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NEWS STORIES

87 State Cross Country Champs enter Hodag Hall of FameSubmitted: 05/04/2013
Story By Joe


RHINELANDER - The last time a team from Rhinelander won a WIAA state title was in 1987.

That was the Hodag Boys Cross Country team.

Saturday night they were inducted into the Hodag Hall of Fame. The event was at Holiday Acres Resort.

George Baksic was the head coach of that team. The Hodags only lost one meet - their own home invite to open the year.

Just over 25 years later, the magic of that year still brings pride to the Hodags.


"We knew we were pretty good," admits Charlie Schmock, a member of the 87 team. "Our coach said, 'You're not the best team in the state, but this is a race where anything can happen' and it sure did... When you think back at the culmination of a bunch of teenagers set a goal and bringing it to fruition, brings a tear to your eye when you think about it."

Other awards presented Saturday night included Hodag seniors Claire Tracy and Darren McGuire were named the Athletic Booster Club's Female and Male Scholarship winners.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

LAKE TOMAHAWK - Some veterans might be eligible for various benefits, but not all veterans know which ones they can get.

That's why there was a Veterans Benefit Forum held Saturday afternoon in Lake Tomahawk.

Oneida County's Veteran Service Officer Tammy Walters spoke at the forum and answered questions.

"I like, when I have the opportunity to get out there and tell them about benefits because there are a lot of benefits out there and people don't always qualify for them," says Walters. "There's going to be someone that's going to leave here today and they're going to be eligible for a benefit they had no idea they were eligible for."

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MERRILL - The historical society has been working on planning the event since last October.

A transportation theme was chosen for 2015.

"[We're] on our history hunt, and we are learning about where the railroads went around Merrill, how the river was important, where the trolley went, where the old highways go, and all of those thing are included in our packet of navigation," said Merrill Historical Society's Jane Francoeur.

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LAKE MILLS - A Lake Mills facility will start production again after they euthanize 800,000 chickens. That comes after a highly contagious bird flu spreads in the Midwest.

The Daybreak Foods facility tested the flock every day for the virus after a facility in Jefferson County tested positive ten days ago.

Every test for the Lake Mills facility was negative until they found dead birds this week. The virus also spread to other facilities in Minnesota and Iowa.

Bird flu is believed to spread by waste from birds flying over commercial poultry facilities.

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WAUSAU - This was the sixth year that the event was held at various places in Marathon County. Volunteers were picking up trash to better their communities at 35 locations. Many local groups were involved.

"Faith Christian Academy and Hope Life Center, and there's other businesses and groups within the city of Wausau," said volunteer Dave Arends.

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LAND O' LAKES - The Phelps community came together Saturday to turn tragedy into something positive.

"Mrs. Johnson was always one of our favorite teachers, you could go to her about anything like troubles at home or bullying, and she'd always be there for us so it's really nice to give back to her," said Phelps 8th grader Alexandria Myszka.

Kim Johnson works as the music teacher at Phelps Middle School. After her husband D.J. was hurt in an accident last month, he's now paralyzed from the waist down.

But the community decided to help the family.

"Originally, this was our 8th grade class fundraiser, but after we heard about Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, we decided to donate all of the proceeds to them," said Myszka.

The Phelps 8th graders hosted a breakfast fundraiser at The Sunrise Lodge in Land O' Lakes. More than 300 people came out in support.

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ANTIGO - Students graduating from high school could be at risk for contracting meningitis. Public health experts say now is a good time to make sure high school students are up to date on their meningitis vaccinations.

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WAUSAU - One of the groups that went to the Business Expo was E3YP.

The group originated from the growing need to get young people to stay in area.

Young people often start working in smaller northcentral Wisconsin communities, but they end up leaving after a few years. It's something that E3YP hopes to change.

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