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."
PELICAN LAKE - Tribal members from across Wisconsin held a Deep Winter Camp to pass on parts of their cultures. Members from several different tribes wanted to give kids the chance to experience a piece of their culture. They hope the camp encourages younger members to keep traditions going and never forget where they came from. "They're going to be the next teachers they're good kids and we all love every kid that came here and spent time with us. They all learned something and they'll take it back and teach others," said Lac du Flambeau Band Vice Chairman John Johnson Sr.
CRANDON - Forest County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Justice was justified in shooting and killing 31-year-old Brandon Cude on Jan. 4, Forest County District Attorney Chuck Simono ruled Friday.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice released the results of its investigation in the case, and Simono's decision, Friday afternoon.
The DOJ documents detail how Cude swung a shotgun at Justice at close range. The deputy had just learned Cude had felony warrants against him, and Justice was trying to arrest Cude. Justice fired four shots on the scene, a rural road south of Crandon.
"He didn't get a shot off?" a fellow officer asked Justice after the shooting.
"No. He tried, though. Pulled that sucker out and pointed it right at me," Justice replied in an exchange recorded on a body camera.
EAGLE RIVER - Vilas County officers can now respond to active shooter calls better prepared.
All deputies and patrol offices now have access to steel-plated body armor, something only the Vilas County SWAT Team had before.
"We want to make sure our staff are fully protected," said Vilas County Sheriff's Office Captain Gerard Ritter. "I never want to see anything happen to any one of my staff. And we should outfit them with the protection they need."
Before the new body armor, Ritter said officers and deputies only had access to soft body armor.
"The weave material is designed to stop or slow down a projectile," said Ritter.
Officers will still wear the soft-bodied armor every day, but in active shooter situations, officers can now essentially double up on protection, protection once only offered to the SWAT Team.
"There has been an increase in active shooter incidences across the United States," said Ritter.
RHINELANDER - Police think an Oneida County man downloaded hundreds of pornographic pictures of young girls using a private chatroom.
During Danial Smith's preliminary hearing Friday, Smith's attorney asked if police had any way of knowing it was his client who downloaded the more than 700 photos.
The state Department of Justice learned a computer near Rhinelander downloaded the pictures in late 2016 thanks to a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The internet protocol (IP) addresses from the downloads were linked to Smith's home on County C in the town of Stella.
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