RHINELANDER - Madeline Goscha can put COLLEGE students to shame in a gym, and she's only 8 years old. The Rhinelander native is a rock star when it comes to rock climbing.
The whole Goscha family climbs together. In the winter time, they climb right in their basement. Their practice facility is TINY compared to most competitors, but that hasn't stopped Maddie from climbing to the top.
"It was really kind of fun but kind of scary because I was against all these college kids and me and my sister were the only children... But it was really fun when I found out that I got 2nd place against 2 other college kids," said Maddie.
Her father and coach, Daniel, says rock climbing builds more than physical strength. This sport engages the mind in unique ways.
"Its problem solving, they have to work the routes out in their minds. It helps them solve problems in a different way not only mentally but also physically it helps with their confidence," he said.
Right now, Maddie is ranked 3rd in the state in her age group. She's the youngest climber to place into Divisionals in the Wisconsin Indoor Climbing Series.
This weekend, she's heading to La Crosse for an American Bouldering Association competition. Her parents say bouldering is her best style of rock climbing, and she should place highly there too.
MERRILL - For 32 years Battalion Chief Mike Drury walked into the Merrill Fire Department ready to save lives. Friday he walked out of the department for the last time to start the new phase of his life. "It goes fast it goes really fast," said Drury. Drury was about 18 -years -old when he walked into the Merrill Fire Department for the first time. "When you're 18, 19,20 years old and you're looking at 50 something years old you think you're never going to get there," said Drury.
Drury is one of 184 firefighters to ever work full time with the city of Merrill. "As a firefighter they spend a lot of time at the fire house so they miss a lot of things," said Drury's daughter Cassi. After 32 years of missing birthdays, holidays and family time Drury was ready for a change. "I realized I had enough this is a young man's job," said Drury. Friday afternoon Drury said goodbye to a room of men who merged and became family. "Not having that is a little scary I know they'll always be our family but it's hard to leave," said Cassi. Cassi watched her dad rush off to help his community since the day she was born. "It's scary because you hear about the times things don't go right or the times fire fighters don't come home," said Cassi.
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander couple thought they were empty nesters. However, an experience volunteering made them open their doors back up to kids who need a temporary home. The Zoerb's adult children moved out years ago. But at any moment they could get a call from social services that make them bring out their parenting skills for another round. Rick and Danielle Zoerb work together as realtors putting people in homes that are the perfect fit. However, the husband and wife know their home can be a good fit for others too. "There's no reason for kids to have to fall through the cracks," said Dani. Rick met a child at a mentorship program a few years ago. It was a meeting that opened a new door for him and his wife. "There was no hesitation on our part when we felt the situation was deteriorating for this young boy," said Rick.
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