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NEWS STORIES

Northwoods Spotlight: Lumberjack GamesSubmitted: 03/06/2013
Story By Marisa Silvas


EAGLE RIVER - Last weekend in Eagle River, you could hear some very distinctive sounds. The roar of the chainsaw. the crack of the ax. Marisa Silvas heads to the forest to find out why the chips were flying.

The logging industry has a rich history in Northern Wisconsin, and many events that began in these forests were on display last weekend.

Patrick Grove the UW-Stevens Point Timbersports Co-Cordinator says, "It just brings you back to a simpler time."


"We have chopping, so we have very sharp axes and saws. And it's just a great time," adds UWSP junior Allison Johnson.

"We really enjoy Klondike Days. It's in our backyard and it's a wonderful kickoff to the season," says Nancy Zalewski, a World Record Holder.

Axe throwing, sawing, and chopping. Just a few of the skills featured at the 23rd Anniversary of the Great Northern Lumberjack competition in Eagle River.

The event is the only winter contest of its kind in the country. Competitors came from Colorado- even West Virginia. One group didn't have to travel far - the team from UW Stevens Point.

Timber sports are all about timing and accuracy. But it also helps to have top of the line equipment.

The world record for one woman in single buck is 11 seconds. It took Alison and me 43.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - A former Northwoods wrestling coach who faces five felony charges for allegedly sexually assaulting a child as well as giving drugs to students appeared in court Wednesday. Fifty-seven-year-old Joseph Fitzpatrick is accused of giving marijuana, alcohol, and Vicodin to at least eight Three Lakes students, both at the school and at his home.

All of the students were between the ages of 14 and 16 years old.

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ANTIGO - Kids who participate in the Boys & Girls Club of Langlade County will have a safe place to spend the long, warm days ahead.

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EAGLE RIVER - More than eight percent of eighth graders nationwide used illicit drugs in the past year, according to a recent report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. That statistic about triples for high school seniors.

Law enforcement across the country and right here in the Northwoods aim to lower that statistic by educating younger students.

About 60 fifth graders at Eagle River Elementary graduated from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education [D.A.R.E.] program on Wednesday.

A Vilas County Sheriff's deputy held ten sessions during the past few months to teach the students about a range of topics from saying no to alcohol and drugs to having respect for oneself and others.

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NORTHWOODS - Many exchange students spent an entire year going to school in the Northwoods.

Those students will go home soon with many memories of life up north. 

Newswatch 12s Kaitlyn Howe spoke with five foreign exchange students who've spent the school year in northern Wisconsin. 

This week we're learning about the students' experiences. 

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 06/03/2015

- Meet Sophia Figueroa, a high school student in Rhinelander who built her own blacksmith forge.

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

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RHINELANDER - Doctors think breast milk can give premature or sick babies a fighting chance at life. However, not all moms can produce their own milk. That's where the Milk Bank comes into the picture. It gives hundreds of babies breast milk donated by mothers across the country.

One of the Milk Bank's very successful donation centers is in the Northwoods.

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RHINELANDER - People in Rhinelander will see a change to severe weather alerts this summer.  Sirens will no longer go off for every Severe Thunderstorm Warning in place for Rhinelander. It's part of an effort to make sure sirens blare only during severe weather.

"It seems like when we set those sirens off, the storm would skirt to the north or south of Rhinelander, and people wonder 'Why did we even set the sirens off?'," said Rhinelander Fire Chief Terry Williams. "We've kind of got the 'Cry Wolf Syndrome' going, where when the sirens did go off, people really didn't pay too much attention to them."

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