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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: 02/20/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll take you live to Park Falls where a Catholic School will close in spite of efforts by the parish to raise money to keep it open.

In spite of the warmer weather, there are still many people and shacks out on the ice. But how safe is it on the ice right now? We talk to a DNR warden to find out.

And we'll tell you about a new app from a Minocqua grocery store that allows you to choose your items and have them delivered to your home.

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

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HAYWARD - Warm weather is forcing organizers to change the route of Saturday's American Birkebeiner ski race in northwestern Wisconsin.

As a result, the race will not finish in downtown Hayward this year.

The Birkie race course normally crosses Lake Hayward to get to downtown Hayward. But the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation said Monday the lake is no longer an option.

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TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk Police arrested five people in a drug bust on Friday.

Police Chief Al Elvins says an investigation was underway into the sale and possession of controlled substances in the city.

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HUDSON - Authorities in western Wisconsin say a 28-year-old man fatally stabbed his mother and then shot at police during a chase that ended when he killed himself in Minnesota.

St. Croix County sheriff's deputies were called late Saturday to "a violent domestic dispute." The sheriff's office says Logan Reese stabbed his mother, 49-year-old Charlene Wold, and beat another family member at her home near Hudson.

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EAGLE RIVER - These unseasonably warm temps can make it hard for snowmobilers to enjoy the trails. The Wisconsin Snow Report says snowmobile trails in Eagle River are overall in poor condition.

On many of the trails, you'll see more gravel and dirt than actual snow.

"You don't know if the season comes to an end at this point because you never know when Mother Nature will throw a twist at things and give you a 20 inch snowstorm because that can happen. You know, the big lake is still open up north and if the winds come down that way, we could see a lot of Lake Affect snow yet," said Eagle River Sno Eagles Trail Boss Brian Scheid.

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TOMAHAWK - Patricia Tholl from Rodeo Saloon in Tomahawk put her cooking skills toward a good cause Saturday night.
 
"Today I made a bratwurst soup. It's a beef base, your regular onions and carrots and celery," said Tholl.

Tholl is the defending champion of the Empty Bowls soup competition. 

"The prize is a little ladle. It's a lot of fun, I was really happy to have this honor for a whole year," said Tholl.

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HUDSON - Authorities in western Wisconsin say a 28-year-old man fatally stabbed his mother and then shot at police during a chase that ended when he killed himself in Minnesota.

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