remake the city's police department since George Floyd's death.
The changes are part of a stipulation between the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which launched a civil rights investigation this week in response to the death of Floyd. The City Council approved the agreement 12-0.
PHELPS - Today, the Robbins family broke ground on their new home, courtesy of Habitat for Humanity.
"This is really exciting," said Dave Havel of the Northwoods Habitat for Humanity chapter. "With all of the issues we've had as a nation as a community. It's really great that we're moving forward and able to help this local family here in Phelps."
Excavation will start in the next few weeks - the next step in what both Rebecca and Cory call their dream home.
"They'll never know what this means to this family," said Rebecca Robbins. "They'll never know what this means to us. I have shed a few tears already and I'm sure a lot more to come. They'll just never know what this means to our family."
It will mean some freedom for Rebecca's daughter Jade.
"I will finally have my own room, after sharing a room with my older brother, then sharing one with my little brother," said Jade Robbins.
Cory works with Select Builders, the local contractor out of Eagle River hired by Habitat for Humanity.
"I can't believe I can do this," said Cory Robbins. "I mean, I've always dreamed of owning my own home and now I'm actually going to help build it."
This will be the 23rd home that Habitat for Humanity has helped build in the Northwoods, and the first one in Phelps.
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