Hodags hire interim volleyball coachSubmitted: 08/19/2013
Story By Joe Dufek

RHINELANDER - Monday volleyball and cross country teams had their first practice. Every team has dreams of a state championship.

Some teams have coaching changes.

The Hodags just hired their interim volleyball coach 3 days before their first practice.

Paul Mildebrandt is the Hodag's interim coach. He was hired on Friday.

He's taking over for Kathy Wawrzynowicz. She is taking a leave of absence for a medical issue within the family.

Paul was an assistant for Kathy for one year - that was in 2002. His teaching position from Zion Lutheran School interfered with his duties at the time.

Paul has been a varsity volleyball referee for 10 years.

The Hodags won the Great Northern Conference for the first time last season.

The returning players look to continue last year's success without Kathy.

"The word I'm stressing to the girls is 'program'," Mildebrandt said. "I want to make a smooth a transition for not only the girls, but for Kathy when she comes back next year."

Hodags will open the year next week at the Wisconsin Dells Invitational.

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NEKOOSA - People in Nekoosa could go back in time this weekend.

Volunteers at Pointe Basse recreated a historical camp portraying lives of people from the 1700s and early 1800s.

Volunteers from all across the U.S. all had a piece of history to share.

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EAGLE RIVER - Eagle River hosted its 36th annual Cranberry Fest during October's first weekend.

Organizers say the weather this year brought in many more visitors.

"People come to this whether there's good weather of bad weather," said Executive Director of the Eagle River Chamber Kim Emerson. "And with this year being great weather, we had above-average crowds and it was just spectacular. We're so happy about that."

By 3 p.m. Saturday, the World's Largest Cranberry Cheesecake had already been devoured. Sales of slices go towards the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. 

Organizers said they also almost sold out of cranberries, but they said they would still have more to sell on Sunday. 

There were also dozens of craft vendors, food and wine and cranberry marsh tours.

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RHINELANDER - Harvest Hoedown started Saturday at noon at the Woodpecker Bar and Grill in Rhinelander.

The event had a hay maze, horse drawn carriage rides, food, and live music all afternoon.

"I think it's going great. We got a little sunshine right now. We got probably a couple hundred people here. People are buying food, spending money. It's what we're after," said Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Executive Director Guy Hanson.

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WOOD COUNTY - Two people who stole a UTV led police on a wild chase early Friday morning. Friday night, those suspects were still on the run.

The Wood County Sheriff's Office tells us a sporting goods store owner walked in as the burglary was happening, just before 7 a.m. The suspects took off in a red Dodge pickup truck pulling a trailer with the stolen UTV. They crashed through several gates to get out.

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ACROSS WISCONSIN - Abbotsford 62, Thorp 6

Algoma 24, Sturgeon Bay 8

Almond-Bancroft 61, Tigerton/Marion 6

Amherst 56, Manawa 6

Antigo 42, Lakeland 28

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