MINOCQUA - Chestnuts roasted over an open fire as Santa and his elves heard what local children want to put on their wish list.
One town in the Northwoods celebrated Christmas early. On Saturday afternoon in Minocqua, people combined Christmas with small business Saturday. Chamber marketing manager Jane Kinchelow says she heard nothing but good feedback from people in the community.
"It brings the community together. It's a holiday atmosphere. People are happy," said Kinchelow.
Hundreds of people lined up for hours to have a special visit with Santa and Mrs Claus. Down the street at Earth Goods, visitors stopped by for a different Christmas-themed character. Owner Karissa Livingston says this was a perfect twist to bring shoppers out for small business Saturday.
"We have the grinch here today. He's just hilarious," said Livingston. "It's a fun spoof on Christmas and not something you see during the Christmas season all the time."
Livingston says this was a nice event to bring people out of their house during the cold weather.
"Events like this are great for the downtown area. It brings locals out, it brings tourists out," said Livingston. "It's small business Saturday so it gives everyone an opportunity to support their local businesses."
Christmas in Minocqua is hosted every year the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Jennifer Mesner from Envie's Footwear says this event gets bigger and better every year.
"I think more and more people are coming out this day also to shop at our local stores which is really nice to see," said Mesner.
WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump announced Friday that the United States will cut ties with the World Health Organization.
"China has total control over the World Health Organization despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying, which is approximately $450 million a year," Trump said during a press conference from the White House Rose Garden.
"The world needs answers from China on the virus. We must have transparency. Why is it that China shut off infected people from Wuhan to all other parts of China?" he added. "It didn't go to Beijing, it went nowhere else, but they allowed them to freely travel throughout the world, including Europe and the United States."
Trump has repeatedly criticized the WHO's response to the coronavirus, which has hit the U.S. worse than any other country, amid scrutiny of his own administration's response to the pandemic. He has claimed WHO is "China-centric" and blames the agency for advising against China travel bans early in the outbreak.
News of the arrest came moments after Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz acknowledged the "abject failure" of the response to the protests and called for swift justice for officers involved. Walz said the state would take over the response to the violence and that it's time to show respect and dignity to those who are suffering.
The former Minneapolis police officer shown on video putting his knee on the neck of George Floyd has been arrested, according to Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington.
Derek Chauvin, who was fired on Monday along with three other officers involved in the detainment of Floyd, was taken into custody Friday.
Video showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for at least eight minutes on Monday night. The police department initially said Floyd "physically resisted" the officers and that he died after "suffering medical distress."
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