Created: 02/15/2014 6:48 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
The weather was a little frightful in the Northland on Saturday, but that didn't stop hundreds from taking a dip in Lake Superior. Every daring dunk into the icy water helped support the Minnesota Special Olympics.
Fresh snowfall was just icing on the cake for a first time plungers like Rick Martin.
“I thought it was crazy. I thought there was no way she was going to get me to do it,” Martain said. “I decided to embrace it rather than be afraid of it. If that makes sense?”
His girlfriend Alyssa Parker, a veteran plunger, had some comforting words for him.
“You know, I'm really happy that today is above zero,” Parker said.
With the wind whipping at 16 degrees Martin tried to stay positive.
“That's actually a comforting thought. The water's warmer than the air temp,” Martin said.
Parker said there is something that takes the sting off the frigid fall.
“Nobody gives you proceeds to go do an easy thing and so all the money that we get goes to an amazing cause and when I look at the athletes I always think to myself they have conquered so many things I can jump into a little bit of water for them,” Parker said.
Desiree Warpula, another first time plunger, said she tried to prepare for the frigid festivities.
“I was outside in my yard snow blowing last night gearing up for the cold weather,” Warpula said.
But she had second thoughts facing the frozen lake.
“I think I'm going to jump in and it's going to be a shock. I don't know. I'm not sure yet. I'm kind of getting a little nervous,” Warpula said.
She followed through like 920 others to raise money for the Special Olympics. The Polar Plunge is a tradition in the Northland, but Warpula did admit it's a little absurd.
“I was just thinking about what people down south would think of us doing this, and they would think we're crazy,” Warpula said.
The event raised over $133,000.
US to Assist in Disappeared Malaysia Airlines Jetliner Investigation
Federal safety officials say a team of experts is en route to Asia to be ready to assist in the investigation of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner that disappeared with 239 people on board. The team includes accident investigators from National Transportation Safety Board, as well as technical experts from the Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing.
Coast Guard Begins Ice Breaking on Lake Superior
U.S. Coast Guard officials say ice breaking on the Duluth-Superior harbor this year will be difficult. The director of Vessel Traffic Services tells Wisconsin Public Radio that it's the most ice he's seen on the lake in 25 years.
State Patrol: 4 Killed in Southern Minn. Crash ID'd
The Minnesota State Patrol has released the identities of four people killed in a two-vehicle crash on icy roads Friday near Sleepy Eye. The broadside crash happened on Highway 14 in Brown County just after 8 p.m.
Robotics Competition Wraps Up at the DECC
The FIRST Robotics competition wrapped up on Saturday at the DECC. Four Northland teams made it to the semifinals, and one made it to the quarterfinals. More than 100 teams from around the Midwest showcased their carefully built robots over the weekend.
Brighton Beach Draws Ice Fishing Crowd on a Sunny Saturday
Brighton Beach drew quite the crowd on Saturday. The sunny weather brought people out to do some fishing before the ice was gone. Jeff Swenson said he wasn't catching much, but he was out there for the warm weather.