Governor Scott Walker has promised to create 250,000 jobs. With that being said – there are jobs being lost due to some of his administration’s decisions. A contract for school software was awarded to a Minnesota firm rather than keeping it in Wisconsin. This will no doubt result in a loss of jobs in and around the Stevens Point area. The Wisconsin software company claims that their company would produce a $2.6 million savings annually. If the other company has a better savings plan, why not give the Wisconsin company a chance to match it? Another example of jobs being lost is due to the scheduled highway overpass project north of Merrill on highways 51 at the intersection of county highway C and North Star Road. This overpass will not provide any on/off ramps and will put the gas station/convenience store out of business due to a loss of highway access. This is a double whammy because not only will the employees at the commercial enterprise be out of work but the owner will lose his business. At a recent meeting dealing with this project the Department of Transportation folks said that this was part of the long range plan for this section of highway started back in the 1970’s. That would be close to 40 years ago, I think that the plan needs to be updated to take into consideration current economic situations. The Governor needs to be reminded that it is easier to keep jobs than it is to create them.
Letter to the Editor:
I hope everyone has been able to see at least one of the new Tips From Former Smokers tobacco prevention commercials now playing on television, radio, in the newspaper and on billboards. These ads show real people telling real stories, giving voice to over 8 million Americans who are suffering from smoking-related chronic diseases. They are hard-hitting and emotionally compelling. But they are exactly the kinds of commercials that are proven to support smokers to try to quit. Last year when the campaign was running, hundreds of thousands of smokers called 1-800-QUIT-NOW for help. Many non-smokers talked to loved ones to encourage them to quit.
The new ads from the CDC tell the stories of real people struggling with the kinds of smoking-related diseases that are far too common – including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, more severe adult asthma, and complications from diabetes, such as blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, and amputation. They show how these illnesses have changed the way these people have to live their lives. One new feature of this campaign is an ad that focuses on the dangers of secondhand smoke, which kills almost 50,000 non-smokers each year.
I watched my father die from lung cancer in 2005. He began his habit when he was 18 years old and continued smoking until he was diagnosed with lung cancer, at the age of 51. He was lucky and his cancer stayed in remission for 14 years. In October 2004, his cancer came back. My father did not die with dignity. He did not die pain-free. His body turned into a skeleton with the skin hanging on his bones and covered with large open bed sores. He was in a coma for 2 weeks when he finally died in January. He was 65 years old.
These commercials can help save someone from smoking-related death and disease. Most smokers say they want to quit. By showing real stories of how smoking can change the lives and health of Lincoln County residents, these commercials will hopefully encourage smokers to quit and prevent young people from starting. This campaign is saving lives and saving dollars by giving people the facts about smoking in an easy-to-understand way that encourages quitting.
If you’re a smoker, when you see these ads, I hope they help inspire you to try to quit. And I hope you’ll call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to access free quit support, or visit www.cdc.gove/tips to view the personal stories from the campaign and for information helpful to quitting.
Lincoln County Health Department
Within the last few years, there has been an explosion of digital literacy created for both the academic arena and mass consumption. As a result the literacy world has been in a race to transform books from objects with a cover and pages to ones that are downloaded with interactive text. School libraries have been struggling in this rapidly changing world to meet the demand, affordablity, and accessiblity of e-books in a way that benefits all patrons. Thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, Prairie River Middle School in Merrill was awarded funds as part of the Beyond Crayons and Computers grant. With the grant monies, the school was able to purchase Nook e-readers with preloaded books that can now be checked-out by students from our school library. The Nooks provide students, especially those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, the ability to check out e-books and have a device from which to read them. The devices and books have generated excitement for reading and provide features like adjustable fonts, which benefit students with learning disabilities and visual impairments. Thank you again to the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin for making this project a reality for our students.
Prairie River Middle School
Letter to the Editor,
One behalf of the Merrill Area United Way, our Board of Directors and myself we want to thank Riverside Athletic Club, especially Paul Kienitz and Beccci Shuman, for organizing and sponsoring the 5th Annual Run United Event. This year we had over 20 companies and organizations that helped by being financial sponsors or donating door prizes, post-race food/beverages and gifts or by providing in kind services.
The volunteer help was awesome because we couldn’t do it without folks stepping up to help out. The Merrill Fire Department, Merrill Police Department, the EMT’s and the Ham Radio Operators were all involved in making this a safe run for everyone. With about 130 runners/walkers, the event was a great success. The beautiful weather, milk temperatures and well organized race made for a fun race for everyone. All the proceeds from this event go to “Paul’s Charity of Choice,” the Merrill Area United Way.
The Merrill Area United Way assists numerous local agencies in serving the community in our impact areas of Health, Education, and Income/Basic Needs. Thanks to every person who ran or walked or worked and for being involved with RUN UNITED. You make a difference in the lives of other.
Executive Director, Merrill Area United Way
The “North Woodies” Ladies Ducks Unlimited would like to say “Thank You” to the businesses, individuals that donated as well as the ladies that attended our banquet to make it another huge success.
“North Woodies” Committee
On behalf of the staff at Riverside Athletic Club we want to thank all the many people and businesses who helped make the fifth annual Run United 10K, 5K, and 2 mile Fun Run a success. Riverside Athletic Club sponsors Run United to benefit the 21 programs Merrill Area United Way helps to fund. We feel it is vital to ban together as a community and support our local organizations and make an impact right here in Merrill. Riverside has always been a supporter of various charitable organizations and donates where it is needed. We strongly feel that by focusing our energies on events that will benefit the Merrill United Way, we will have a greater impact on our community.
Our goal is to continue to develop our event with new and exciting improvements. This year the participants ran a new course that took them through our beautiful downtown area, they also enjoyed a new looking t-shirt created just for this event. We also added Tunes 2 Go and enjoyed music throughout the event. Chipped Timing made the event run smoother and quicker.
The success of this event wouldn’t have been possible without our many sponsors and volunteers. We also want to thank all of our runners and walkers. You did a great job with raising money for this great cause. Everyone’s hard work and dedication made this event a huge success.
We want to express our deep gratitude to Phil Skoug with the Merrill Fire Department. He spent countless hours helping coordinate volunteers and making sure the event went smoothly. We also want to thank Dale Bacher of the Merrill Police Department. He has been continuously supportive of our efforts here at Riverside and goes above and beyond to donate his time. He made sure we had a safe race and organized law enforcement, traffic control and kept an eye out for everyone at the event. Thank you Phil and Dale for your hard work and dedication to Riverside and to our community. You are a shining example and wonderful role model for us all.
We can’t wait until next year!
Yours in Health
Paul Kienitz and
The Staff at Riverside Athletic Club