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Area sports teams forced to prepare indoorsSubmitted: 03/24/2014
Story By Joe Dufek


RHINELANDER - Monday was the first day of practice for many area girls soccer teams. The same with baseball.

Virtually all of them however, are not able to practice outside.

Of course the soccer fields, as well as the baseball and softball diamonds look like this.

Frosty the Snowman is stuck just looking at all the snow.

So teams were forced to practice in the gym. The Hodag girls soccer team is looking to defend their Great Northern Conference championship.


Last year, the season was delayed by roughly one month because of snow on the fields.

Rhinelander is scheduled to open the year April 10th. However, it looks like a very similar scenario they faced last year.

"It's exciting to finally start the season," Hodag senior midfielder Molly Willging explains. "I wish we were outside. We're stuck inside, but we'll make the most of it."

"Last year was an interesting year because of the weather," Hodags assistant coach Richard Kotula admits. "We only played half of the games which counted for the WIAA. We've been through it before. We're hoping it's not going to happen this year, but we'll take whatever we can to practice inside. Whenever it starts to be sunny, and the snow melts, we'll certainly try to go out and enjoy the fresh air."


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 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - Trig's Smokehouse in Rhinelander hired 15 new employees to start a second shift. Supervisor Geremiah Young remembers the early days of Trig's Smokehouse. He's worked there since 2009 which was before the plant on Stevens Street was even built.

"We had one little stuffer and now we've got two lines going and looking to possibly get more," said Young.

That demand for more was enough to add a second shift and 15 new jobs at the Smokehouse.

"We're fairly excited about for this second shift. It means a lot more of our product is getting out to the world and we're very excited for that," said Young.

Getting out tons of new product may be more accurate.

"We're doing about 4,000 pounds of just bratwurst and with the first shift, they were doing about 3,000 pounds of sticks. Throughout both shifts I know we can do a maximum of that and right now we're going through quite a bit," said Young.

The day shift goes from 6am-2:30pm when the second shift comes in and takes over right away, making the shift change relatively smooth.

"We've got one person coming in and one person steps out. We exchange what we were doing for the day, what products were ran during the day and we continue on from there," said Young.

With the 15 new night time employees, training can be a challenge. 

"Training… it's going… it's like anybody else, you come off the street and this is a whole different ballgame from what they're used to," said Young.

In addition to the 15 hired employees, the Smokehouse is still looking for about six more.

"It's a fun, fast-paced environment. If you think you've got it, come on in. But be prepared for the cold."

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MADISON - Concerns about treatment of veterans at Wisconsin's largest veterans home will be investigated.

The co-chairs of the Legislature's Audit Committee said Wednesday they support approving an audit for the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King.

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TOMAHAWK - It doesn't look like the candidates for northern Wisconsin's seat in Congress can agree on a debate schedule just yet. 

U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Weston) said earlier this week he wants two debates, one in Superior and one in Wausau.

But that's apparently not enough for his democratic challenger. Mary Hoeft said she wants six debates.
Originally Hoeft said she wanted a debate in all 26 counties in the district.

"But people said to me, Mary, when you make this request to the Duffy campaign, make it reasonable," Hoeft said. "So alright I went in my head from 26 down to six." 

Hoeft said more debates would help voters make a more informed decision when they go to the polls. 

"But I'm happier than if he had said zero," Hoeft said. "But I'm not going to stop, though. I'm going to ask the people of the 7th Congressional District, if you want more forums, make sure that your voice is heard."

Hoeft hosted a meet and greet in Tomahawk Wednesday morning. She addressed a group of about 20 people. 

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ANTIGO - A fire left some minor damage to a business in Antigo earlier today.

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MOSINEE - The Marathon County Sheriff's Office says a 60-year-old Marathon County man died Tuesday night after trying to push a pontoon boat off a sand bar in the Wisconsin River.

The victim was identified as James A. Bohn of the Town of Knowlton.




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ANTIGO - People hoping to use the Antigo library will need to find a different location for the next month.

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MANITOWISH WATERS - If you don't like getting your hands dirty you might want to avoid Manitowish Waters this weekend.

"Right away we're getting them nice and muddy and dirty and then they continue their jaunt for four miles," chamber director Sarah Pischer said.

Wednesday, workers created 12 obstacles -- some high in the air, some low to the ground -- for the fifth-annual Northwoods Bad Dash Mud Run.  Pischer says volunteers build new challenges for racers every year.

"We wouldn't be able to do things like this, we're not carpenters and we really appreciate all the help we've had in past years from all our volunteers," Pischer said.

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