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Hodag ballers clinch conference titleSubmitted: 02/12/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com

RHINELANDER - One goal down, plenty to go.

The Rhinelander High School boys basketball team hit their first major goal Tuesday night, downing Lakeland 61-43 to clinch at least a share of the Great Northern Conference crown.

After this, a deep WIAA playoff run is next on the wish list.

Tuesday's victory at the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium was extra satisfying. It meant the Hodags improved to 2-0 this year over rival Lakeland and former coach Rich Fortier. It was Fortier's first time coaching as a visitor in the gym he used to call home.

RHS senior Brett Mathews poured in 13 points in the second half, finishing with 19 points on the night. Leading scorer Shane White was held to 10, but was helped by four Hodags in double figures.

"Coach Fortier is so good at finding who your top scorers are and making other guys beat you. We're so fortunate because we have so many guys that can do that," said RHS coach Derek Lemmens.

Mitch Reinthaler scored 11 points, and Brad Kenote looked his best since returning from a collarbone injury. He also had 11.

Dylan Lerdahl and Bryon Andrews led the Thunderbirds with eight points apiece.

Up just 15-14 after a quarter, the Hodags galloped to a 29-18 lead at the half.

"We came out hot. But it's a tendency we have, to come out hot, then I think we relax a little too much. They climbed back in, but we got a rhythm in the game, and it flowed a little better," Lemmens said.

Rhinelander's lead would never dip below 11 the rest of the way, stretching to 22 at one point in the fourth.

The Hodags mixed man-to-man, 2-3, and 1-3-1 zone looks on defense.

"I like that as an option. It gives us different things to establish our defensive rhythm and eliminate their offensive rhythm, keep them guessing as to what we're in," said Lemmens.

RHS visits Tomahawk on Thursday, and returns home to face Northland Pines on Friday. A win in either game would clinch an outright GNC title. The back-to-back games will also be good preparation for attacking their next goal, the playoffs.

"I have no problems with that. We need to get into that mindset. If we're fortunate enough to get a victory on Friday (in the playoffs), we've got to go again Saturday anyway," Lemmens said.

Rhinelander improved to 16-2 overall and 9-1 in the GNC. Lakeland fell to 14-7, 7-4.

Lakeland vs. Rhinelander
Tuesday, Feb. 12
Lakeland 14 4 10 15 43
Rhinelander 15 14 13 19 61
Lakeland (43): Dylan Lerdahl 8, Bryon Andrews 8, Matt Hartzheim 7, Thomas Bruckner 6, Jacob Gibson 6, Brad Holcombe 3, Matt Schlicter 3, Michael Fossen 2.
Rhinelander (61): Brett Mathews 19, Mitch Reinthaler 11, Brad Kenote 11, Shane White 10, Colton Volkmann 6, Austin Bowman 2, Ben Eversmann 2.
3-Pointers: L 3 (Hartzheim, Holcombe, Schlicter). R 6 (Mathews 2, Volkmann 2, Kenote, Reinthaler).


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/25/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll take you to the Oneida County Courthouse for day 2 of the trial of Mark Spietz who is accused of breaking into and stealing items from a home where a double murder occurred in March of 2015.

Snowmobiling will start in just a few months. We'll show you how snowmobile clubs and groomer builders in Vilas County are getting prepared for the season before the snow falls.

And we'll give you a look at one of the oldest resorts Vilas County has to offer.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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EAGLE RIVER - The Vilas County Sheriff's Office says no one was hurt after a 48-year-old Mark Mayo of Eagle River threatened to hurt himself with a firearm near Eagle River Wednesday night.

Crews responded Wednesday evening near to the area near Deerskin Road north of Eagle River and south of Phelps to reports that a man wanted to hurt himself and was armed with a 9 mm handgun and two magazines. That report came in around 3:55 p.m.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Within a few hours, a jury found a Fox Valley man guilty of stealing things from the house where Ashlee Martinson killed Thomas and Jennifer Ayers Thursday.

The two-day trial for Mark Spietz, 39, of Kaukauna, finished up Thursday afternoon, following a morning of the defense arguing it was all part of Spietz's job.

Spietz was a contract worker for a company called TruAssets, which secures abandoned or foreclosed homes throughout the country. The company is based in Arizona.

On Thursday, Spietz testified that in September and October, he took ATVs, bows, a John Deere tractor, a trailer and Jennifer Ayers' purse from the house to try and secure it for his employer.

