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NEWS STORIES

New Pope Makes Local Catholics HopefulSubmitted: 03/14/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

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RHINELANDER - The world spent the last few days looking to the roof of the Sistine Chapel for white smoke. Yesterday we met the new Pope for the first time.

But he takes control of the Catholic Church at a challenging time. Still, Northwoods Catholics are confident.

As tens of thousands of faithful watched for white smoke in St. Peter's square, more than a billion Catholics around the world waited to find out who their new leader would be. That included students right here at Nativity of our Lord Catholic School in Rhinelander.

"The kids were really excited. And then we prayed for him that he would lead us, lead the church in so many wonderful ways into the future," says Mary Mangerson, a Nativity Kindergarten Teacher.

Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio from Argentina made history Wednesday in more than one way. He's the first non-European Pope in nearly 2,000 years.

"It's a very positive and very historical change. Because the developing world is being represented now, where many of the poor and marginalized are being left behind," says Father Tom Thakadipuram.

He's also the first Pope to choose the name Francis, after Saint Francis of Assisi. One of the things he represents is rebuilding the Church.

"He heard that call to rebuild the church. I think that is the main message now. Because the Church has been wrought with different issues," says Father Tom.

The Papacy and future of the Catholic Church has been the focal point of international news for weeks. Every network has been on Pope-watch for days. Non Catholics KNOW the Pope's kind of a big deal, but why? What does the Pope mean to Catholics?

"We know that leaders are important to us in our everyday lives and as a Catholic we look to our leaders to guide us in our faith," says Stacie Simkins, a Nativity 2nd Grade Teacher.

"He becomes the face of Christ. He becomes the face of stability and at the same time inspiration to the new world," says Father Tom.

"I think it's a feeling of belonging; everyone belongs to this family, and he is the leader of our family," says Mangerson.

As the world learns more about this reportedly humble man from Buenos Aires, Catholics are hoping for someone up to the task of leading them through the challenges the Church faces.

"I think we need a leader who's pastoral. And he appears to me to be someone who loves people and has a gentle spirit," says Mangerson.

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Cancer patient gets dying wish, weds woman he lovesSubmitted: 08/30/2014

GREEN BAY - When Harley Thomas learned in August that he would have just three months to live, he told his doctors he wanted nothing more than to marry the woman he loves.

The Cancer Team at Bellin Health granted that wish, and hosted a wedding for Thomas and Lori Feeley on Thursday. Area businesses donated everything from Feeley's dress to the cake.

Thomas and Feeley have been together nearly nine years. They planned to marry before, but were in and out of homelessness and didn't have the money.

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Couch potato race promotes physical activitySubmitted: 08/30/2014

RHINELANDER - One type of potato you couldn't find at Potato Fest this year was a couch potato. Leaders at the YMCA of the Northwoods helped promote health and staying active by putting on the second annual couch potato race.

Teams of racers had to build a moving couch and push it down Brown Street in downtown Rhinelander. They also had to finish obstacle courses along the way.

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UPDATE: 12-year-old boy drowns in hotel poolSubmitted: 08/30/2014

MILWAUKEE - A 12-year-old boy is dead after apparently drowning in a hotel pool in Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office says Zay-Vun Mooreland of Milwaukee died Friday night at the Rodeway Inn & Suites.

A message left with the hotel manager was not immediately returned Saturday.

The medical examiner's report says Mooreland could not swim. He was in the pool with his siblings and a cousin when his older brother went into deep water with Mooreland on his back. The brother began to struggle in the deep water.

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Potato Fest draws in large crowd, teaches kids about agricultureSubmitted: 08/30/2014

RHINELANDER - Potato salad, french fries, mashed potatoes...just about every form of potato was at the second annual Potato Fest in Rhinelander Saturday.

"[We've got] great food. We have just about every single food that can be made with a potato. We have lots of fun games," said the 67th Alice in Dairyland Zoey Brooks. "We have potato sack races, the potato dig for kids, and the Wisconsin spud mobile is here as well."

There were a few changes to the event this year. Event organizers made sure people had something to do every minute at Potato Fest.

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Driver found dead after hit-and-run, shootingSubmitted: 08/30/2014

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Authorities say the driver was found dead Friday night in a vehicle that had gone off the road and hit a pole at 31st and Hope.

During their investigation, police learned the driver had been involved in a hit-and-run just a few blocks away. A male who was possibly associated with that first accident shot at the other driver -- who fled, lost control of his vehicle, and hit the pole.

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Modified Karts at Crandon International Raceway this weekendSubmitted: 08/29/2014

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CRANDON - The Crandon International Off-Road Raceway is holding their 45th annual World Championship Off-Road Race all weekend.

You can find racers from across the country at the raceway.

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Firefighters and WPS workers work together for confined space trainingSubmitted: 08/29/2014

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The Merrill Fire Department got valuable training this week.

They got the chance to practice rescuing someone from a confined space at the hydro power plant in Merrill.

"I think it's a great opportunity for the Merrill Fire Department to partner with WPS. Anytime we can get realistic training it's very very valuable to us," says the captain in charge of training Mike Drury.

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