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NEWS STORIES

Former Area Boston Marathoners React to BombingsSubmitted: 04/15/2013
Story By Newswatch 12 Sports


BOSTON - What most people would say is the unthinkable happened in Boston on Monday. Just as thousands of marathoners were crossing the finish line, two bombs exploded.

Three people were killed, and more than one hundred people were injured.

Those numbers could rise.

It ruins what has become an annual tradition.

Nearly 27,000 people took part in the historic race. All 50 states and 73 other countries all represented.


It's a sad time for all Americans. For former Boston Marathon runners from the Northwoods, it's even tougher.

"It's hard to comprehend something like that happening at a marathon," says Dan Lemke of Tomahawk. He ran the Boston Marathon in 2003. "It's a horrible crime, and a sad day in the history of U.S. Sports."

Blaine Nyberg of Minocqua ran the Boston Marathon the last three years. He missed this year's race because of medical issues. However the four other runners in his group were back this year.

"The first thing I did was text Matt Thomas and Dr. Rick Fossen and asked them if they were o.k.," adds Nyberg. "Both texted me back right away and said they had already finished and were a block away from the initial blast."

The other runners in the group were approximately 20-30 minutes behind those who were near the finish line. They were rerouted to another street to meet their families. The group of runners were all safe.

Police in New York City and London are stepping up security following explosions at the Boston Marathon. The London Marathon is Sunday.

Security at the White House was also beefed up after the explosions. No one was allowed to walk on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Monday night's NHL game in Boston was postponed. Tuesday
night's NBA game also in Boston was cancelled.


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MERRILL - The historical society has been working on planning the event since last October.

A transportation theme was chosen for 2015.

"[We're] on our history hunt, and we are learning about where the railroads went around Merrill, how the river was important, where the trolley went, where the old highways go, and all of those thing are included in our packet of navigation," said Merrill Historical Society's Jane Francoeur.

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WAUSAU - This was the sixth year that the event was held at various places in Marathon County. Volunteers were picking up trash to better their communities at 35 locations. Many local groups were involved.

"Faith Christian Academy and Hope Life Center, and there's other businesses and groups within the city of Wausau," said volunteer Dave Arends.

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LAKE MILLS - A Lake Mills facility will start production again after they euthanize 800,000 chickens. That comes after a highly contagious bird flu spreads in the Midwest.

The Daybreak Foods facility tested the flock every day for the virus after a facility in Jefferson County tested positive ten days ago.

Every test for the Lake Mills facility was negative until they found dead birds this week. The virus also spread to other facilities in Minnesota and Iowa.

Bird flu is believed to spread by waste from birds flying over commercial poultry facilities.

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - Some veterans might be eligible for various benefits, but not all veterans know which ones they can get.

That's why there was a Veterans Benefit Forum held Saturday afternoon in Lake Tomahawk.

Oneida County's Veteran Service Officer Tammy Walters spoke at the forum and answered questions.

"I like, when I have the opportunity to get out there and tell them about benefits because there are a lot of benefits out there and people don't always qualify for them," says Walters. "There's going to be someone that's going to leave here today and they're going to be eligible for a benefit they had no idea they were eligible for."

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LAND O' LAKES - The Phelps community came together Saturday to turn tragedy into something positive.

"Mrs. Johnson was always one of our favorite teachers, you could go to her about anything like troubles at home or bullying, and she'd always be there for us so it's really nice to give back to her," said Phelps 8th grader Alexandria Myszka.

Kim Johnson works as the music teacher at Phelps Middle School. After her husband D.J. was hurt in an accident last month, he's now paralyzed from the waist down.

But the community decided to help the family.

"Originally, this was our 8th grade class fundraiser, but after we heard about Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, we decided to donate all of the proceeds to them," said Myszka.

The Phelps 8th graders hosted a breakfast fundraiser at The Sunrise Lodge in Land O' Lakes. More than 300 people came out in support.

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WAUSHARA COUNTY - A dump truck hit a restaurant in central Wisconsin Friday night. Six people were hurt from the crash.

According to Wisconsin State Patrol, the 62-year-old driver was heading west on State Highway 21 in Waushara County around 7pm. He then hit a car from behind, kept moving, and hit Elmer's Place before stopping.

The driver and five people in the pizza restaurant were hurt. The driver from the Wisconsin Dells was taken to the hospital with life threatening injuries.

The crash is still under investigation.

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WAUSAU - One of the groups that went to the Business Expo was E3YP.

The group originated from the growing need to get young people to stay in area.

Young people often start working in smaller northcentral Wisconsin communities, but they end up leaving after a few years. It's something that E3YP hopes to change.

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