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"Ridiculous" demand for Badger apparel in Northwoods after Final Four berthSubmitted: 04/04/2014
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com


MINOCQUA - A Northwoods sports fan shop usually sells far more Packers apparel than anything else.

But with the Badgers in the Final Four, Packerland Plus in Minocqua has been flooded with demand for Wisconsin gear.

The Badger basketball team beat Arizona on Saturday.

It will take on Kentucky Saturday night at the Final Four in the Dallas area.

"It has been really ridiculous. The Badger clothes have just been flying off the shelves. The phone has been ringing constantly. Everybody's looking for their gear for the game on Saturday," says Brittany Garfield of Packerland Plus.

Packerland Plus got shipments of official Final Four gear earlier this week.

But their stock didn't last long.

"They were telling me, people followed the UPS truck in and were literally buying it out of the box as the box was opened. People definitely wanted those shirts this year," she says.

Wisconsin made the Final Four for the first time since 2000.

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Three age groups competed in the running and biking events. 

The five and under group ran around the building and biked through the parking lot, but the older age groups biked through the trails behind the YMCA. 

"It's rugged enough that you have to have a little bit or stamina and a little bit or grit to actually make it through the course," said YMCA Aquatics and Youth and Family Director Matt Steingraber. 
 
Some of the kids even trained for the event. 

The top three in each age group got awards. 

The main purpose of the event was to get kids out of the house and doing something to keep them fit and active. 

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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander mom said her lifestyle completely changed when a new neighbor moved in. 

She used to love the close proximity and the ability to walk to almost anything in town.

She has two young kids and regularly checks the sex offender registry. 

The Rhinelander mom wishes to stay anonymous. We'll refer to her as Linda. 

Linda found out a sex offender moved in a few doors down from her by flipping through a local newspaper, She saw a small box at the bottom page with a notification. 

"He kind of just snuck in," said Linda. 

William Huntington moved close to Linda's house in May. However, Linda says she knew nothing until she did research of her own in July. 

"When I saw what he was found guilty of I was in shock. I was in complete shock," said Linda. 

He was convicted in Dane County for repeatedly sexually assaulting his 8- year- old neighbor about twenty years ago. He's now required to wear a lifetime GPS monitoring system. 

Dana Wszalek works with the Department of Corrections in Rhinelander as a Regional Chief. Her office supervises people like Huntington in the community.

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Wszalek understands the wariness community members might feel.

"As a parent it's important to be aware of who's in your neighborhood," said Wszalek. 

Linda said one of her 6- year- old child was planning on walking to school with friends this year, but instead they'll get driven.

"I feel like the neighborhood we moved into to be able to have these things has been taken away," said Linda.

Linda said she was shocked she didn't get a call or knock on her door from law enforcement.

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