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Young Runners Prepare for Journeys RaceSubmitted: 05/08/2013
Story By Lex Gray

EAGLE RIVER - Imagine yourself running a 5k. Does the thought exhaust you?

Now imagine running a 5k where you're only about chest-height compared to the rest of the runners.

Dozens of fourth and fifth graders from Northland Pines are up to the challenge.

The "Mission Possible" running club will take on the Journey's Marathon 5k this weekend after seven weeks of training.

"I think I'm ready for it," said fifth grader Brady Snedden.

He's been training with 71 other students from Northland Pines Elementary School.

Teacher Megan Hoffman started Mission Possible last year with just 30 students.

"We just saw some of the kids not veering down the right path," Hoffman said. "[They were] not making the right decisions as far as the foods they were eating and activities they were doing."

That's not an issue for fourth grader Lakken Ludwig.

"I love to run with my friends and I just like to be active," she said.

Ludwig plays soccer, too. But running feels different.

"You can just run and you don't have to worry about anything."

That idea makes running accessible to almost anyone.

"All of the kids can participate," Hoffman said. "Whether they're here to walk or whether they're here to run, they don't really necessarily have to have a special talent. Everyone is welcome."

"I feel good because every night when I go home, my parents are proud of me because I did it and it just makes me feel like I'm always in shape," Ludwig said.

That kind of encouragement is important, but the big payoff is the big race.

"It plays a huge role in our community, to see the kids out there with their families some of the parents are running, aunts and uncles are running, because [the kids] are running," Hoffman said. "It's just played such a huge impact beyond the school and in the community."

"It's just fun to train for something you know is big and that you want to accomplish," Snedden said.

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Sarah Quirt Sann, 43, died after a gunman shot her at the Tlusty, Kennedy, and Dirks law firm in Schofield.

Thursday, her husband, Scott Sann, posted a statement on Facebook thanking people for their support and encouraged people to make educated and mature statements about the shootings.

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RHINELANDER - The Wednesday afternoon shootings in Schofield, Rothschild, and Weston sent several nearby police departments streaming into the area.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office Special Response Team was one of the many outside departments on scene with their armor rescue truck.

Even though the shootings took place nearly 70 miles away from Rhinelander, Sheriff Grady Hartman said their job is to serve and protect, no matter the circumstances.

"We're use to the mutual aid system as when another jurisdiction requests our help. We're able to go and assist them. And likewise if we had a similar incident we would request under mutual aid for other officers and deputies to come help us," said Hartman.

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WESTON - Everest Metro Police Chief Wally Sparks held back tears in front of a crowded press conference on Thursday afternoon.

"Jason was a phenomenal officer, and he was part of our family," he said, taking a long pause. "It's difficult."

Sparks was talking about Detective Jason Weiland, who was identified Thursday as one of four people killed by a shooter Wednesday afternoon in the greater Wausau area. Weiland was a 15-year veteran of the Everest Metro Police Department, and had served in law enforcement for 18 years.

Two bank employees and a lawyer were also identified as people killed by the shooter.

We still don't know the name of that suspect, but on Thursday, we learned he is a 45-year-old Weston resident. That shooter suffered bullet wounds as part of a standoff, and is expected to survive. He's in custody at a local hospital.

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MERRILL - You might want to grab your favorite flannel to suit up for this celebration.

Sawmill Brewing Company in Merrill will celebrate one year of beer Saturday. 

The craft brewery has 16 Wisconsin craft beers on tap: six are their own. 
 
At first, the Sawmill owners didn't know what the community would think.

"They've taken it by storm. There are so many people that are referring to this as our brewery, which is really what we wanted. We wanted to build something in Merrill that they could come to and enjoy," said owner Zach Kubichek. 
 
To celebrate its one year anniversary, there will be a special batch of "River Hog" oatmeal stout. 

Sawmill put the beer in a Northern Waters Distillery bourbon barrel for the last few months. 

"We just set it aside for a few months. And it's kind of like, 'I hope it works out.' Then all of a sudden we were kegging it, and we had to hook up a contraption like a science experiment and had to hook up a little contraption," said Kubichek, "It turned out fantastic I tried it yesterday and it will be ready to go for Saturday." 

You have one shot at tasting the special brew; there is only a half barrel for the special anniversary.

Beer doesn't take any breaks; Sawmill Brewing Company stays open seven days a week.

The one-year anniversary celebration starts at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The day will be full of live music, raffles, and of course, beer.


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Knauf took over as pastor at Nativity of Our Lord Parish in Rhinelander last year. He's helped lead a multi-million dollar redesign of St. Mary's church's 55-year-old worship space.

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In honor of the police officer that died in Wednesday's shooting in Wausau.

Detective Jason Weiland served the Everest Metro Police Department for 15 years.

His death hit home for local men and women in uniform.

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