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Families have a "blast" at local eventSubmitted: 02/18/2017

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CONOVER - Crowds gathered in Conover Community Park today for a little winter fun. The Northwoods Blizzard Blast provided winter games for people of all ages. 

Dylan Kleffman spent his Saturday doing some of his favorite winter activities. 

"So far my favorite thing was the pony and the snowshoeing," said seven-year-old Kleffman.  


Pony rides and snowshoeing were just some of the activities at the 4th annual Northwoods Blizzard Bash. 

"Today we have everything going on from snowshoe baseball, recliner races, slap shot, we have a carnival for kids, we have sledding, we have snowboarding, we have horse drawn wagon ride," said event chairman Lanny Studdard.

The winter carnival drew hundreds of people to the park. 

"This is our first year here, we're locals but the last few years have been so bitter cold that we just didn't come out but this year is absolutely just beautiful," said Eagle River resident Gabrielle Alguire. 

"Ahh look around isn't it wonderful, this is obviously the warmest day we've ever had," said Studdard.

With temperatures reaching the 50s, it was the perfect day to get outside and support a good cause. All money raised at the Blizzard Blast will go towards Northwoods area fire and EMS departments.
 
"The money raised here goes towards our UTV and rescue equipment, fire engines, hoses anything we need to be able to serve the public," said Conover fire fighter Patrick Indermuehle. 
 
"It's our effort to keep the community safe by supporting these people," said Studdard.

Conover Fire Department and EMS officers were on duty to play snowshoe baseball and help make the festival run smoothly. 

"I'm on grill duty until he says I'm not," said Studdard. 

Kids, parents, and even grandparents got in on the winter fun. 

"It's awesome, we went over and di the kids carnival stuff the kids were on the sledding hill for a long time, we're later going to go over to the dog sleds, he's really looking forward to that and he wants to get his face painted too," said St. Germain resident Bridget Ryan.  


Story By: Rose McBride

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 LOCAL NEWS

STEVENS POINT - A former Portage County doctor could go to prison for sexually assaulting his patients.  Wilton Calderon pled guilty to three felonies Friday.

Calderon was a caregiver at the Plover Family Practice until leaving it in 2015.  He then moved to Connecticut.  

At least seven women accused Calderon of sexually assaulted them during appointments.  Some patients said Calderon placed his genitals in their hands and performed unwanted gynecological exams by penetrating them with his fingers.

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STEVENS POINT - An alarm system used only in extreme emergencies -- like an active shooter -- went off at a Stevens Point school Friday.  Thankfully, that report was a false alarm.

Stevens Point police were called to Ben Franklin Junior High School at 12:19 p.m.  Police responded within three minutes.  Some students were already leaving the building when officers got there.

Police made sure students outside got a safe distance away, then sent teams in to sweep the building.

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SUGAR CAMP - Update Feb. 17, 2017 10:20 p.m. -- The woman who runs an Oneida County animal rescue could face animal mistreatment charges.

Oneida County Deputies booked Stephanie Schneider on Thursday. She is due in court on Feb. 27.

Last week, deputies removed 39 dogs from Schneider's "It Matters to One" in Sugar Camp and put them at the Oneida County Humane Society.

Police are recommending charges to the district attorney, which include failing to provide food and water, mistreating animals, and obstructing officers.

People who know Schneider say they can't believe this is happening.

"I'm just heartsick about this, and I'm sick at heart for her," said LynnAnn Thomas, a Sugar Camp resident who says she's friends with Stephanie Schneider.

"Those are her children. She would never, ever , ever mistreat them," Thomas said.

But that's exactly what police believe Schneider did. Last week they removed the dogs from the facility after a weeks-long investigation that was prompted by complaints and concerns from several people.

"People that had worked or volunteered there were concerned about the conditions that the dogs were in and the fact that they were not receiving food or water," said Oneida County Sheriff's Capt. Terri Hook.

Those accusations baffle Thomas.

"I been over there several times, it's always been meticulously clean, happy dogs," Thomas said.

Thomas believes whatever condition the dogs were in, they came to Schneider that way.

"She does get some really, really, really desperate cases, and I imagine that they take a long time to heal," Thomas said.

Thomas added she got her own dog from It Matters To One a few years ago.

"I got my little Hankey, he came in in really bad shape, and she wouldn't let me have him until he was nursed back to health," Thomas said.

Since the dogs were removed, It Matters to One posted certificates of veterinary inspections on its
Facebook page for most of the 39 dogs. The Sheriff's Office has seen those and is including them in its investigation, which is ongoing and may not end soon.

"Just to ensure that all the dogs are healed and make sure they've received all the care they need," Hook said.

Newswatch 12 has reached out to It Matters to One and has been communicating with the rescue via email.

The state Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection is helping the sheriff's office with its investigation and will decide if the rescue can keep its license.

Newswatch 12 also reached out to the veterinarian who conducted the inspections for the rescue, but has not yet heard back.




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ONEIDA COUNTY - The Squash Lake Ice Association is holding its ice out contest again on Squash Lake.

The goal is to guess when the ice will melt, and when the giant loon will drop and float on the lake.
 
A special clock attached to the loon records the exact date and time it drops. 

The winner gets to keep half of the money from ticket sales, and the other half will help fight watermilfoil on Squash Lake.

"It's been here since 2009. It was when it was first discovered. This year's point survey found no milfoil. What that means is we are doing a good and we want to keep that effort up," said Squash Lake Association board member Marj Mehring.

Mehring says the best way to see the loon up close on Squash Lake is to snowshoe, snowmobile, or ice fish. 

You need to buy a ticket from Squash Lake's website to make a guess on when the loon will drop and float. 

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 REGIONAL NEWS

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PLOVER - A 19-year-old man robbed a Plover gas station at gun point Saturday at around 1:30 a.m.

According to the Plover Police Department, a white male wearing dark clothing showed a handgun and demanded cash at the Moto Mart Gas Station on Plover road.

The suspect, Cody Krueger then left on foot.

Police later went to a home on the southwest side of the Plover. Around 11:45 a.m. Stevens Point and Plover joint SWAT team got a search warrant, but Krueger was not inside the home.

Around 1:30 p.m., police were able to find Krueger in Stevens Point. He was taken to Portage County Jail waiting charges associated with armed robbery.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Plover Police Department at 715-345-5255. 

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MADISON - A suspended University of Wisconsin-Madison student accused of sexually assaulting and harassing nearly a dozen women has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges.

Twenty-year-old Alec Cook faces a total of 21 counts, including strangulation, sexual assault, stalking and false imprisonment involving 10 women dating back to March 2015. Five of the charges are misdemeanors. The rest are felonies.

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MADISON - President Donald Trump's administration says his travel ban didn't affect a Syrian asylum seeker's attempts to bring his family to Wisconsin.

The asylum seeker filed a lawsuit Monday alleging Trump's executive order halted the man's applications for his wife and daughter.

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MADISON - The University of Wisconsin-Madison's student government is demanding free tuition for black students.

The Associated Students Of Madison adopted a resolution Wednesday saying blacks were legally barred from education during slavery and that the flagship school remains out of reach for students of color. The resolution demands free access, tuition and housing for all black people, including former inmates.

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