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Minocqua Marathoner Home Safe from BostonSubmitted: 04/17/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


MINOCQUA - Co-workers of Matt Thomas hugged him more today than they ever have before.

He's a Minocqua runner who finished his fourth Boston Marathon just before two explosions killed three and injured almost two hundred of people.

"It was just completely different," Thomas said.

Thomas finished his fourth Boston Marathon Monday on what he called a perfect day to run.

Watching for two other Lakeland area friends to come to the finish line…

He said it was like loud, close fireworks or a Revolutionary War style cannon.

"People were like, is that normal? I said, 'I've been here for four years, and I've never seen anything like that'. I think it was about 20 seconds later, but , I don't know, time kind of goes funny, then, in that situation, the second explosion went off," Thomas said.

That was when he knew it was no accident, and no celebration.

"People got blown into the course, and the barricades got blown over by the blast. Right away, by seeing what had happened to the people and the barricades coming out into the course, you knew something was not right," said Thomas.

He looked around him for backpacks or trash cans that could be another bomb, and didn't see any.

Because of that, he decided not to move from his spot a couple hundred yards from the explosions.

Instead, he watched the emergency workers rushing to help.

"It was pretty incredible. To see the response - when the second blast went off, the first police cars and the first fire trucks, first two fire trucks and ambulance were there within seconds," Thomas said.

Boylston Street, once packed with thousands of people, was nearly deserted.

That took just minutes.

But it took closer to hours for the entire Northwoods group to reunite - all of them totally safe.

Thomas could take at least one positive from Monday - his marathon time qualifies him for next year's Boston.

So will he go back to run at that same place?

"My view is, I'm going to run Boston because, if you don't run Boston, then you're giving the people who did this exactly what they wanted which is, you're afraid of doing things you normally did," he said.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/31/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We will take you to Tomahawk where the Harley Davidson plant announced it will lay off 39 workers.

Renovations have begun at the Antigo Public Library. We'll give you details on what to expect when the project is finished.

And preparations are underway for this weekend's Mud Run in Manitowish Waters. Will show you some of the obstacles runners will encounter.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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LAC DU FLAMBEAU - People die from heroin overdoses every day throughout the U.S., and it's a problem we see here in the Northwoods as well. 

That's why Lac Du Flambeau hosted it's first Overdose Awareness Day to help people learn more about drug addiction.

"Having lost my sister last year, and other families that lost loved ones like that, an awareness and education needs to be done in Indian Communities," said organizer Jeanne Wolfe. 
 
A special agent gave a presentation about heroin.

Afterwards the people at the event could talk about ways to prevent drug use in the community.

The event was also a way to deal with grief.

"Nothing has really been done to recognize or talk about our sorrow and the loss a person goes through when somebody dies unexpectedly like that," Wolfe said. 

Wolfe hopes to host the event again next year.


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MOSINEE - After looking for several hours, searchers recovered a man's body after an apparent drowning near Mosinee.

About 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night, the Marathon County Sheriffs Office got word of a possible drowning near Beans Eddy Boat Landing.

The Sheriffs Dive team and fire personnel searched the scene.

According to the Marathon County Sheriff's Department, the man's body was found shortly before midnight.

He had apparently fallen into the water when he was pushing his pontoon boat off a sand bar.

The man's name has not be released.

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ANTIGO - People hoping to use the Antigo library will need to find a different location for the next month.

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ANTIGO - A fire left some minor damage to a business in Antigo earlier today.

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RHINELANDER - It all started with an idea.

 After visiting a church in Whitewater, Rhinelander's Barbra Thompson came back with an idea for her own community.

Thompson realized her community was missing something. 

The Table event started providing free meals to the people of Rhinelander 20 years ago. 

"A great, great opportunity to serve those in need, and I think our community in Rhinelander appreciates it," said a volunteer from St. Mary's Hospital.

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TOMAHAWK - It doesn't look like the candidates for northern Wisconsin's seat in Congress can agree on a debate schedule just yet. 

U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Weston) said earlier this week he wants two debates, one in Superior and one in Wausau.

But that's apparently not enough for his democratic challenger. Mary Hoeft said she wants six debates.
Originally Hoeft said she wanted a debate in all 26 counties in the district.

"But people said to me, Mary, when you make this request to the Duffy campaign, make it reasonable," Hoeft said. "So alright I went in my head from 26 down to six." 

Hoeft said more debates would help voters make a more informed decision when they go to the polls. 

"But I'm happier than if he had said zero," Hoeft said. "But I'm not going to stop, though. I'm going to ask the people of the 7th Congressional District, if you want more forums, make sure that your voice is heard."

Hoeft hosted a meet and greet in Tomahawk Wednesday morning. She addressed a group of about 20 people. 

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