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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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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/20/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

Mild temperatures are expected for this weekend's World Championships Snowmobile Derby in Eagle River. Tonight we talk to the derby president to see how the warmer weather effects the event.

We'll show you how the Tomahawk Public Works Department determines when it would be required for residents to keep their water running in cold weather.

We'll take you to a Merrill restaurant that has a special menu for Inauguration Day.

And tonight on Friday Night Blitz we'll bring you scores from high school games all across North Central Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following games:

College Hockey:

UW-Eau Claire vs. UW-Stevens Point


Boys Basketball:

Lakeland vs. Rhinelander

Florence vs. Crandon

Mosinee vs. Tomahawk


Girls Basketball:

Lakeland vs. Rhinelander


That will be tonight on Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.

We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MADISON - A suspect is charged with killing a western Wisconsin sheriff's deputy in October and endangering the safety of several other officers as they were arresting him.

According to the criminal complaint filed Friday, Doug Nitek fatally shot Rusk County Sheriff's Deputy Dan Glaze on Oct. 29 after Glaze approached Nitek's vehicle. Glaze died of a gunshot wound to the head.

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RHINELANDER - Dozens of Rhinelander students called in sick, forcing the district to shut down early last month. But
teachers weren't immune either. It got so bad that there weren't enough substitute teachers on hand to
fill in for the sick staff. The district is now recruiting more subs to be better prepared for another
outbreak. Rhinelander schools went into the year with what they thought was a solid plan. But directors
of instructions, Terri Maney says nature had other plans. "The pertussis did not only affect students, it
affected staff," says Maney.

Students and teachers started getting sick in mid-December. Maney says
they went into this school year with more substitute teachers than ever before. But they never planned
for a pertussis outbreak. At one point, 1 in 5 students contacted the disease along with teachers calling
in too. 

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RHINELANDER - A lot of people turn to antibiotics to get better but a Veterans Affairs clinic nurse wants elderly patients to avoid getting sick completely.

Coughing into your arm and not your hands in addition to keeping your hands clean stops the spread of droplets. 

These precautions are especially important for older adults. 

"[They're] at a higher risk for contracting community acquired pneumonia," said Nurse Christina Paris who works at the Veterans Affairs Clinic office in Rhinelander. 

"If you do have a cold or flu and you're not as active those fluids and secretions can kind of buildup in your lungs and can trigger old bacterial infections as your immune system is weakened."

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WAUSAU - The Wausau Police Department welcomed three new officers to the force Friday. 

City Hall was full of city workers, police officers, fire fighters, and friends and family for the swearing-in ceremony. The officers are all excited to start serving the community, and in some cases, fulfill a lifelong dream.

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MADISON - A judge has ordered a suspended University of Wisconsin-Madison student to stand trial on charges that he sexually assaulted and harassed multiple women.

Alec Cook, of Edina, Minnesota, faces 21 charges involving 10 women. The counts include sexual assault, stalking and strangulation. Sixteen counts are felonies; the rest are misdemeanors.

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RHINELANDER - A Northwoods teacher is being recognized for connecting her students with the world. 

Linda Goldsworthy, a social studies teacher at Rhinelander High School, won the second annual Global Educator of the Year Award. 

She is the only teacher in the state to win the award.

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