Students Get Hands-On Cultural Lesson at Ojibwe Winter GamesSubmitted: 02/22/2013
Story By Lex Gray

Students Get Hands-On Cultural Lesson at Ojibwe Winter Games
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Hundred of years ago, Native Americans in the Northwoods played ancient outdoor games.

Those games have since been replaced by video games and computers. Now, the Lac du Flambeau tribe is working to bring them back.

Lakeland area elementary students came to the reservation this week.

They played with spears, snowshoes and snowsnakes.

"Goonikaa Ginebig, the snowsnake game, until last year, the game hadn't been played for 175 years," said Wayne Valliere, a language and culture instructor with the Lac du Flambeau tribe. "The game hadn't been played here with the Lac du Flambeau people and Waswagoning, so we're revitalizing our ancient game of the snowsnake game, and we're planting the seed in our young people so the game will live on."

The Ojibwe Winter Games are about much more than just one game.

Lac du Flambeau language and culture instructor Wayne Valliere started the week-long event last year.

He wants people to take away a lesson about Ojibwe culture and history, and it seems to be working.

"It's really fun because it seemed like it would be really difficult back then to do all these things," said Samantha Twelmeyer, a fourth grader at MHLT.

"It's really important to respect every culture - every culture on earth and every culture up here," said Arbor Vitae-Woodruff teacher Perry Smith.

The games continue through Saturday.

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TOMAHAWK - Two best friends turned into business partners about a year ago.

Bill Eastwood and Blake McMahon own Outboards Bar and Grill in Tomahawk.

The duo's combined restaurant and business experience helped them hit the ground running.

Fish quality comes first at Outboards.

"Friday night is the night that pretty much everyone goes out to eat. So if you don't have a good fish fry, people around here start talking!" say Eastwood.

For people with food intolerance, eating a fish fry platter can be nearly impossible.

So, Outboards offers alternatives like gluten-free beer-battered fish.

"We kind of put a twist on things and do it our own way. You can get fries, but you can get quinoa or a fresh vegetable," says McMahon.

When summertime comes, Outboards' patio overlooks the ski show and music on the river.

Outboards serves fish starting at 11 a.m.

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CRANDON - UPDATE (3/23/18): The Forest County Medical Examiner released the name of the inmate who died in the Forest County Jail earlier this week. 

The Forest County Sheriff's Officer said a man committed suicide Wednesday morning. 

An autopsy showed 44-year-old William Zastawniak died by hanging. 

He was facing three child sexual assault charges. 

The medical examiner is still waiting on toxicology results. 

The death is still under investigation.

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PORTAGE COUNTY - Portage County will hold an information meeting to share information about a sexually violent offender that will soon be released.

Gregory Loomis, 43, sexually assaulted two children in 1988 and 1992.

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RHINELANDER - An Oneida County judge set a trial date for a Rhinelander woman charged in the death of her toddler stepson.
Ellen Tran's trial is expected to start with jury selection on October 19.

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BARRON COUNTY - The discovery of skeletal remains in northwest Wisconsin turns into a homicide investigation.

Forensic analysis revealed the man had been shot in the head.

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KIEL - Police say a report of gunshots at a high school in the eastern Wisconsin community of Kiel (KEEL) turned out to be false and that all students and staff are safe.

Authorities say a staff member of Kiel High School reported hearing gunshots outside the building shortly before 7 a.m. Friday, prompting a heavy law enforcement response.

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OCONOMOWOC - Authorities say more than 70 people were treated at local hospitals after an air quality issue forced the evacuation of Oconomowoc High School and the adjacent Oconomowoc Arts Center.

Western Lakes Fire District Chief Brad Bowen says low carbon monoxide readings were detected on some of the first patients treated, but officials could not immediately find a cause or source.

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