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Northwoods Spotlight: Paul JespersonSubmitted: 12/05/2012

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MADISON - 1,040 miles. That's the distance which seperates Merrill native Paul Jesperson from his hometown. Paul is in his second year on the Virginia Cavaliers basketball team.

Last week - he was back in his home state.

"It definately meant alot to me," Jesperson said. "It's not very often I get to play infront of my parents, my brothers, my sisters, me friends. To be able to play infront of them felt really good."


"We don't get to see him very often," adds Paul's father Jim Jesperson. "It gets us a chance to root for him."

Jesperson's started 7 games this season including the victory over Wisconsin. He keeps improving and is settling into his role.

"He's continually gotten better," said Virginia head coach Tony Bennett. "He's one of our more improved players. Just slowly gaining more confidence."

Bennett was a former NBA player, and shined at UW-Green Bay - playing for his father Dick Bennett. Tony was also an assistant for the Badgers for four seasons.

Paul developed his skills at Merrill, and helped lead the Blue Jays to a run at the state tourney in 2011.

Dave Arneson coached Jesperson in middle school. He says, "That was special. We had four or five kids who learned to play around him. Paul carried us. He was a great player."

Off the court, Jesperson isn't quite as serious.

"He's quite the practical joker," says Bennett. "He's kind of quiet, but he's funny. His teammates love him."

Story By: Marisa Silvas

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Observing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday Submitted: 04/18/2014

RHINELANDER - You could find a decent amount of businesses closed early Friday.

That's because many of the owners and employees were in church.

People filled the pews at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rhinelander on Good Friday.

People honored the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

"His death which looks really bad for us is really good because it's in our place," said Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church pastor, Richard Krahn.

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RHS Mock Trial team recognized for accomplishments Submitted: 04/18/2014

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A pair of state legislators honored them Friday.

Republican State Representative Rob Swearingen and Republican State Senator Tom Tiffany honored the Rhinelander Mock Trial Team at the Oneida County courthouse today.

"It's on behalf of myself and Senator Tom Tiffany from the 12th senate district," said Republican State Representative, Rob Swearingen.

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Merrill library stays ahead of technology, offers visitors 3D printerSubmitted: 04/18/2014

MERRILL - Workers at the T.B. Scott Free Library in Merrill want people to use the library for more than just books.

They're offering the newest in technology and design to visitors.

The library just got a 3D printer for everyone to use.

3D printers are most often found at places like manufacturing plants and tech colleges.

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UPDATE: Name released in Tomahawk house fireSubmitted: 04/18/2014

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TOMAHAWK - A man in a wheelchair couldn't make it out of a burning Tomahawk home Thursday.

The fire killed 70-year-old Kenneth Pietila.

A snow plow driver saw smoke coming out of the windows of the home on East Pine Shore Lane just after 1 p.m.

Tomahawk firefighters found an active fire spreading throughout the home.

Pietila, in his wheelchair, couldn't be saved.

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Statton's General Store will close after ten yearsSubmitted: 04/18/2014

TOMAHAWK - Statton’s General Store in Tomahawk will close its doors after ten years.

Dick and Rita Statton opened the business in May of 2004.

“I decided it was time for a change,” says Dick Statton.

Dick worked in manufacturing for 32 years before opening the business.

He wanted to try something new.

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Community fundraises for boy with rare diseaseSubmitted: 04/18/2014

THREE LAKES - Imagine not being able to move your body.

That was the reality for a 4th grader from Three Lakes

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The messages from the brain can't get to the nerves.

So his body was unable to move.

Hunter had to go through seven plasma replacements.

And now he'll go through intense physical therapy.

Hunter is leaving the hospital Friday, but he still has a long road to full recovery.

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Snow and ice won't stop fishermen from enjoying opening weekendSubmitted: 04/18/2014

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Fishing guides have just two weeks until opening weekend.

They say they're having flashbacks to last year's late season ice, but they're not worried.

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