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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
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/28/2014

- People living in Tomahawk will need to find another library to go to for a while. The Tomahawk Public Library will be closed for the month of September. Find out why coming up tonight on Newswatch 12.

- Laona State Bank celebrated 100 years in business today. We'll tell you how the small community bank thrives.

- And PotatoFest comes to Rhinelander this weekend, and we've got a preview.

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

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Improvements on the way for this weekend's PotatoFestSubmitted: 08/28/2014

RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's first-ever PotatoFest last year started as a charity fundraiser and way to recognize the potato's importance in our area.

After last year's success, the event will expand even more this weekend.

PotatoFest features a parade, eating and cooking contests, live music all day, and the YMCA Couch Potato Race.

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Wisconsin governor's race remains dead heatSubmitted: 08/28/2014

MADISON - The latest Marquette University Law School poll shows Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke remain in a dead heat.

The latest results released Wednesday show little movement in the race with 10 weeks until Election Day. Polls in May and July also showed the race to be essentially tied.

The latest poll shows Walker with 47.5 percent support among registered voters, compared with 44 percent for Burke. That is within the poll's 3.5 percentage point margin of error.

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White House: Obama to be in Milwaukee on Labor DaySubmitted: 08/28/2014

- The White House says President Barack Obama will travel to Milwaukee on Monday to speak at a Labor Day event. It gave no specifics about the event.

A spokesman for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke said she will attend Laborfest on Monday. Burke won't take the stage with President Obama.

Burke spokesman Joe Zepecki says it is not appropriate for Burke to speak at the rally Obama is attending because it is an official White House event and not a campaign rally. Zepecki says Burke has invited Obama to return for a campaign event before the election and is optimistic that will happen.

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Laona State Bank celebrates 100 yearsSubmitted: 08/28/2014

LAONA - Logging history in Laona goes back more than a century.

The community's bank has been serving customers nearly as long.

Laona State Bank celebrated 100 years in business on Thursday.

Community banks like theirs rely on close bonds with customers to stay in business.

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Wisconsin mourning dove season to begin Sept. 1Submitted: 08/28/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin wildlife officials are reminding hunters that the state's new extended mourning dove season will begin next week.

Hunters will be allowed to kill the state's official peace symbol from Sept. 1 through Nov. 29. That's 20 days longer than previous seasons.

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Students help incoming freshmen feel comfortable about starting high schoolSubmitted: 08/28/2014

RHINELANDER - Starting high school can be scary for incoming freshmen. One Northwoods high school wanted to help freshman before they start school.

Rhinelander High School held their freshman orientation Thursday. New students got the chance to do team building, get their Chromebooks and tour the school.

Juniors and seniors were there to help the freshmen.

"I think it helps them feel a little bit more comfortable with the high school surroundings," says Junior Emily Ditzler. "You know, walking in on the first day of high school you're not sure where to go. But orientation helps them know exactly where their classes are 'cause they get their schedules right now, and they can become familiar with the teachers and with their homerooms."

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