RHINELANDER - Early Saturday morning, the WIAA released the final 224 team field for the football playoffs. Despite a tough loss in Medford last night, and finishing the regular season with a (3-5) overall record, the Rhinelander Hodags are on the list.
Rhinelnader was among the eight teams in the Division 3, Group A field - which also included Great Northern Conference foes Mosinee and Medford. The Hodags will be making their first appearance in the playoffs since 1989.
On Wednesday, the WIAA granted Rhinelander what was termed "temperary relief" of their final year of a 4-year post season ban. Rhinelander was put on the ban because they left the Wisconsin Valley Conference voluntarily to join the Great Northern Conference. Five teams from the GNC will be in the playoffs. They are Antigo, Medford, Merrill, Mosinee, and Rhinelander.
Other teams making the playoffs include Northland Pines (Division 4), Crandon (Division 5), Laona/Wabeno (Division 6), and Florence (Division 7).
Meetings throughout the state will be held later today. The final pairings as well as locations and times are expected to be released either late this afternoon or early this evening.
MINOCQUA - Cross Country skiing seems like it’s just you and nature, but there’s actually a lot of manpower and big machinery involved.
The trails at Minocqua Winter Park open Friday. Employees got ready for the skiers starting Sunday.
“That’s our roller. That’s the first thing we do when we get a lot of snow we roll it and it knocks the air out of the snow and packs it down," said Eric Dwito, one of the people who grooms the ski trails.
Preparing the snow makes the trails better for skiers.
RHINELANDER - Footprints in the snow led police to another burglar in Rhinelander. Police say Kevin Kurek was breaking into garages late last month.
But he left a trail of footprints from garage to garage. An observant neighbor followed the footprints and called police.
At any one time we only have a couple of police officers in the city being able to be out there observing and what's going on the citizens are our biggest asset because they are with all the citizens in town,” says Rhinelander Police Chief Mike Steffes. “We have over 8,000 sets of eyes that can keep an eye on what's going on keep an eye on their property keep an eye on their neighbors’ property.
Police say they found the 22-year-old less than a mile away from a home on Dorr Avenue. Police were able to match the print in the snow to the bottom of Kurek's shoes which read "Globe."
Anytime there's a fresh fallen snow it’s an opportunity for officers to be able to use that snow to track the suspect,” says Steffes. “If we don't have that fresh fallen snow sometimes we have to use other assets that we have available to us like the dog.”
Rhinelander Police Chief Mike Steffes reminds everyone to keep their valuables locked during this holiday season.
“It’s very important for all homeowners and people who are visiting town to make sure that their vehicles are locked especially as we come into the holiday season because people are going to be purchasing valuables, purchasing presents for others, and they might be driving a long distances or stopping at family and friends homes with presents for other locations in their vehicles.”
Kurek faces four counts of burglary. He'll be in court next week.
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