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Northwoods Wrestlers earn trips to StateSubmitted: 02/16/2013
Story By Joe Dufek

MARSHFIELD - The Division One Sectional in Marshfield proved to be a big day for both Wausau West and Merrill. The two schools combined for 7 of the 14 section champions.

Wausau West had 5 winning their weight classes. They are Bee Lor (106 lbs.), Colin Baine (126), Joe Umlaf (132), Travis Hettinga (152), and Ryan Fay at 285 lbs. Also heading to Madison after a second place finish from Wausau West is Cody Grunenwald at 170 lbs.

Meanwhile Merrill had two wrestlers earn the top spot. Tyler Schmidt won the 220 lb. category, while David Pophal took the 170 lb. title. Also Garrett Schmeling and Mason Reinhardt gained second place finishes at 126 and 160 pounds respectively.


D.C. Everest's Joe Ziolkowski took the 145 pound championship, while Wausau East's Brook Whitehead won at 138 pounds.

Rhinelander had two second place wrestlers moving on. Connor Johnson was second at 195 pounds, while Richard Klaver was also second at 152.

Other second place wrestlers in Divison One were Mitch Mallek (Stevens Point - 182 lb.), Justin Pawlek (Stevens Point - 285), and Nick Diny (Wausau East - 120).

At the Division 2 Sectional in Seymour, Tomahawk's Austin Bellile (185 pounds) and Braxton Potrykus (152) of Wittenberg-Birnamwood won Section Championships. Potrykus' teammate Ben Vosters was second at 113 pounds. Also Mosinee's Elliot Sparby was second at 145.

At the Division 3 Secional in Bonduel, Edgar had three section champs - Devin Lemanski (126), Matt Nowak (170), and Luke Nowak (182).

Crandon's Hayden Krueger took the 145 pound crown, while Carter Shampo was second at 132.

Robert Rocole From Wabeno is also a State Qualifier at 138 lbs taking 2nd at the Boduel Sectional.

Stratford will also have two represenatives at state. Dondrick Tackes won at 195 pounds, while Hunter Kauffman was second at 220.

Also going to Madison are Dylan Willemssen of Athens (106 champ), Elcho's Joey Johnson (160 - second place), and Madison Draeger of Three Lakes (113 - second place).

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MERRILL - County lands exist for the public to enjoy.

But when people mistreat the land it can cost thousands of dollars to fix.

After a group of trucks damaged county land in Tomahawk over the weekend, Lincoln County wants to send a warning to other drivers.

Lieutenant Tim Fischer from the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office says places with county forest and logging roads tend to be easy targets for people who want to tear through the woods on their vehicles.

"[It causes] damage to the property that isn't easily repaired. 

[It] prohibits county workers from accessing areas in the forest that they have to get to," said Fischer. 

People find mud holes and drive their cars through them.

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MEDFORD - During April every year, one town bands together for Autism Awareness month.

Medford schools, business, and support groups all pitch in to show their support all-month long.

The Third Annual Autism Awareness walk took place Monday. Dozens of people gathered at the Taylor County Courthouse to participate. 

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WOODRUFF - Sixty-three Wildfires burned all across the state in the last week.

The DNR suspended burning permits in 44 counties Monday, including all counties in the Northwoods.

The fire danger level ranged from "High" to "Very High" in most counties.

DNR fire crews have been on stand-by all day Monday.

"On days like today we are fully staffed and on high alert. All our stations are pre-positioning equipment. We're taking equipment from one part of the state and moving it to more critical areas. We are definitely on high alert," said Wildfire Prevention Specialist Catherine Koele.

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MOLE LAKE - Dozens of members of the Sokoagon Chippewa community came together Monday morning to participate in Earth Day festivities.

Armed with large garbage bags, metal grabbers and plastic gloves, members picked up garbage and debris along a ten mile stretch of the reservation.

One volunteer worked the majority of the day in a blackberry bush, grabbing anything that didn't fit with the natural scenery.

"I would rather see green grass and green trees than tin cans, aluminum cans and plastic," said the volunteer.

57 volunteers came out to help.
Sokoagen Chippewa Environmental Director Tina Van Zile wanted to celebrate Earth Day on a week day because she believed more people would participate.

"Litter bothers me really bad," said Van Zile.

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LAC DU FLAMBEAU - The case of a woman found hanged in her car will go down as an "undetermined death."

Michelle Rosinski was found in a car outside a Lac du Flambeau home on Longs Point Lane last September.  Emergency responders tried CPR on Rosinski, but they couldn't revive her.  The 45-year-old woman had a choker-style dog collar wrapped around her neck.  

The Vilas County Sheriff's Office initially investigated her death as suspicious.  But Monday, Lt. Carl Gauger told Newswatch 12 it appears Rosinski probably committed suicide.

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VILAS COUNTY - Twelve jurors will consider a he said, she said case involving accusations of a sexual assault at knife point.

The trial for 36-year-old Rodney Teets began in Vilas County Court Monday morning.

Teets is accused of sexually assualting a 19 year old woman at knife point in July 2015.

He faces three counts of first degree sexual assault, which he will try to fight in trial.

After several hours of jury selection, attorneys began their opening statements Monday afternoon.

According to the July 2015 criminal complaint, Teets and the woman involved were driving back to his house after watching fireworks with a group of people.

That's when the woman said Teets pulled out a knife and told her to drive down a dead end road. Assistant Attorney General Devra Ayala, who is prosecuting the case, said that Teets admits to always carrying a pocket knife.

Next, according to the complaint, the woman said Teets, knife in hand, sexually assaulted her.

According to the complaint, the woman said Teets told her, "If you tell anyone I'll [expletive] kill you."

According to the complaint, the woman said the group they had been with called both of their cell phones asking where they were. The woman claims Teets said he forgot his keys and told her to say the same.

Later that night, the woman called the police.

When police interviewed Teets, he said the encounter was consensual.

That's what Teets's defense attorney will try to argue. In his opening statement, defense attorney Steven Lucareli said Teets and the woman were friends and often joked with each other.

"He said from day one, 'I cheated on my wife,'" said Lucareli.

Lucareli also said the woman in this case had no injuries from the encounter.

The trial is scheduled on the calendar for the whole week.

Tuesday, the state will start calling its witnesses.

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RHINELANDER - You can get almost anywhere around Pine Lake on an ATV or UTV.  But there are two key Oneida County highways that don't currently allow those vehicles.  Now, a Rhinelander-area ATV club is pushing the county to change that.

The Pine Lake ATV/UTV Club hopes the county will allow access on highways W and C.  The club formed about a year ago and got town approval to open access to all Pine Lake roads except for North and West Birchwood drives.

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