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Northwoods Spotlight - Kayla Dalka June 18Submitted: 06/18/2014
Story By Marisa Silvas


PHILLIPS - Chances are, Kayla Dalka can lift more weight than you. That strength has earned her a spot in the Special Olympics USA Games. She'll be representing Wisconsin in powerlifting.

"I like powerlifting because I like to go to the meets," Kayla explains. "And every time I make a lift that's right, I like to see my coach smile."

Kayla was born with a cognitive disability which affects her IQ. She may have some limitations, but her spirit is undeniable.

"It makes me feel like a champion," says Kayla.

"She wanted to meet different friends and get to know the different kids around school," Kayla's mom Pam Lentz adds. "So she started out in powerlifting."

More than 3,500 athletes will travel to New Jersey to showcase their talents this week.

"When she passed and mom told me she was gonna go, I was really excited for her," Phillips powerlifting coach Jeff Schillinger explains. "I've had five kids make it to worlds and this is just as cool if not better than those kids that were world champions."

One of Kayla's biggest cheerleaders is her lifting partner Damien.

"She's awesome. She did really good, really good," Damien Klepac said. "It's like way to go!"

Kayla's favorite event is the deadlift. At the Wisconsin State Special Olympics she lifted a personal record 305 pounds.

"If you do the right techniques then the good weights will come," Schillinger adds.

She's also flourished working at Club 13 in Phillips.

"Always on time, does whatever you ask her to do, keeps up very well," owner Mike Reed said. "She does a very good job for us."

Powerlifting has helped Kayla grow in many ways.

"She can talk in front of crowds, she opens up her mouth now. She's got a lot more confidence," adds Lentz.

"Kayla will get first place," Klepac exclaims. "She rocks!"


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 IN OTHER NEWS

NEW ORLEANS - 8:30 p.m.

New Orleans police say the number of people injured after a vehicle crashed into a crowd watching the Krewe of Endymion parade in the Mid-City section of New Orleans has increased to 28 and a suspect is in custody.

Police Chief Michael Harrison says one person in custody and that he is being investigated for driving while intoxicated. Harrison says police do not suspect terrorism.

Harrison says that 21 people were hospitalized after the crash with five victims in guarded condition. Seven others declined to be hospitalized.

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MADISON - State superintendent candidate Lowell Holtz sent a campaign-focused email detailing his support among Republicans using his Whitnall Public School email address during a school day.

The email sent in May appears to be in violation of the state law prohibiting the use of government resources for campaign work.

The email was provided to The Associated Press by the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now which received it through an open records request.

Holtz did not respond to a request for comment.

Former chief state elections administrator Kevin Kennedy says the email does break the law, but it's not likely to rise to the level of something warranting prosecution. Kennedy says it shows more of a lack of judgment than criminal act.

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OCONOMOWOC - A Wisconsin couple is charged with child neglect and suffocation after police say they gagged and "hog-tied" a 12-year-old boy with duct tape while they went out to dinner in December.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the victim's mother and stepfather, of Oconomowoc, each face misdemeanor counts of child neglect and felony counts of suffocation as parties to the crime. The woman faces an additional charge.

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RHINELANDER - The Oneida County woman accused of mistreating animals in her rescue won't go to court next week.

The Oneida County District Attorney's Office confirmed Friday morning that Stephanie Schneider's court appearance Monday has been pushed back.

Police seized 39 dogs from her "It Matters to One" animal rescue in Sugar Camp earlier this month.

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RHINELANDER - Movie fans will see if their favorite movie wins "Best Picture of the Year" at the Academy Awards on Sunday.
There are some big names nominated this year, but there are a few many people in the Northwoods have never seen.
Rouman Cinema is giving people a chance to catch up on movies that will be winning the big awards. 

The studios that produce the movies, decide what theatres get to show them and when.

A lot of it has to do with marketing and the demographics of the area.

Diverse movies like Moonlight and Fences often don't come to the are, until months after they're released.
George Rouman owns Rouman Cinema he says it's up to the studios, not him.

"People may or may not be into this type of thing but for those who are interested in really good, excellence quality performances, it's a great chance to get out here and see some of these movies and see what some of the buzz is about," said Rouman.

Rouman created a three week Oscar special where he'll be showing about 15 Oscar nominated films.

Rouman believes that people in the Northwoods have a right to see and know about movies featuring different cultures and people.

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TOMAHAWK - Police departments often seize drugs, cash, and vehicles involved in crimes. Tomahawk uses up to $10,000 a year from those to fight crime. But a new bill could take that money away.

"You're handcuffing your police officers," said Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins.

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MERCER - Kids across northcentral Wisconsin woke up to the two best words they could hear on Friday: snow day.

Districts all over the area cancelled school because of the winter storm.

As far as we can tell, Mercer was the only school in the area to have class today.

Believe it or not, that was good news for most kids in the area.

View the attached video to see more.

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