Runners use Buck Rut Run as end of season celebrationSubmitted: 11/09/2013

Adam Fox
10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter

MINOCQUA - Most sports teams celebrate the end of a good season with a party of get together.

But some middle and high school runners do things a little different.

Stevens Point area runners cap off their year at the Buck Rut 5-K Run at the Minocqua Winter Park.

They say it's a fun way to wrap up the year after state cross country finals.

Phil Mahoney brings the group up.

"It's a chance to do another race, but with a relaxed atmosphere and almost a party atmosphere afterwards, after a tough run," Mahoney said. "You run hard and then enjoy it afterwords."

Mahoney has been running in the Buck Rut since it started 22 years ago. He couldn't run this year because of broken ribs. But he says the event and course are a great challenge for young runners.

"It's probably more challenging than your average event or course that they would have during their season," Mahoney said. "Once they are here they get the feel for what it's like and meet other kids they don't ordinarily run into."

Thomas Basala of Plover won with a time of 19:58.00.

More than 90 runners took to the ski trails of the winter park.

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PARK FALLS - Many people in the Northwoods go to church on Sunday mornings, and for some of them it may be begrudgingly.

But there are plenty of people, often elderly or sick, who want to go to church but have a hard time doing so.

Peace Lutheran Church in Park Falls wanted to change that. Since May, they've been undergoing some construction. On Sunday, the church had a dedication ceremony for a special new addition—an elevator.

Now people like 100-year-old Ruth Olson can worship with greater ease.

Before the elevator, Olson said she would get to church by literally pulling herself up the stairs using the railing.

Olson's story is like many. As the older population grows, church buildings don't evolve with them. The buildings are often old and sometimes lack accomodating features for the elderly or disabled, and takes money to update the buildings.

"We have churches where the people are getting older and it's very hard for people to get around," said Rev. Dwayne Lueck, the district president for the North Wisconsin District Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod.

Some parishoners couldn't do what Ruth used to do, and so they would have to worship at a service held across the street in the day care center, instead of in the beautiful church.

"Now all the services can be over here," said Rev. Dale Heinlein, the pastor of Peace Lutheran.

The congregation at Peace Lutheran believed in an elevator, so they paid for it.

"We been talking and planning this for...a long time," said Dick Ross, president of the congregation. "Pretty hard for some of the people, and I think you saw them, pretty hard for some of the people to worship here, so it was time."

"You can see it in their eyes more than anything when they know they have access and when they come up here and just enter the building and no steps, it's a great thing," said Buzz Peters, a parishoner who helped design the new elevator and space.

"We can finally have access for everybody to get into the worship facility, free access, that's what this is all about," Heinlein said. 

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