RHINELANDER - The Nordic Ski Championships are just away. They are scheduled to run February 9th and 10th at Rhinelander's Northwood Golf Course.
But Mother Nature has not been very kind for all the folks trying to get the trail ready.
Due to a lack of snow, the Championships may need to be moved to a new location. A final decision is expected in the next 48 hours.
The two day event would bring 400 high school and middle school skiers from across the state to compete.
Northwoods Nordic Ski Club has been working tirelessly to make sure the competition remains in Rhinelander.
"We've had a number of factors working against us," says Race Director Ron Teclaw. "Lack of snow, warm weather. Bottom line is, we need about three or four more inches of good snow. With all of the hard work, I think that will be enough to pull things off."
ANTIGO - Despite having to poke her fingers, and inject insulin throughout the day, 7 year old Meredith smiles all the time. Now YOU can make her smile even brighter.
This is the race car Meredith Meidl designed for Ford's "Real Heroes Contest" benefitting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund. Meredith knows a lot about diabetes. She's had the disease since she was 2.
"I just (clicks) and then I push it on my finger and I squeeze my finger and then I put my blood into the strip and it reads my blood," said Meredith demonstrating how she tests her blood sugar.
RHINELANDER - You don't need to get a library card to check out a book theses days. Boxes that look like bird houses are popping up all over.
They're called Little Free Libraries. Anyone can stop by to take or give a book. It's all based on the honor system. Maureen O'Melia put her's up at home last night across from Pioneer Park.
"I contacted Ed Hughes from the library. He was excited about the idea as well and he, a week later, says I built you one Maureen. But I had to stain it and get it ready for the outdoors," says Maureen O'Melia, who built a Little Free Library.
Eight Years Prison Time for Sexually Assaulting a Child
RHINELANDER - A man from Rhinelander will spend the next eight years in prison for sexually assaulting a very young child.
The details of the case are so graphic and so disturbing, we can't put them on television.
What we can show you is edited to protect the victim's identity.
Forty five-year-old Jack Kaufman faced up to 40 years in prison. He insisted to the very end, that what he did was an accident, not sexual assault.
Prosecutors said today Kaufman gave so many versions of the story, they couldn't keep track of them all. One version was that the child walked in on him while masturbating. Then he said he accidentally ejaculated on the child. Although in some interviews, he said it was on purpose.
But the child described a full sexual assault to police, and said it happened, "lots of times".
"Mr. Kaufman provided many versions of his assault of (the victim). When confronted with the overwhelming discrepancies he said (the victim) was telling the truth. But at no time did he say he was sorry. He did say he wished his family wouldn't have reported," says Scott Moller, Oneida County Assistant District Attorney.
Kaufman told investigators he had no interest in sexual activity with anyone, child or adult. Judge Michael Bloom didn't accept that.
"That did not stop him from taking advantage of the presence of a warm, living, breathing person who happened to be nearby when he was engaged in this activity," says Judge Bloom.
Judge Bloom sentenced Kaufman to 14 years prison. He'll spend the first eight behind bars, and the remaining six on extended supervision.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - The back-and-forth between state lawmakers and the Lac du Flambeau tribe might be over.
Dean Kaufert is a Republican representing Neenah. He wanted to strip a quarter-million dollars of funding from the tribe. That money would have gone to fund a new cultural center.
His original move was a protest against the Chippewa lowering walleye bag limits. That happened on many lakes in the ceded territory this spring.
"I was kind of having some difficulty with some of my colleagues in the Legislature with convincing them that we needed to play hardball by holding this project back," says Rep. Kaufert.
Walleye spearing season by Chippewa fishermen is almost over. They only took about half as many as they expected. So, the DNR raised limits on 423 lakes in the ceded territory.
Kaufert now will not stand in the way of the cultural center money.
"The Governor asked me if I would consider releasing that project due to their ongoing discussions about trying to create a better environment up north for fish stocking and number of walleyes in our lakes," says Rep. Kaufert.
This week, Governor Scott Walker also proposed a state project to put more walleye in Wisconsin's lakes.
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