MERRILL - There might not be a lot of people who enjoy living in tiny rooms.
And It's a lot worse when they have safety concerns.
That's exactly why the Park Place public apartments in Merrill underwent extreme renovations. A ribbon-cutting ceremony today helped celebrate completion of the project.
The fifty-year-old complex reopened after five years of remodeling and planning by the Merrill Area Housing Authority.
"[It was] built in 1970. [There were] really small apartments with no handicap and ADA codes that today obviously apply and didn't in the early seventies," said Paul Russell, the Merrill Area Housing Authority Executive Director.
Future and current tenants attended today's grand reopening. Park Place has already received nearly 200 applications from interested renters.
"When you do a huge, in this case, 16-million-dollar project with 102 affordable housing units at stake at three different buildings, that's a huge event for a small community," said Russell.
Those who are interested in learning more about the improved Park Place apartments can visit the Merrill Housing Authority website.
The project was completed with the help of funding from government tax credits.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - President Donald Trump will begin his Independence Day weekend on Friday with a patriotic display of fireworks at Mount Rushmore, an event expected to draw thousands where masks and social distancing aren't required as coronavirus cases spike across the country.
Trump is expected to speak at the event, which has issued 7,500 tickets to watch fireworks that he says will be a "display like few people have seen."
CRANDON - The Forest County Humane Society works around the clock to help animals find forever homes. But taking care of those animals during their stay doesn't just take a lot of time; it takes a lot of money, too.
The shelter got a helping hand, thanks to a $35,000 grant from the ASPCA. It's part of an initiative to help brick-and-mortar shelters improve their animals' quality of life.
Shelter director Angie Schaefer says that money paid for 20 new cat-condos, fencing for two new dog yards, and several other much-needed supplies.
"We're small, we're in a small community, so to raise that kind of money to get these items would have been quite a task. For them to step in and do that for us is amazing," said Schaefer.
Schaefer said the extra yards will allow dogs to spend more time outside and socialize with each other.
If you're interested in volunteering or donating to the humane society, visit its website for more information.
MADISON, WI - Cigarette smoking rates have dropped since Wisconsin's Smoke-Free Indoor Air Law went into effect 10 years ago.
In 2008, before the law passed, 20% of Wisconsin adults smoked cigarettes. By 2018, the rate had dropped to 16%. High school youth cigarette smoking rates dropped from nearly 21% in 2008 to nearly 5% in 2018.
State cigarette taxes were also increased during this time period and contribute to this reduction.
"Wisconsin is breathing easier today thanks to this law, but we know there are many people in our state who still smoke," said DHS Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm. "We urge smokers to take advantage of the programs available to help them to quit, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people who smoke are believed to be more susceptible to the virus, and can become severely ill with it."
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