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Northwoods Spotlight - Former Olympic skier Chris CookSubmitted: 02/05/2014
Story By Marisa Silvas

Northwoods Spotlight - Former Olympic skier Chris Cook
RHINELANDER - If you can believe it, the Olympic games are almost here. Competition begins
Thursday. It's also the perfect time to remind everyone that a former Olympian
calls Rhinelander home.

Putting on skis is second nature for Chris Cook. The Rhinelander native started
racing when he was just 3 years old. In high school, he became focused on
seeing where the journey could take him.

"I really wanted to do everything to pursue professional athletics," Cook
explained. "I went to Northern Michigan University and wanted to win a national
title there - which I did. It put me on the U.S. developmental team, the U.S.
ski team. It was step by step."


Cook continued to heat up the trails becoming the US Nationals Sprint Champ at
the age of 25. His talent and drive landed him at the 2006 Olympic Games in Torino.

"The opening ceremonies, walking in with the entire team was an eye-opening
moment," Cook adds. "That was a dream-realized moment."

Having been to the games himself, Chris has a lot of insight into how this years
athletes are preparing, both physically and mentally.

"I'm good friends with Andy Newell," Cook said. "This is his third games. He's
focused on a medal. For the rookie, it's a little bit different. (It's) your
first games. It's trying not to let the media and all of the hoopla of the
games affect you."

Cook retired from competition two years ago. He has mixed feelings about being a
spectator this time around.

"I miss the racing," Cook said. "I don't miss the training, but I miss the
racing. But I do enjoy watching the racing and supporting the guys who are there."


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 06/28/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:


A week and a half ago a dive team pulled the body of a man who drowned while trying to save his girlfriend's eight-year-old son on the Wisconsin River in Wausau. A video of the scene prompted a Hall of Fame fishing guide from Hazelhurst to step up his efforts to lobby for life jacket safety laws. We talk to the guide about his reaction to the video and his battle to get a law passed.

Organizers of Leadership Oneida County are bringing the program back after they took a year off to revamp the program.

And we'll show you how some feathered friends are helping a Three Lakes cranberry grower get rid of weeds on the farmland.

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

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FOREST COUNTY - Bringing your pet along to watch fireworks might seem like a fun way to spend the Fourth of July, but you could be doing more harm than good.

July 5th is one of the busiest days of the year for most animal shelters.

That's because fearful pets try to escape the bangs and flashes from fireworks and end up lost.

Forest County Humane Society president Jay Schaefer says don't let yourself add to your pet's stress.

Play it down, and make the fireworks a good thing with positive talk and treats.

"They're reading cues from us constantly. So be careful of your body language and the cues you're giving them. If you act like fireworks are a big scary thing they're gonna be like, 'oh my god fireworks are scary,'" says Schaefer.

Exercise can be another way to calm your pet before the big light show.

Burning off the energy earlier in the day may help your pet go to sleep early.

"Take them for a jog on the Fourth of July. I know it's hectic, but do something so they're not all amped up at night when the fireworks go off," says Schaefer.

Like many humans, pets like the smell of lavender.

You can try diffusing the scent around the house to put your pet at ease.

Make sure you have a well-fitting collar and identification tag on your pet.

If flashes are too bright, you might want to close the curtains.

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CHETEK, WI - A preliminary report from federal aviation investigators says witnesses described hearing an engine backfire before a small plane crashed in Wisconsin last month, killing the teenage pilot and seriously injuring a passenger.

The Leader-Telegram reports that the National Transportation Safety Board interviewed several witnesses who were fishing in a pond near the Red Cedar River at the time of crash on May 24.

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WAUSAU - Every year, firefighters around the country ask their communities to fill up boots with money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Wausau Fire Department kicked off its "Fill the Boot" campaign Tuesday morning.

The fire department will be at local events throughout the summer to collect donations.

The fundraiser helps with research and treatment for neuromuscular diseases for kids and adults.

"It's kind of a rewarding part of the job. Most of what we do is off camera, you don't really get to see all aspects of the fire department. It is a great chance for us to get out there and see all the programs we are involved in to help,"says firefighter Matt Tormohlen.

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MADISON - Democratic state Senator Kathleen Vinehout has registered to run for governor, the first step in officially launching a campaign.

Vinehout, of Alma, filed the paperwork on June 14 to register a campaign committee.

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MADISON - Republican legislative leaders and Governor Scott Walker are once again set to meet as a deal to pass the state's $76 billion budget remains elusive.

Walker was to meet privately Wednesday with Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.

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MERRILL - Six years ago, Merrill promoted the River Bend Trail across the city to try to get people to use it. Now, the trail sees more than 100 people every day and is scheduled for more expansion.

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