Sleigh Rides can be another fun way to get outdoors in the winterSubmitted: 12/17/2014
EAGLE RIVER - For some people, a sleigh ride seems like the perfect activity to get into the Christmas spirit.

When the snow starts to fall, these draft horses begin to pull sleighs through the woods behind Northland Pines High School in Eagle River. Sleigh driver Karrie Dollar says the woods are magical.

"Every day it's different out there. It's about getting out in the outdoors and seeing the wildlife on the trails. A lot of times there are deer, squirrels that run across in front of you; being outside with your loved ones and making memories," said Dollar.

Many people enjoy the solitude of the woods on snowmobiles. But, sleigh rides are a more quiet option for people.

"When you're on a sleigh ride you can converse, you can talk, and you're not all bundled up with the helmet on or the roar of the engine. It's another way to be outside enjoying the weather. We live in Wisconsin for a reason," said Dollar.

Several snowmobilers have had trouble hitting the trails so far this year because of our major snow melt. But, with the fresh snow, sleigh drivers don't see any problems.

"Our trails held up pretty well. It got a little bit sloppy but with the new fresh snow, we're looking forward to great trails again this week," said Dollar.

A sleigh ride can also be a festive way to enjoy the holiday season.

"This seems to be when people are looking for fun things to do. It's the holidays and everybody is in a festive mood. Everybody wants to come out and do fun things," said Dollar. "You can sing, you can carol, it's just great fun."

Not many things demonstrate the rustic beauty of a Northwoods winter better than a burning fire.

"We get to a bonfire where there is hot chocolate served. You can hang out around the bonfire for a while and more new friends," said Dollar.

During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be helpful to just relax.

"They want a break from Christmas shopping and the hustle and the bustle. This is just a good release," said Dollar. "It's something to do to get away from traffic and stores and everything that's crazy."

Rocking W Stables also runs the free wagon rides in downtown Eagle River. They will be open until January 4th.

Story By: Jeanine Ilacqua

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Spirit of the North: family and friends catch 600 crappies during summer 14'Submitted: 12/15/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - Summertime in the Northwoods seems like a distant memory now.

But that won't stop Newswatch 12 from reflecting on the fun success stories of the 2014 summer.

Like one retired sheriff's deputy and his wife hosting 54 friends and family throughout the summer.

They caught nearly 600 crappies on the Eagle Chain.

It's the kind of outdoor fun that truly shows the spirit of the North.

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Lakeland drops Hancock 46-22Submitted: 12/13/2014

MINOCQUA - A lower scoring affair over in Lakeland Friday.

The T-Birds welcomed in Hancock in another non-conference battle.

Lakeland was in control of this one early.

Lilith Schuman puts up the long ball.

It misses left, but Sydney Ziebart corrals the rebound.

She gets the second chance shot to fall.

Great follow from Ziebart there.

The T-Birds jumped out to a good lead thanks in part to their swarming defense.

Three players battle for it.

Lakeland gets it out to Ziebart.

She pushes it up to Shaina Rayala.

Lots of contact underneath, but Rayala uses the left hand to get the tough shot to fall.

Hancock kept battling back.

Some good ball movement on the outside.

A nice drive along the baseline gets them a good bucket, but Lakeland got one back for every Hancock bucket.

Clara Schroeder gets it at the free throw line.

She sinks the long two, and they wouldn't look back.

Lakeland wins this one 46-22.

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Marshfield takes down Mosinee 57-43Submitted: 12/13/2014

MOSINEE - The Mosinee Indians hosted Marshfield in a non-conference showdown Friday.

It was a clash of the titans between these two.

Both teams made spectacular plays all game long.

Mosinee's Aaron Maas drives hard right side.

A little pick down low from Matt Bolanda lets Maas get the easy lay in, but Marshfield is prepared to strike back.

Tanner Boson takes the three.

It bounces off the front iron, but Caleb Alexander is right there to clean it up.

Great awareness there.

The Indians came right back with it.

Maas has it up top.

He drives again.

This time he finds a cutting Jared Novitzke underneath.

A really nice play there.

Mosinee does it almost the same way on their next possession.

Maas goes deep to Jordan Budnik.

He gives it up to Novitzke on the great no-look pass.

The two teams kept trading body blows for nearly the whole game, but Marshfield pulls away at the end.

They win on the road 57-43.

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Wabeno/Laona downs Crandon 50-41Submitted: 12/12/2014

CRANDON - A Northern Lakes matchup in Crandon Friday.

The Cardinals welcomed in Wabeno/Laona.

The Logrollers were the away team, but it felt like they had home-court advantage.

Michael Gilpin dishes out to Cooper Chrisman.

He gives it right back to Gilpin.

He finds the bottom of the net for the first score of the game.

They weren't done there from behind the arc.

Chrisman gets it off the inbounds and drains another longball for a 6-0 lead.

Crandon still scoreless at this point, but Wabeno/Laona's Gilpin isn't.