"My experience with the work order is that it is our job to make sure the property is secured," Spietz said. "Obviously if I can open the doors and get into it, anybody can open the doors and get into it. So I ended up removing the ATVs with the trailer and them bringing them back to Kaukauna to lock up in my storage facility where they would be under lock and key for the future for whatever the bank decided they wanted to do with their property."

In the criminal complaint, however, Spietz told investigators he took the purse because he thought his wife would like it.

But the state argued Thursday he technically didn't have permission from the company to be at the house after the first visit. Oneida County District Attorney Mike Schiek presented Spietz with the original work order form TruAssets assigned him. The document specifically stated not to remove any personal property from the house, and that contract workers should submit a bid for the property if they do take it from the house.

Schiek then argued Spietz specifically targeted the empty house because he knew its owners were dead.

"Looking back, what did you think you saw?" Schiek asked Spietz during his cross examination.

"Couple spots on the floor, large, dark spots," Spietz responded.

"Knowing what you know now, do you know what that was?" Schiek asked.

"To the best of my knowledge that's where they were killed," Spietz replied.

Spietz's attorney Brian Bennett said since Spietz is not from the area, he wouldn't have known the homicides happened at the house. He argued there was no sign saying no trespassing, nor had he had any knowledge the house was in probate.

"He used his best judgment based on his experience," Bennett said during his closing argument. "Which makes him quite possibly, if he's a burglar, the worst burglar in the world."

Bennett added Spietz gets little supervision from TruAssets, as Spietz testified he has never met a person from the company.

"It seems like a burden to have to come up here, pick up the stuff, store it, mess around with it, hold onto the titles, make sure it doesn't get stolen," Bennett said during his closing argument. "That's not a jackpot, that's a burden." 

Spietz will be sentenced in October. 

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BOULDER JUNCTION - There's a lot of things you won't find at Aqualand Alehouse in Boulder Junction that you're probably used to seeing in the Northwoods.

You won't find a deep fryer in its kitchen, you won't find any Miller Lite on tap, and you won't find any fish fry on Friday night's.

But you might just find your new favorite pub.

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MADISON - Donald Trump's Wisconsin director is calling on Democratic Senate candidate Russ Feingold to say whether Hillary Clinton's actions as secretary of state were ethical.

Trump's state director Pete Meachum issued a statement Thursday injecting himself into Feingold's Senate race against Republican Sen. Ron Johnson.

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VILAS COUNTY - Soon snow will be falling. In fact, preparation for snowmobile season starts as soon as next month.
Cross Country Cruisers Snowmobile Club President David Assmann and his crew are just about ready to hit the trails, starting in September.

"We cut all the brush and everything that's low to the ground," said Assmann.

His crew spends a lot of volunteered time making sure 93 miles of trails near Arbor Vitae are ready and safe to use in the winter.

"We have at least five guys going out, sometimes twice a day. We do trails in the morning and then trails late at night," said Assmann.

Many people who live here use the Northwoods trails, but so do a lot of tourists during the winter months.
"We are able to go out, get these trails groomed so that the tourists that come up can go on our trails, can get to the different businesses in the area, and that helps the economy up here," said Assmann.

With so many miles of trails in Vilas County, one of the best parts is that there is equipment made to maintain those trails, right in St. Germain.

Arrowhead Groomers has been in Vilas County since 1976. The company builds equipment that levels out the trails.

"We manufacture the snow groomer drags primarily for snowmobile trails. Some of them end up getting used on cross country ski trails as well," said Walker Equipment owner Dave Walker.

Another local snowmobile club, Bo-Boen, uses the Arrowhead Groomers on their trails as well.

"I have 17 drivers on my staff that maintain 100 miles of trails here in St. Germain. We're very cognizant of the fact that we have to do a good job to bring those people here so they can spend their money and keep our economy going," said the trail boss for Bo-Boen snowmobile club Jim Wendt.

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RHINELANDER - New ownership will be taking over a major employer in Rhinelander and Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Oldenburg Group announced today its Heavy Equipment Group has been sold.

That includes its Defense and Mining business units.

J.F. Lehman and Company will take over control of the operations.

The company was founded in 1992 by former Navy Secretary John Lehman.

The former Oldenburg operations will be renamed Lake Shore Systems, Inc.

The existing management team and employees will stay in place, and all plants will operate as normal.

The deal includes the plant in Rhinelander and several facilities in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Wayne Oldenbug said one of his conditions was that there would be no deal unless there was an agreement to hire everybody...and not close any facilities.


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