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Northwoods Spotlight - State-bound youth basketball teams - Mar 19Submitted: 03/19/2014
Story By Joe Dufek


RHINELANDER - You don't have to be in college to be part of March Madness. Young teams from Northland Pines and Rhinelander received invites to their version of the Big Dance.

"Our team has done very well, considering we weren't as good last year," Alex Fortier of Rhinelander's 5th Grade Team explains. "We've changed a lot and now we're going to state."

"All the kids are looking up to the March Madness people, the college players," Northland Pines 6th grade player Ryan Peterson adds. "But now we get to have our own tournament that's this big too."


More than 700 boys and girls teams from 5th through 8th grade will play in the Wisconsin State Invitational Championship Tournament.

"The jitters of the bigger gymnasiums, the big crowds- it's exciting," Northland Pines head coach Jim Swenson said.

This will be the Eagles second time at state. Several of them got a taste of the high level of competition last year.

"I was kind of happy, kind of nervous because last year we didn't do very good," Northland Pines player Joe Misina admits.

The boys had a scrimmage Monday night. Both squads saw it as an chance to improve.

It's becoming more and more important for young athletes to have opportunities like this. They need experiences on a big stage to prepare them for high school competition.

"The only way we're going to prepare these kids is to start them out now," Rhinelander head coach Todd McEldowney explains. "And not to play against poor competition but to play against the best kids we can. Because that's how they're going to improve."

Other teams taking part include Antigo and Merrill's 5th grade girls teams, Medford and D.C. Everest in 8th grade girls, and Rhinelander and Wittenberg-Birnamwood's 8th grade boys teams.

It runs March 29th through April 13th throughout the state. Appleton, Stevens Point, and Wausau are among several cities hosting the tournament.


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/19/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

The T.B. Scott Library in Merrill will be constructing solar panels this spring. We'll tell you about the fundraising efforts and the plans for the panels.

The manager of an Oneida and Vilas county bus service is asking the community for patience. We'll tell you about Northwoods Transit Connections and how it is trying to keep up with demand.

And the Lakeland Memory Cafe at a church in Arbor Vitae opened for the first time today. We'll tell you how volunteers hope it will help people who suffer from memory loss.

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

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RHINELANDER - A Northwoods teacher is being recognized for connecting her students with the world. 

A Rhinelander High School teacher won the second annual Global Educator of the Year Award.

Linda Goldsworthy teaches social studies at Rhinelander High School. 

She is the only teacher in the state to win the award. 

Her experiences traveling as a college student to places like China and Germany inspired her to create the same opportunities for her own students.

"One of the things that gets me coming here every day is just seeing their faces and trying to enhance their understanding of the world we live in," said Goldsworthy.

As a teacher Goldsworthy's goal is providing global experiences for all students. 

She believes teaching a Comparative Religions class at a public school set her apart from other applicants.

 Winning the award has helped spread an important message that Goldsworthy encourages. 

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RHINELANDER - County jails in Wisconsin need more corrections officers. Nicolet College will start a new program to train people who want those jobs. Nicolet will hold an open house early next week to inform prospective students about the training necessary to work in corrections. The new class will take 12 weeks to complete. Graduates will be certified to work in any jail in the state. County jails, including some in the Northwoods, are taking in-state inmates from overcrowded jails. This class will make recruiting easier and quicker for busy jail administrators. Criminal Justice Specialist, Tim Gerdmann says anyone interested in starting a career in criminal justice is invited to attend the Careers in Corrections open house.

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VILAS COUNTY - Update:

We now the names of the people involved in a deadly crash that happened in Boulder Junction on Tuesday.

The crash happened at the intersection of Highway 51 and County Highway H just after 3:30 p.m.

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ARBOR VITAE - People who suffer from memory loss often don't want to talk about what they're going through. But volunteers hope a new program in the Northwoods will help people reach out and get help.

The Lakeland Memory Cafe opened for the first time Thursday at Peace Lutheran Church in Arbor Vitae.

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MERRILL - The T.B. Scott Free Library first opened its doors back in the 1800s. Light bulbs were just invented ten years prior.

Now, another change will help the Merrill library go solar in the next few months.

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MADISON - Wisconsin's unemployment rate is 4 percent, the lowest it's been since January 2001.

The state Department of Workforce Development reported Thursday that the rate was 4 percent in December, down slightly from 4.1 percent in November.

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