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NEWS STORIES

Locals Learn to Cross Country Ski for FreeSubmitted: 02/21/2013

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MINOCQUA - You can’t travel too far in the Northwoods without finding a cross-country ski trail. So Newswatch 12's Lex Gray and I [Melissa Constanzer] decided to find out what all the fun is about. Minocqua’s Winter Park offers a ‘Locals Learn to Ski Free’ Program.

“We developed a program people can come in. They can get a free rental, a free trail pass, and a free one hour lesson from professionally trained instructors,“ says Casey Sovil, Operations Manager of Minocqua Winter Park.

The first step, getting fitted for the equipment. While I have been alpine skiing and running all my life, it was time to put the two together.

“They’re taller than ski poles!” says Melissa Constanzer.

But we couldn’t have even gotten on the equipment without the help of our instructor Zeke.

“We’re going to go like this and it’s pulling on your wrist it doesn’t feel very good and we’re pushing on our hands. So we’re going to have a very lose grip on our poles,” says Zeke, the ski instructor.

Then we pop in our skies and hit the trails skiing. Cross country skies felt very weird to me and there was something new I had to keep in mind.

“Our fish scales, or our grip pattern goes all the way to the heel of our foot. So if we’re skiing on our toes or the balls of our feet, we’re really only using two-thirds of our potential kick area," says Zeke.

We got through the basics with a couple of fun drills, then we were ready for a more daunting challenge.

“Alright, I already got my downhill ski lesson from Zeke so now I have to pass on the lesson to Melissa. So the main thing is keep your knees bent because otherwise you’ll just fall right over. The other thing is to keep your arms forward. And also look where you’re going," says Lex Gray.

And down we went. We worked on turning and stopping as well as taking out our camera guy. Somehow, no one was hurt on our day on the trails.

“We just wrapped up our ski lesson here and it was a little chilly but I think we accomplished something here," says Lex Gray
“I think we did and I had a lot of fun, didn’t you Lex?" says Melissa Constanzer.
“Yes, it’s tons of fun! Come down and get your free lesson,” says Lex Gray.

If you would like to learn to ski for free on Sunday's, visit the link attached.

Related Weblinks:
Locals Learn to Ski Free, Minocqua Winter Park

Story By: Melissa Constanzer

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Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





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Asian Lady Beetles come out after winteringSubmitted: 04/17/2014

ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Do bugs seem to be everywhere in your home, even though there's snow outside? One type of bug in Wisconsin spends the winter inside our houses! They look like Lady Bugs, but they are actually not native to this country.

"They're actually called a multi-colored Asian Lady Beetle. They can be anywhere from a pale yellow to a darker orange and they have black spots on them but you'll see some that don't have spots," says Kerri Ison, UW Oneida County Extension.

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Rhinelander food pantry volunteers Submitted: 04/17/2014

RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Area Food Pantry relies heavily on volunteers. Here is a look inside the operation.

(Click the video to watch)

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Record breaking snowfall knocks the power out Submitted: 04/17/2014

RHINELANDER - Our record breaking snow storm left more than 6,000 people across the Northwoods without power.

WPS had to rely on 20 extra crews from Green Bay, Wausau and Menominee to get the job done.

But getting to the outages was a challenge.

A representative for WPS says workers are expected even more outages to be reported.

"Not all of the back roads are plowed yet and that's where a lot of outages are located," said Leah Van Zile, WPS Community Relations leader. "Throughout the day as the temperatures warm, we expect to receive additional calls due to the unloading of snow off of the tree branches."

Eagle River had one of the highest number of customers affected by the outages.

Representatives for WPS say this was one of the hardest winters they've had to deal with.

"We've had some really really severe wind chills which has really made the temperatures below zero. Typically, only in emergencies do we work in those conditions," said Van Zile. "But pretty much any other time, whether it's a rain storm, a snow storm, a wind storm, our guys are out there working, getting that power back on."

The number of outages dropped below 4,000 since earlier today.

If you're still without power to call 1800-450-7240.

+ Read More
New suit filed over gay marriage banSubmitted: 04/17/2014

MADISON - A same-sex couple wants the Wisconsin Supreme Court to strike down the state's gay marriage ban.

The couple filed a lawsuit directly with the high court Wednesday, bypassing the trial and appellate courts.

The lawsuit says the pair lives in Milwaukee County and married in San Diego.

They claim Wisconsin's gay marriage ban denies them federal rights afforded to opposite-sex married couples.

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Students could move to high school earlier Submitted: 04/16/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - A Northwoods school district could move students to middle and high school earlier than usual.

The Northland Pines school district is considering moving 5th graders to the middle school.

They might also move 7th and 8th graders to the high school.

If passed, the plan would take place in two phases over the next two school years.

The first phase would move 5th graders from Land O' Lakes and St. Germain Elementary schools to Eagle River Elementary starting during the 2014-2015 school year.

The school hopes this would improve students' education.

5th graders at Land O' Lakes and St. Germain Elementary schools have one 5th grader teacher teaching all subjects.

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Northwoods landfill increases recyclingSubmitted: 04/16/2014

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RHINELANDER - A landfill near Rhinelander saw more recycling last year.

The Oneida County Solid Waste Department had an increase in recycled materials in 2013.

People might be buying more because of an improving economy, but that's not the only reason for the increase.

The contracts from disposal companies also play a major role.

"The contract for the city of Rhinelander had come up and it was re-bid," said Oneida County Solid Waste Superintendent Brian Dutcher. "Northern Waste at the time was awarded that bid or that contract. All of the materials that they picked up for the city came out here."

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Artists, engineers combine for campus, national paper venture in northcentral WisconsinSubmitted: 04/16/2014

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STEVENS POINT - College and professional artists need special cotton-fiber paper for painting, drawing, and printing.

UW-Stevens Point's art students bought that expensive paper from traditional European mills for years.

Meanwhile, UWSP’s Paper Science and Engineering Department taught students about the papermaking business on its huge paper machine just a building away on campus.

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