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Northwoods Spotlight - Northland Pines basketball brothers - Mar 5Submitted: 03/05/2014
Story By Joe Dufek

Northwoods Spotlight - Northland Pines basketball brothers - Mar 5
EAGLE RIVER - Last week, the season ended for the Northland Pines boys basketball team. The team only won one game all season long.

But for one Eagle River family, great memories were made - despite the record.

That's because one of the sons is able to enjoy life from the sidelines - despite obstacles.

Ken Kluever of Eagle River and his wife Carie learned their second child - Austin has spinal bifida. It's is a developmental congenital disorder caused by the incomplete closing of the embryonic neural tube. Some vertebrae overlying the spinal cord are not fully formed. Austin will be bound to a wheel chair his whole life.


"I don't even let it be an issue," Austin explains. "I'd like to be either a coach or a sports therapist."

Austin loves sports - just like any teenager. In fact, the family enjoys watching their oldest son Zach play for the Northland Pines basketball team.

"All the guys like (Austin) when he hangs out with the team," Zach said. "Everyone knows him. He is always there. It's a fun time."

"I could see it from the coach's standpoint," Northland Pines head coach Brent Luebke adds. "(Zach) wanted to play for and get the opportunity to represent his brother and his family."

Winning just one game this year, it was a tough season for the Eagles. However, despite all of the losses, game night was always special.

"It's amazing to watch him play and see how good he is," Austin explains. "His shooting and dribbing."

But that doesn't mean Austin was above giving Zach grief after a game - typical for brothers.

"Every now and again, he would say something under his breath," Zach points out with a laugh. "Try not to make it obvious, but he was always there."

"It's made us closer," Ken adds. "We wouldn't change anything we have done."


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 12/15/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

The Olson Memorial Library in Eagle River held a grand RE-opening that shows patience and perseverance pays off. We talk to the Library Foundation president and vice-president as well as Governor Scott Walker who attended the event.

We'll show you a half-court basketball shot a Rhinelander eighth-grader made that won money for him and raised money the Rhinelander Area Scholarship Foundation.

And tonight on Friday Night Blitz we'll bring you scores from high school games all across North Central Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following basketball games:

Phelps vs. Laona Wabeno (Boys and Girls)

Rhinelander vs. Northland Pines (Boys and Girls)

Elcho vs. Crandon (Boys)


That will be tonight on Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.

We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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EAGLE RIVER - Snowmobilers in Vilas County can get ready to ride.

Most trails in Vilas County will be opening at 5:00 p.m. Friday.

Vilas County Recreation Administrator Dale Mayo says the exception is the Phelps Trail system.

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MADISON - A drug distributor from California hoped to flood northern Wisconsin with meth to create more addicts.  Now, Marcos Castaneda faces life in federal prison.

Castaneda, 37, pleaded guilty in federal court in Madison for providing nearly $6 million of meth between 2013 and 2016.

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RHINELANDER - If you're still waiting on those holiday gifts to come in the mail, you're not alone!

Cyber Monday orders hit an all-time high record, and now, UPS is struggling to keep up.

Last week the company said to expect a two day delay on standard shipping time.

So what does this mean for you?

"You can get a little bit of a backlog. A lot of people have to do a lot of sorting with all those packages," says Postal Express manager Wendy Thompson.

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ODANAH - The fatal shooting of a 14 year old boy by a sheriff's deputy on a northern Wisconsin reservation has renewed discussions over whether the tribe should be policing itself.

Eighth-grader Jason Pero was killed by an Ashland County deputy about a month ago outside his home on Bad River Band reservation.

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RHINELANDER - After a year of hearings, arguments, and appeals, Marshfield Clinic finally got what it wanted on Thursday afternoon.

The Oneida County Board of Adjustment granted a permit for Marshfield Clinic to build a 12-bed, $35 million hospital in Minocqua.

Marshfield Clinic Regional Medical Director Dr. William Melms said construction would likely begin in spring.

"We are absolutely elated with the decision. We are very pleased," Melms said after the meeting.

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RHINELANDER - Thursday Rhinelander turned into the city of lights. The Light of the Northwoods kicked off its drive-through light show at Hodag Park today.
"We never got to do anything like this when I was a kid," said volunteer Corey Passmore.
However, Passmore's son will get the chance to experience a Christmas in a way his father was never able to.
"As far as I can think back we've never had anything like this in Rhinelander," said Passmore.
Months of preparation, hundreds of hours setting up, and more than a dozen creative minds helped create magic in Rhinelander.
"Symbolizes an opportunity for community to come together," said YMCA of the Northwoods CEO Ryan Zietlow. 

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