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NEWS STORIES

Nordic Ski Championships Didn't DisappointSubmitted: 02/10/2013
Story By Marisa Silvas

RHINELANDER - Local skiers provided plenty of excitement in the Nordic Ski Championships.
Sunday's race was pursuit style, with a staggered start designed to have the State Champs cross the finish line first.

A big crowd came out to the Northwood Golf Club in Rhinelander to catch the action. Even the Hodag was on hand to meet and greet the fans.

On the boys' side, Rhinelander's top finisher was Lou Bassette holding steady at 39th overall.



Claire Tracy had a strong day. She passed 10 competitors to finish 25th overall. Hillary Wall finished 29th.

Freshman Mack FitzPatrick led the Lakeland boys. He gained ground today and finished on the podium in 4th place. Will Bodewes took 11th, Lucas Paulson 13th and Michael Orlowski 19th overall.

The T-Bird ladies had a day to remember. Delaney FitzPatrick started in second place, 47 seconds behind the leader. She skied strong, made a pass and came out of the woods in first place. Delaney is your state champion winning by 10 seconds.

Erin Bolger moved up a couple spots and finished on the podium with 6th place. And Sophia Annis came in 11th overall- all very impressive performances.

In team scores Lakeland also came up big. The boys finished in third place in the state, and the lady T-Birds took the top spot.



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RHINELANDER - The Hodag Country Musical Festival kicks off on Thursday.

But there are already plenty of people camping out for the big event in the Northwoods.

Those campers benefit businesses in the Northwoods both new and old.

Johnny Nickolaou, who opened his liquor store in Sugar Camp around Thanksgiving, understands the importance of tourism.

"Huge, you know you depend on locals year round and they are great, but if it weren't for them I could never afford to be open," said Nickalaou. "But it's really nice getting this push to hopefully get us through the winter months."

Nickolaou set up a deal in preparation of Hodag Country Festival. He discounted around 10 large orders.

"15 case orders, most of them which is quite a bit I thought," said Nickalaou.


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RHINELANDER - Most of the time when you give blood it's in a clinic. But once a year in Rhinelander, organizers bring the process outside.

Tuesday, tents filled up with donors at Pioneer Park for the 6th annual "Hodag MASH Blood Drive."

More than a dozen nurses and workers with the Community Blood Center interviewed, tested and collected blood from donors.

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LINCOLN COUNTY - A Tomahawk homeowner was able to scare off burglars back in March, even after being hit in the face with the hatchet. Now, a Merrill man will need to find 25 dollars in cash to get out of jail.

28-year-old Chad Staehle was charged with four felonies for breaking into a home in Tomahawk. Police believe he and three other men broke into the home with a hatchet and crowbar.

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MADISON - The state Senate has approved a raise for state troopers and a new compensation plan for other state workers but has delayed debate on the state budget.

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EAGLE RIVER - If you want a new summer activity, look no further than Eagle River. A new art studio offers many different classes to kids and adults. 

"We've been here for a month, but the organization has been together for about three years," said Summer Program Director Erica Bush. "We're very excited to be in our own building finally."

Classes can cost anywhere from $20 to $50. People can sign up for classes ahead of time or just walk into the center. Program directors think it's important for kids to get involved in art early on.

"It's the creativity that the kids learn about," said Bush. "Creativity can go into all different aspects—math, science—it's everywhere. So enforcing art when they're really young will really lead to a more intelligent future for these kids."

The center offers anything from painting to pottery to cooking. Kids shared why they love to take art classes.
"You could just grab a piece of paper or something and then you can just doodle on it," said 4th grader Nicholas Fluegel. 

"It's really calming, and there's no bad way to do art," said 6th grader Grace Florence.

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