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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

LINCOLN COUNTY - Stolen road signs could make it harder for drivers to find their way in western Lincoln County.

Deputies tell us about 10 signs went missing in the Town of Harding over the last few weeks.

They were taken right off their posts.

Most were road signs, but at least one was a stop sign.

Some of the signs were found on Lake Alexander, where they were placed along the makeshift ice road.

Deputies say if a missing sign causes a crash, the thief could be held liable.

If anyone has information, they should contact the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department.

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Rhinelander Hobby Lobby opensSubmitted: 02/08/2016

RHINELANDER - Craft supplies can be difficult to find because of a limited supply in the Northwoods, but getting those items could get a lot easier now that a new store has opened its doors.

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RHINELANDER - Frederick Place in Rhinelander celebrated a big accomplishment Saturday night.

The homeless shelter has now been open for five years.

While some people thought there were not enough people in need for Frederick Place to be useful, more than 500 people have been helped by Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing.

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EAGLE RIVER - One couple took their love of hockey to a whole new level this weekend.

Kim Riley and Joe Vrtis came to Eagle River to play in the USA Pond Hockey Tournament.

The hockey-loving couple from Chicago thought it would be a great place to do their engagement photos.

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EAGLE RIVER - Teams from all over the country came to Eagle River this weekend for the USA Pond Hockey Tournament.

One team even made their way from California.

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WESTON - The state of Wisconsin no longer bans the possession or purchase of switchblades.

Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) signed a bill lifting the decades-long ban on switchblades on Saturday at a 
National Rifle Association and Wisconsin FORCE annual convention in Weston.

Walker said this gives people another option for protection, and it also can help first responders at accidents.

"Say at a crash to take someone out of a harness or seat belt or other things like that," Walker said. "And again, the bottom line is as it is with firearms, the people you are worried about are already possessing these, law abiding citizens should at least have access to that in the state of Wisconsin."

This new law applies only to people who are legally eligible to own a gun.

"The same provisions apply," Walker said. "If someone's prohibited from possessing a firearm, say they're a felon, they are not able to possess a firearm the same way with a knife under the senses. But with a law abiding citizen, it just makes sense that if they're following the law, they're looking to protect themselves and their families, this gives them one more tool to do that as well as first responders."

Under this new bill people can also carry concealed knives of any length without a concealed carry license.

FORCE, or Firearm Owners, Ranges, Clubs and Educators, is an association chartered by the NRA. 

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THREE LAKES - With a half day of classes, students in Three Lakes found plenty to cheer about Friday morning.  But the limited hours and extended weekend weren't the only reasons for excitement.

Twenty-two speakers from nearly two dozen professions presented at the school's fourth career day—the first one held in two years.

"Last year we didn't do it and kids were mad," Principal Gene Welhoefer said.  "So that was a good sign we needed to bring it back."

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