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

Special Olympians Hit the Slopes on Granite Peak
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: 04/26/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll update you on a major explosion and fire at an oil refinery in Superior which has caused multiple injuries and forced evacuations.

We follow the tour of a possible sulfur mine site in the Town of Lynne with concerned citizens in the area.

And we'll take you live to Lambeau Field in Green Bay where the Packers await tonight's draft along with all the other NFL teams.

We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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NORRISTOWN, PA - Bill Cosby has been convicted of drugging and molesting a woman in the first big celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.

A jury outside Philadelphia convicted the "Cosby Show" star of three counts of aggravated indecent assault on Thursday. The guilty verdict came less than a year after another jury deadlocked on the charges.

Cosby was charged with violating Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. His lawyer called Constand a "con artist" who leveled false accusations against Cosby so she could sue him.

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MERRILL - It appears a Merrill man accused of killing his father might not go to trial. 

On July 14 2017, prosecutors charged Tyler Monroe with killing Kevin Monroe in January 2016 and hiding his corpse.

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EAGLE RIVER - An Eagle River man pleaded not guilty to multiple drug related charges. 

Police arrested Scott Schmidt, 33, of Eagle River and Stephanie Wolfe, 34, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, on March 30 for making meth in Schmidt's Eagle River home on Highway 45.

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SUPERIOR - An explosion with multiple injuries was reported at the Calumet Oil Refinery in Superior Thursday morning, according to the Superior Fire Department.

Smoke was seen billowing from the refinery just after 10 a.m. 

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RHINELANDER - DNA evidence from a pair of sweatpants could link a Northwoods man to a violent sexual assault. Prosecutors offered up some of that evidence against Richard Loppnow in Oneida County court on Wednesday morning.

The victim accuses Loppnow, 38, of forcing her into several sexual activities twice on his property south of Eagle River back on October 28 and 29th of 2017.  

The criminal complaint shows the first assault happened in a building on Loppnow's property.  Testimony revealed claims that Loppnow held a gun to the victim's head.

"[Loppnow was] advising that she could either be humiliated or shot in the head," Oneida County Detective Sergeant Ryan Rossing testified.  "She chose to be humiliated due to not wanting to be harmed."

After later moving to a mobile home trailer on the property, the victim claims Loppnow pointed a sawed-off shotgun or handgun to her head and gave her several options.

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MERRILL - People keep asking Northwoods veterans officers the same question.

When will the new national cemetery near Rhinelander open?

At an information session in Merrill on Wednesday, the VA said design plans are about 35 percent done. But a John Knapp, a VA representative, couldn't give a timeline on when construction might start or finish.

He said it depends on the contractor, the weather, and approval from the VA.

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