ANTIGO - Antigo residents bid farewell to the holiday season in the way they know best: a gigantic bonfire.
For a few decades now, members of the Antigo community have undressed their Christmas trees and collectively set them on fire. President of the Antigo Optimist Club, Roger Fuller, says this tradition allows families one final moment to bond over the holiday spirit.
"A chance for everybody to get outside, and get away from the tvs and the inside," said Fuller. "Get your kids out, your family out and have a good family event."
The increase of popular artificial trees resulted in less and less people attending the local tree burning ritual. Fullers says there's another reason people stopped warming up together over burning tree ashes.
"The event has gotten smaller because people tend to..outside events are just not as popular as they used to be, so I believe events have changed that way," said Fuller. "We have less people coming to events like this."
Attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable donations for their local area food pantry. Tim Sharon of the Antigo Optimist Club says they've been collecting donations for decades and will continue to do it as long as they see a need.
"I think there's always a need for people for food products that maybe some hardship that they cant afford, maybe a one time thing that they've just run a little short and don't have money for buying those extra groceries," said Sharon. "This kind of helps supply the food pantry to help those people out."
The Antigo Optimist Club continues to add new activities to encourage residents to still attend. It offers free snacks, hot chocolate, and memories that last a lifetime.
"The kids have a lot of fun. This year we've made some slopes in the snow piles here for kids to slide down if they want to bring a toboggan or sled," said Sharon.
LA CROSSE - The Diocese of La Crosse has released the names of 25 clergy men with substantiated allegations of child sexual abuse made against them.
At least 16 of the men on the list face multiple allegations of child sex abuse.
Of the 25 men on the list, 18 have died. All of the men have been taken out of public ministry.
The list did not specify when or where the alleged abuse took place.
Eight of the men on the list have worked in Eau Claire including Bruce Ball (Immaculate Conception-Regis High School), Thomas Dempsey (Sacred Heart of Jesus-Sacred Heart Hospital), James Ennis (Sacred Heart of Jesus), James Finucan (St. James the Greater), James E. Mason (Immaculate Conception-Regis High School, Newman Center-Regis High School), James Stauber (St. Patrick Jr. High School-Regis High School), Raymond J. Wagner (St. Patrick) and Daniel Budzynski (Newman Parish).
Seven of the men have worked in Chippewa Falls including Eugene Comiskey (Holy Ghost), Thomas Dempsey (Northern Colony and Training School), Richard Herrmann (St. Charles Borromeo-McDonnel High School), William Hertzenberg (Notre Dame), James E. Mason (McDonnel High School), Albert Sonnberger (Notre Dame, St. Charles Borromeo) and Francis Zimmerer (St. Joseph's Hospital).
EAGLE RIVER - Professional snowmobilers took to the racetrack in Eagle River this weekend. However, they weren't the only ones riding on some top-of-the line sleds.
Arctic Cat was at the derby offering demo rides on their 2021 models. People got a chance to try out the different machines, and put money down on a model of their choice.
Sales director Joe Klosterman said it's important for people to try before they buy.
"We do it to give an experience to the consumer," said Klosterman. "You wouldn't buy a car without driving it. We've also got a new model this year that I think is going to bring a lot of new people into the industry."
Demo workers took guests out on a 10-mile loop to experience some of the best trails in the Northwoods. Those trails featured curbs, some fresh powder, and lots of bumps to test the machines' suspension.
Klosterman said Arctic Cat sold lots of sleds over the weekend thanks to the promotion.
OSHKOSH, WIS. (AP) - A Wisconsin teenager who was shot and wounded when he stabbed a school resource officer has been ordered to stand trial.
Grant Fuhrman, 17, is charged as an adult with attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the Dec. 3 attack at Oshkosh West High School.
Fuhrman is accused of stabbing Mike Wissink multiple times with a barbecue fork. Court documents say the officer was unable to reach his stun gun so he shot Fuhrman twice. Neither was seriously injured.
The school was evacuated and classes were cancelled for two days.
IRON COUNTY - One person died in a snowmobiling incident in Iron County early Sunday morning. The victim was identified as a 47-year-old female.
According to a press release by the Iron County Sheriff's Department, dispatch received a call at 1:52 a.m. reporting a snowmobile crashed on Trail 17 just outside Hurley and the operator was unresponsive.
First responders arrived at 2:04 a.m. and began taking life saving measures. The driver was then transported by rescue sled to Beacon ambulance and then to Aspirus GVH in Ironwood, MI.
After continued life-saving measures, the 47-year-old female was pronounced dead at Aspirus Hospital.
MADISON - Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced Sunday he wants state lawmakers to pass a package of bills aimed at curbing youth vaping and educating the public about vaping's potential dangers.
The bills Evers, a Democrat, is requesting would ban vaping and vapor products on K-12 campuses and expand the definition of public health emergencies. Another bill would fund a public health campaign to address youth vaping in the state and a fourth proposal would expand the enforcement capacity of the Departments of Revenue and Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection to prevent vaping products from being sold to minors.
The governor's office outlined his proposals in a press release Sunday.
"As a parent, grandparent, and lifelong educator, I am deeply concerned about the health and well-being of our kids," Evers said in a statement. "Vaping is a serious public health epidemic and it is time to take action."
The governor's office said vaping products pose serious health risks to young users because the nicotine contained in e-cigarettes can harm parts of the brain that control attention and learning.
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