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NEWS STORIES

Northwoods Spotlight - Blind snowmobile racing Jan 29Submitted: 01/29/2014
Story By Marisa Silvas

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PHELPS - Imagine driving a snowmobile, while blindfolded.

"Not being able to see totally disorients you," racer Jeremiah Chmiel admits.

Another racer, Ray Kangas explains, "It's a freaky feeling cause you're only
going by what someone is telling you."

This unique fundraiser came about in memory of Ken and Peto Buell. The Phelps
community rallied around the idea.


Race Coordinator Cindy Regozzi is proud.

"Blindfolded snowmobiling race! We're a fun, goofy place and have lots of great
ideas," Regozzi says. "That came up in a discussion one night and we tried it.
That was last year and it was very successful so this is our second year."

This is the helmet the drivers used to go around the track. They assured me
that once you put it on, you can't see a thing.

"There is absolutely zero vision," Chmiel adds. "If you're claustrophobic it's
probably not the best thing to put on, cause there's nothing there."

The weather didn't cooperate, but the experience was like nothing else you've
ever seen.

"It sounds scary, but once you do it, it's exciting and you'll want to do it
again," racer Ron Buell proudly explains.

Three Phelps seniors are competing to win a scholarship from the money raised.
The decision will be made based on academics, extra curriculars and community
service.

Jackie Samuelson - a Phelps senior has big goals.

"I plan to go to the University of River Falls for Pre-veterinary medicine,"
Samuelson says. "I'm going to try everything I can to get a lot of scholarships
and this is one that I'd greatly appreciate."

"Hopefully we can draw some more people, raise some more money," Buell points
out. "Help these kids out and give them a better chance to go on in life."


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 11/26/2014

- The Northwoods teaching assistant accused of having sex with an underage teen reached a plea deal. Find out more tonight on Newswatch 12.

- Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) wants a spot on the legislature's powerful budget committee. Find out which Northwoods lawmaker beat him to it.

- It's a double whammy for cranberry growers in the Northwoods " a smaller harvest, and lower cranberry prices. What the U.S. government is doing about it, tonight on Newswatch 12.

- And your organization can get some free help solving a challenge or working on a project. 16 members of the Leadership Oneida County program are spending 9 months getting to know the services and organizations in the county.


We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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Small Business Saturday: why stores want you to shop localSubmitted: 11/26/2014

RHINELANDER - Following Thanksgiving Day shopping and after Black Friday, Northwoods businesses hope you'll stick around for one more shopping day- Small Business Saturday.

The day encourages shoppers to stay local and help businesses in the community.
Small Business Saturday first began in 2010.

Last year consumers spent about $5.7 billion at independent stores.

Shops like Imaginuity in Rhinelander have jumped on board to bring in customers.

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Bakeries in the Northwoods prepare for ThanksgivingSubmitted: 11/26/2014

ST. GERMAIN - Not many "made from scratch" bakeries exist in the Northwoods.

But, the ones that do are busy preparing treats for Thanksgiving tomorrow.

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Torgerson pleads not guilty for murder & disappearance of Stephanie Low; more information about informants Submitted: 11/26/2014

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WAUSAU - The case against a Wausau man facing murder charges will move forward. Thirty-five-year-old Kristopher Torgerson pled not guilty in court during his preliminary hearing Tuesday.

Torgerson didn't admit to the murder in September, but he led police to Stephanie Low's burial site in the woods of Forest County. She had been missing for nearly four years.

Torgerson faces charges of intentional homicide, armed robbery, and hiding a body related to Low's disappearance and death.

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Representative Bill Kramer sentenced for sexual assaultSubmitted: 11/26/2014

MADISON - Representative Bill Kramer will spend five months in jail.

Kramer was sentenced to sexual assault charges yesterday.

The former Assembly majority leader agreed to a plea deal earlier this year. That was for two misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree sexual assault.

A criminal complaint says Kramer groped a woman outside of a tavern in 2011.

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Lawsuit filed claiming magazine subscription scamSubmitted: 11/26/2014

MADISON - The state Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against two Oregon-based publishing groups alleging they ran a subscription scam targeting the elderly.

The DOJ filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Madison.

It alleges Liberty Publishers Service and Orbital Publishing Group sent invoices to nursing home residents and the elderly warning them to renew their subscriptions to periodicals such as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel but charged far more than the actual cost.

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Newswatch 12 reports: Teen birth rate drops in the United States, still higher than other countries; Sexual education could decrease rate even moreSubmitted: 11/25/2014

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WISCONSIN - Teen birth rates dropped significantly across the country in the past few years.

Despite the decline, the United States still has the highest teen birth rate compared to other developed countries.

There are many reasons the rate is going down, and there could be many explanations to why the U.S. is behind other countries.

Education could decrease the rate even more.

That could prevent more people from having to go through the difficulties of being a teen parent.

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