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Northwoods Spotlight - Rhinelander Swim Club Dec 18Submitted: 12/18/2013
Story By Marisa Silvas

Northwoods Spotlight - Rhinelander Swim Club Dec 18
RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Swim Club is having one of their best years ever. They're also celebrating a special anniversary.

These kids love the water.

13-year old Taylor Macak says, "I just want to do my best."

The Rhinelander Swim Club is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year... and with more than 100 swimmers, it's not showing any signs of aging.

Assistant coach Ken Heck explains, "Just to see the faces and their smiles. Watch them learn, watch them get faster and compete is a lot of fun."


Maria Kipper (13 Years Old) "I'm actually surprised we've been doing it this long," 13-year old Maria Kipper adds. "there's so many kids we've been doing it this long. It's awesome."

The young swimmers range from 5 to 17 years old and practice 3 nights a week to prepare for meets.

"I'm hoping for a ribbon or two," 9-year old Liana Teter proclaims. "But mostly I'm just hoping to come home happy."

The swim club wasn't always this popular. In fact, back in 2007, they didn't know if they'd make it to their 50th. But then along came the Olympics, and someone named Michael Phelps.

"Any time there's a successful Olympics, the year following that you should see some growth in your programs," Craig Catlin - the swim club's vice president explains. "We saw significant growth."

Being in the pool isn't the only reason these kids enjoy the club.

And if the numbers are any indication, the Rhinelander Swim Club will be making a splash for quite some time.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

ROSENDALE, WI - An explosion and fire at a cheese plant in Fond du Lac County sent one person to the hospital.

The sheriff's office says 36-year-old Travis Klotzbach, of Brandon, was using a cutting torch on an empty 55-gallon barrel in the auto shop at Knaus Cheese near Rosendale when the explosion happened just after 7 a.m. Friday.

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SUGAR CAMP - Students at Sugar Camp Elementary School invited their grandparents to join them at school on Friday. Grandparents toured classrooms, heard poems and stories, and ate lunch with family.

Jenna Erikson is a sixth grader at Sugar Camp. Her grandparents drive two hours from Colby every year to experience Grandparents Day with her.

"We read our speeches, then I showed my grandparents around the room a little bit," Erikson said. "It's really fun, and it's just a good time."

More than 130 grandparents visited their grandchildren at school. Sugar Camp has been hosting the event for decades.

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RHINELANDER - Snow plows can't do their job very well when cars sit in their way.  That's why Rhinelander's winter parking ban will return in just a couple of weeks.

Starting December 1st, cars can only park on designated sides of the street during the day.  On even-numbered days, cars park on the side of the street with even addresses.  On odd numbered days, cars must park on odd-numbered sides of the street.

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ANTIGO - Blaze orange and camouflage swarmed the front of Mills Fleet Farm in Antigo this morning.

People started lining up for Orange Friday 2017 around 4 a.m. for free hats and gift scratch offs!

More than 500 people filed in as the doors opened at 6 a.m.

The line didn't slow down for 15 minutes after that.

Many customers came to grab last-minute hunting gear including hunting licenses.

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TOMAHAWK -
UPDATE: The suspected shooter from a homicide in Tomahawk has been identified as Eric Lee Moen, 32.  Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins confirmed Moen is being held in the Lincoln County Jail for a 1st-degree intentional homicide charge.

The Lincoln County Clerk of Courts reports Moen is being held on a $1 million cash bond.  He has yet to appear in court, but an initial appearance has been set for Monday at 1:30 p.m.

Online court records show Moen was convicted of various traffic offenses.  He was also convicted of misdemeanor battery in Portage County from a 2002 case.

Elvins plans to release more information Friday afternoon.




Tomahawk police identified the victim in the city's first shooting homicide in years.  Friday morning, Police Chief Al Elvins announced Charles K. Ramp, 52, was shot and killed outside his home on W. Mohawk Drive Thursday night.

Police arrested the suspected shooter, a 32-year-old man from Wausau, but did not identify him.  The suspect was found about 130 miles away in Lake Hallie, which is near Eau Claire.

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RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Salvation Army hopes to raise $40,000 in its bell ringing campaign again this year. It reached that goal during the holidays a year ago.

Volunteers kicked off the bell ringing drive at Trig's and Shopko on Friday. Eighty-six percent of money raised stays in the Rhinelander area to help families in emergencies.

"We're very excited that we're keeping our goal at 40 (thousand dollars) this year, and we're hoping that people are continuing to be generous in helping us reach that goal," Rhinelander Salvation Army Kettle Coordinator Kim Swisher said. "People are friendly, they're excited, they're like, 'Oh, it's bell ringing time!' [That] always means the holidays. We're excited about that."

You'll see volunteers at Trig's and Shopko through the holidays. Bell ringing starts at Walmart next week.

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EAGLE RIVER - Americans eat more than 46 million turkeys on Thanksgiving Day. That much thawing, handling, and cooking of turkeys means people can make mistakes.

The Vilas County Public Health Department wants to help people avoid exposing themselves to dangerous bacteria. It says frozen turkeys should always be thawed in the refrigerator or under running water.

"You don't want to set them out on your countertop for any amount of time to thaw them because that's when they're going to be in the 'danger zone.' The 'danger zone' is between 40 and 140 [degrees Fahrenheit], and that's when pathogens can grow," said Vilas County Registered Sanitarian Amy Springer.

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