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Pines' Senior Ramesh signs with BadgersSubmitted: 02/06/2013
Story By Joe Dufek


EAGLE RIVER - After months of talk... the wait is finally over.

Today was National Signing Day for Football and several other sports....

One of the biggest signings today, Northland Pines senior running back and linebacker Austin Ramesh officially signed with Wisconsin.

He's expected to be a linebacker with the Badgers.

Today with his family, coaches, teammates on hand, Austin signed with Wisconsin.


After Gary Anderson took over the Badgers program, he's glad to put all of the stress behind him. Playing for the Badgers is something he's wanted to do growing up in Eagle River.

Wisconsin also signed two other area athletes for the football team. Wisconsin Rapids senior offensive lineman Hayden Biegel joins his brother Vince. Also Merrill's Ben Hemer has committed to the Badgers as well as a prefered walk-on. He's the younger brother of Ethan Hemer, a starting defensive lineman. Ben is also expected to compete on the offensive line.

Other signings today include Rhinelander sending a trio of Hodags off. Ben Franson will play soccer for Viterbo, as will Claire Tracy at North Carolina - Pembroke. Meanwhile, Cody Knapp is headed to Concordia in the Twin Cities to play division two football.

And Lakeland's Delaney FitzPatrick has verbally committed to running cross country for Yale University. FitzPatrick finished seventh at the WIAA State Girls Cross Country Division 2 Race last fall.


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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 - 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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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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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 - 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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