ST. GERMAIN - For the first time ever, the Northland Pines Basketball Association will have a team at the State Tournament.
The players are from St. Germain and Eagle River. These are kids ranging from 3rd to 5th grade.
Nearly 200 kids play youth basketball in the St. Germain, Eagle River area. The number of teams to reach the state championships in the past - zero. But that's no longer the case. The Northland Pines 5th Grade traveling team is state-bound.
"Definately excited to be the first team," says 11-year old Nicklaus Greenberg, a forward and guard on the team. "It's a great feeling to be the first youth team from Northland Pines ever to go to state."
Northland Pines has worked hard to get to the state tournament. Their unofficial nickname is "The Wolfpack" for their tenacious 'D'. The bottom line, these little hoops stars have big dreams.
On Wednesday, Northland Pines were honored at a rally at St. Germain Elementary. They are one of 65 teams competing. The State Invitational Tournament is April 5 and 6th in Kimberly and Appleton. Other area teams participating include Merrill, Stevens Point, D-C Everest, and Marathon.
Assistant coach Greg Gremban says, "We had alot of close games. Some go your way, some don't. We hope we do well. But the bottom line is making that first trip down to state."
RHINELANDER - Nineteen months ago, 10 police agencies surrounded the Tripoli home of Kenneth Welsh.
Police say Welsh caused a three-hour standoff, threatened to blow up his house, and threatened to kill his wife.
Later in court, he was convicted of two felonies and sentenced to three years in prison by Oneida County Judge Michael Bloom.
But now, those convictions and prison sentence have been erased. This month, while in prison, Welsh argued he didn't fully understand all the elements of one of the crimes to which he pleaded no contest, first-degree recklessly endangering safety. Welsh's motion put some of the blame on his defense attorney, Rod Streicher.
RHINELANDER - This holiday season, you might want to tell your child to hug family members at holiday gatherings.
The Girls Scouts of the USA hopes you won't. The organization is saying daughters don't owe anyone physical affection, and that the expectation of hugs and kisses could have bad aftereffects later in life.
"I think for some people, it is a new concept," said Melissa K., the domestic violence coordinator at Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual assault, which is based in Rhinelander.
In a post, the Girl Scouts of the USA told parents their daughters don't "owe anyone a hug. Not even at the holidays."
RHINELANDER - A number of Rhinelander police and firefighters will work a weekend morning shift in December and won't get paid for it. It's an extra task they're happy to help with.
The Rhinelander Police Department's Shop With a Cop program returns December 16. Police and firefighters take 20 third grade students from Crescent, Pelican, Zion, and Nativity schools shopping for Christmas presents at Walmart. The schools recommend students for the event.
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