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Special Olympians Hit the Slopes on Granite PeakSubmitted: 01/20/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


WAUSAU - The weather didn't cooperate this weekend for the Special Olympics Wisconsin Winter Games in Wausau.

Three hundred athletes were expected for the event Saturday. The snowshoe and cross country ski events had to be canceled due to lack of snow.

But 35 competitors still got to hit the slopes at Granite Peak for snowboarding and alpine skiing.

One of the snowboarders competing Saturday may have been even more excited for another event coming up.

Dana Shilts from Neillsville, Wisconsin will travel to South Korea to compete for Team USA in the Special Olympics.

"This is my first time competing in a world games. I'm very excited. My number one supporter is coming with me, so I'm very excited," says Shilts, who is taking her mother with her to South Korea.

Three Wisconsin athletes made Team USA. Jason Suino from Hayward will compete in cross country, and Alexander Guild from De Pere will snowshoe.

Organizers say these athletes are what make volunteering worth it.

"The athletes is Special Olympics represent probably the truest example of sports; people who are in this just for the pure enjoyment of being in sports. We don't have the types of sportsmanship issues that a lot of other organizations have. It's just when you see the difference it makes in an athlete's life; not just the joy of competing and getting an award, but what they're able to accomplish, and what they're able to do," says Bob Whitehead.

Team USA leaves for South Korea this Wednesday.

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WAUSAU - Cat lovers got the chance to show off their furry friends Saturday at the Spring Cat Show. 

This is the 28th year the Central Wisconsin Cat Club has hosted the event. The show took place at Faith Christian Academy in Wausau

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PORTAGE COUNTY - A man died in a car crash early Saturday morning in Portage County.

The driver was a 33-year-old man who suffered severe trauma and died at the scene according to the Portage County Sheriff's Office.

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WAUSAU - Democratic lawmakers hosted a listening session on the state budget Saturday. The listening session was held in the Marathon County Public Library.

Democratic representatives heard from central Wisconsin residents on a number of topics.

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MADISON - MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The case of a Wisconsin man accused of killing four people while driving drunk last year won't proceed because a brain injury he suffered in the crash prevents him from assisting in his defense.

Dane County Circuit Judge Nicholas McNamara indefinitely suspended the case of 33-year-old Brysen Wills Friday after prosecutors and his defense attorney said two doctors concluded he's not competent to stand trial.


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WOODRUFF - USDA Wildlife Services relocates more than 500 black bears in Wisconsin every year.

Bears can cause a lot of damage, especially when they've just woken up from hibernation.

The DNR receives more than 800 nuisance calls for bears each year.

"They're opportunistic, looking for any food sources out there, grills, bird feeders, any garbage cans anything like that," said DNR wildlife damage specialist Brian Koele. 

Koele says it's important bears don't get acclimated to humans.

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RHINELANDER - For better or worse, drivers in Rhinelander will get an extra week to use the Davenport Street bridge.  The city's contractor for its downtown reconstruction project delayed closing the bridge for repairs to May 8th.

Crews first planned to close the bridge in mid-April, then pushed that back to May 1 due to weather.  Now, weather has further delaying the month-long repairs to the concrete decking.

This is part of a larger project to finish up the downtown reconstruction, which began in March 2016.  The city reconstructed 21 blocks, replacing underground utilities and modernizing the downtown area.

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VILAS COUNTY - 7:23 p.m.-- A Vilas County man walked free Friday night after facing sex assault charges.

After about three hours of deliberation, a jury decided Rodney Teets was not guilty of three felony sexual assault counts.





6:30 p.m. -- Rodney Teets, 36, testified in his own defense Friday, facing three counts of felony sexual assault with a dangerous weapon.  Teets cried at times, but claims the sex was never forced. 

A 19-year-old woman accusing him claims Teets assaulted her at knife point in July 2015.

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