Another nice inbounds pass sets him up for his second three ball of the game.

Some great hustle plays like this one helped get Crandon right back into the thick of it after the first quarter, but Wabeno-Laona was able to hold them off.

They win it 50-41.

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Merrill takes down Wausau EastSubmitted: 12/12/2014

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MERRILL - Merrill beat Wausau East 50-41 for their first Wisconsin Valley Conference win of the year.

Merrill also ended a two game losing streak.

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Antigo outlasts Tomahawk Submitted: 12/12/2014

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TOMAHAWK - Antigo defeated Tomahawk 47-32 for their first Great North Conference win of the season.

Antigo will take on Northland Pines next on Tuesday.

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Rhinelander stomps Medford Submitted: 12/12/2014

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander defeats Meford 40-9 in Rhinelander Friday night.

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Bills snap Packers win streakSubmitted: 12/14/2014

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - Bacarri Rambo intercepted two Aaron Rodgers passes and Marcus Thigpen scored on a 75-yard punt return, leading the Buffalo Bills to a stunning 21-13 upset over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

Defensive end Mario Williams also forced Rodgers to fumble, which led to running back Eddie Lacy being tackled in the end zone for a safety with 1:51 left. Dan Carpenter hit all three field goal attempts, including a 51-yarder in the second half to help keep Buffalo (8-6) in the AFC playoff picture.

The Bills were also have their first eight-win season since going 9-7 in 2004.

The Packers (10-4) had a five-game win streak snapped, blowing an opportunity to get closer to their sixth consecutive playoff berth.

Rodgers finished 17 of 42 for 185 yards, and two interceptions.

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Gary Andersen steps down as head coach at University of WisconsinSubmitted: 12/10/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin Badgers fans got a big surprise early Wednesday afternoon.

Head Coach Gary Andersen told the team he is stepping down to take the head coaching job at Oregon State University.

He called UW Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez Wednesday morning with the news.

Alvarez says the news caught him off guard.

Andersen reportedly took the Oregon State job for family reasons.

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Packer offense keeps rollingSubmitted: 12/09/2014

GREEN BAY - The Green Bay offense scores, scores, and scores.

They have scored more touchdowns and points this year than any team in the NFL.

That offense played a major part in Monday's 43-37 victory over the Falcons.

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Packers defense will use Falcons game to growSubmitted: 12/09/2014

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GREEN BAY - The Packers game unexpectedly turned into a nail biter Monday night.

They went into halftime up 31-7 and held on for a 43-37 win.

Atlanta's Julio Jones ended the game with 259 receiving yards.

That made up more than half of Atlanta's total yards.

"Hitch, a little hitch in the step but you know all wins ain't going to be pretty," said Packers Cornerback Tramon Williams. "We was hoping it was man, in the first half we was hoping but it didn't happen that way. We had to fight all 60 minutes."

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Badgers fall to Duke in Big Ten/ACC clashSubmitted: 12/04/2014

MADISON - Tyus Jones scored 22 points, Rasheed Sulaimon added 14 and No. 4 Duke shot 65 percent to beat No. 2 Wisconsin 80-70 on Wednesday night in a highly anticipated matchup of college basketball heavyweights.

With 17 points, Wisconsin senior Frank Kaminsky outscored Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor (13 points) in a test for the two of the nation's top big men.

But it was another touted freshman, Jones, who helped open things up for the Blue Devils (8-0) in the second half. The lightning-quick guard beat defenders into the lane and added two 3-pointers.

Jones followed a transition layup with an assist on Amile Jefferson's jumper to cap a 6-0 run that gave Duke a 69-60 lead with about 3 minutes left against the Badgers (7-1).

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Former Buck Ellis downs Milwaukee at the buzzerSubmitted: 12/04/2014

MILWAUKEE - Monta Ellis hit a wild, fallaway jumper at the buzzer, lifting the Dallas Mavericks over the Milwaukee Bucks 107-105 on Wednesday night.

A night after Ellis starred in a double-overtime win at Chicago, he scored 23. He had eight in the final two minutes on what otherwise had been a bad shooting night for the Mavericks' top scorer, playing against his former team.

The Mavericks won their fifth in a row while resting Dirk Nowitzki because of a sore back. Coach Rick Carlisle called it a ``precautionary'' move.

Brandon Knight scored 25 points and Khris Middleton added 21 for the Bucks in their third straight loss.

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Bucks' Ilyasova breaks nose; out indefinitelySubmitted: 12/03/2014

MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova broke his nose in Tuesday's loss at Cleveland and is out indefinitely.

The Bucks said Wednesday that Ilyasova also showed symptoms of a mild concussion. He was hit in the face in the second quarter and spent the night at the Cleveland Clinic.

The Bucks said Ilyasova isn't expected to go on the team's trip to Dallas and Oklahoma City after that.

Ilyasova is averaging 10.1 points and 3.8 rebounds in 18.5 minutes per game.

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  WJFW TV-12 Sports Team