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NEWS STORIES

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

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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
Local churches deliver Thanksgiving mealsSubmitted: 11/27/2014

RHINELANDER - Members of two local churches came together this Thanksgiving to serve the community.

Grace Foursquare Church and North Country Vineyard Church in Rhinelander prepared and delivered meals to people in the area.

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Friendship House provides free Thanksgiving meal for the communitySubmitted: 11/27/2014

RHINELANDER - Many local businesses want to pay it forward this Thanksgiving. That includes Friendship House in Rhinelander.

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National forest seeking committee membersSubmitted: 11/27/2014

RHINELANDER - Federal officials are looking for people to join two Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest advisory committees.

One committee serves the Chequamegon portion of the forest in northwestern Wisconsin. The other serves the Nicolet portion in northeastern Wisconsin. Both panels work to improve relationships between forest users and advise forestry officials on which projects to undertake and spending.

Each committee is made up of 15 members who represent diverse interest groups. Members must be Wisconsin residents and be willing to serve a four-year term.

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Rhinelander residents can give input on city's futureSubmitted: 11/27/2014

RHINELANDER - People living in Rhinelander will find something extra with their tax bills this year.

They'll get a survey.

Cities are required by law to create a comprehensive plan.

They create a new plan every decade.

City leaders hope the survey results will help them plan for the city's future.

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Northwoods woman accused of having sex with son's underage friend reaches plea dealSubmitted: 11/26/2014

VILAS COUNTY - The former Northwoods teaching assistant accused of having sex with an underage teen reached a plea deal in Vilas County Court on Wednesday.

41-year-old Jody Shepherd pled no contest to a felony charge of second degree sexual assault of a child under 16.

A second count was dismissed as part of the deal.

Shepherd was a special ed teaching assistant at North Lakeland School in Manitowish Waters.

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USDA purchase will help Northwoods cranberry growers after rough fallSubmitted: 11/26/2014

EAGLE RIVER - A $55 million federal cranberry purchase will help Northwoods growers out of a tough spot.

Harvest numbers fell in the Northwoods this fall.

Growers in the area estimate Wisconsin crops, as a whole, were down about 25 percent.

Meanwhile, the price per pound on the cranberry market has dropped nationwide.

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Eve of Thanksgiving one of the busiest days of year for grocery storesSubmitted: 11/26/2014

EAGLE RIVER - The average Thanksgiving dinner for ten people will cost a little more than $49 this year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

On Wednesday, people spent the last of those dollars on meal preparations.

Store managers at Trig's in Rhinelander and Pick 'n Save in Eagle River expected a rush of customers to pick up certain last-minute items on Wednesday.

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