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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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An emergency call came into the Price County Sheriff's Department just before 4 p.m. Wednesday.

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EAGLE RIVER - Many of us consider their dog as another member of the family. 

That's certainly true for a husband and wife in Eagle River, who are desperately searching for their dog--that they say was was taken from them in their own backyard on Tuesday. 

That dog is a three-year-old Boston terrier named Poco, and his owners are Scott and Laurie Schellinger.

According to the police report, a woman took the dog in a red Chevy Impala. The Schellingers say that woman is their niece. The Schellingers bought Poco from a man all three of them know about six weeks ago.

The Schellingers say when they got Poco, he was in bad shape.

"The dog didn't make a peep the first two weeks we had him," Scott Schellinger said. "And he cowered, and he just started coming out of his shell."

The Schellingers say their niece came over for a visit on Tuesday and that's when it happened.

"I was talking to my wife's niece on the back porch and all the sudden she goes running down the porch, her son grabbed the dog, the car was right there, opened up the driver car door, took the dog and [ran]," Scott Schellinger said. "Haven't seen him since."

The Schellingers say their home hasn't been the same, and their other two rescue dogs seem to miss him.

"I just can't believe this happened," said Laurie Schellinger. "Of all people, family."

Police have been searching for Poco, and the Schellingers hope he comes home soon.

"I just want him home where he belongs," Laurie Schellinger said. 

Click on the link below if you have information or want to help the Schellingers. 

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