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Special Olympians Hit the Slopes on Granite PeakSubmitted: 01/20/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


WAUSAU - The weather didn't cooperate this weekend for the Special Olympics Wisconsin Winter Games in Wausau.

Three hundred athletes were expected for the event Saturday. The snowshoe and cross country ski events had to be canceled due to lack of snow.

But 35 competitors still got to hit the slopes at Granite Peak for snowboarding and alpine skiing.

One of the snowboarders competing Saturday may have been even more excited for another event coming up.

Dana Shilts from Neillsville, Wisconsin will travel to South Korea to compete for Team USA in the Special Olympics.

"This is my first time competing in a world games. I'm very excited. My number one supporter is coming with me, so I'm very excited," says Shilts, who is taking her mother with her to South Korea.

Three Wisconsin athletes made Team USA. Jason Suino from Hayward will compete in cross country, and Alexander Guild from De Pere will snowshoe.

Organizers say these athletes are what make volunteering worth it.

"The athletes is Special Olympics represent probably the truest example of sports; people who are in this just for the pure enjoyment of being in sports. We don't have the types of sportsmanship issues that a lot of other organizations have. It's just when you see the difference it makes in an athlete's life; not just the joy of competing and getting an award, but what they're able to accomplish, and what they're able to do," says Bob Whitehead.

Team USA leaves for South Korea this Wednesday.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 09/30/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

Several ash trees in Rhinelander have become infected with the emerald ash borer and will need to come down. Tonight we'll show you what signs to look for to keep an ash tree on your property from being infected.

You'll hear from inmates at the McNaughton Correctional Center on what it's like making the transition from being in prison to going back into the community.

Plus, tonight on Friday Night Blitz we'll bring you scores from high school games all across North Central Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following games:

Houghton vs. Northland Pines

Antigo vs. Lakeland

Medford vs. Rhinelander

Florence vs. Three Lakes/Phelps

Rib Lake/Prentice vs. Tomahawk

That will be tonight on Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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RHINELANDER - Almost 12,000 people took a trip into history this year. But you only have one more day to check out the Pioneer Park Historical Complex in Rhinelander. The museum closes for the season Saturday.

Complex Director Aprelle Rawski calls it a place to not only see the history of logging, but also the history of Rhinelander.

"We get so many people who come in and see, pictures of their relatives, or 'Oh my gosh, my uncle donated that and he's been gone for 30 years.' It's really nice," said Rawski.

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RHINELANDER - Lifting brand-new bikes out of the basement to see the light of day for the first time, Gene Welhoefer couldn't wait to put them to use.

"We'd love to wear the tires out in year one," Welhoefer said.

The Three Lakes principal loaded bike after bike--29 on this trip--into a trailer parked outside of Mel's Trading Post in Rhinelander Thursday afternoon.  The school district purchased 63 bikes to promote healthy habits in Three Lakes students.

"Get outside, breathe some fresh air, soak in some sunshine, take a little ride," Welhoefer said.

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MERRILL - The debate in Merrill over what's junk and what's historic treasure may not end anytime soon.

It appears Merrill won't punish two of its workers for taking items from a now-demolished building on the Lincoln County Fair Grounds.

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MILWAUKEE - A jury has convicted a Milwaukee man of first-degree reckless homicide in the fatal shooting of a 5-year-old girl.

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ST. GERMAIN - The owner of a Northwoods yoga and massage studio believes her business offers more than just a place to stretch. It's a way to change the body image of the community.

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GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers have doubled down on their reputation for playing on the frozen tundra, unveiling more details for their Titletown District that include a winter tubing hill and a skating rink.

The team announced Thursday that the district will also include a football-themed playground and full-sized football field with an artificial surface.

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