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NEWS STORIES

Horse soccer? It's real.Submitted: 10/03/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson


MERRILL - A local stable finds a unique way to train their horses.

In fact, it's so unique the Today Show featured the group in it's segment, "Fact or Fiction."

"It's a blast. You've got a big horse kicking a big ole' ball around and it looks silly. It's a lot of fun. Anybody can get into it," says Equine Soccer player Marty Bever.

He plays at the Keystone Stables in Merrill.

That's where America's Equine Soccer League got its start.

"Equine soccer is a training tool that we slowly started playing real soccer games with. There are other people in the country that do this. We use it as a way to get on your horses in the winter instead of parking them outside in the winter, waiting for the snow to thaw," explains league creator Terry Fenwick.

It also gives people the chance to improve their skills and relationships with their horses.

Other riders around the country play the sport thanks to Terry Fenwick and his wife, Jolene.

They started the league in 1997.

Now people from all riding backgrounds and ages play.

"Right now we play 3 on 3. We're in a 60 by 120 arena...So we have 2 forwards, we have a goalie. It's a lot like your regular soccer game," says Fenwick.

But equine soccer is more than just a game.

It helped Marty Bever transition back to civilian life after serving in Iraq.

He's been back for three years.

"It was just able to calm me down a little bit. And that was kind of a nice transition back into the civilian life," Bever explains.

The Today Show featured the league on its Wednesday show.

Members of America's Equine Soccer League hope the national attention will inspire others to join.

"The fact that they found us and wanted to do something about us is really humbling. We hope that it takes off and helps us go. We hope that we can use this to better the game and better the league, and get more people interested in this," explains Fenwick.

"I've met some really great friends and I can't wait for every season to start," adds Bever.

They hope you'll feel the same way.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

KENNAN - When you hear the word "mush," you may think of huskies pulling sleds in the winter, but in the summer, sled dogs often are still hard at work practicing for races in the snow.

It's called dryland dog sledding.

The Baum Family of Price County is particularly passionate about it. So passionate that they will host its first dryland derby on their farm this October. They expect to have about 70 racers from all over the world.

It's an international sport, and it can be very physically demanding.

"You start when they're a puppy," said Ailena Baum, a dryland dog musher. "Some of it's sled dog culture, the older dogs teach it to the younger dogs."

The Baums have been sled dog racing for years and they practice on their farm near Catawba. For them, dog sledding is part of their family. They travel together for races, and they practice together.

Ailena Baum introduced her husband to the sport when they first met. Now he says he is just as passionate.

"I was impressed," said Dan Bocock, Ailena Baum's husband. "I was hooked."

They say it takes the whole family to raise the dogs, spending at least a few hours a day feeding them, giving them water and training them.

When the Baum girls were young, they started running dogs. About 10 years ago, they bred huskies for sledding. Now, they have 13 huskies.

"And we're going through about a couple tons of food every year, and it's got to be high quality food," Baum said. "When we buy food, I mean, I think it's costing us about $55 for a 45 lb. bag of food."

The dryland derby is open to the public and will take place at the Baum Farm on October 17-18. 

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What We're Working onSubmitted: 09/02/2015

- Every weekday morning, buses all across the Northwoods load up with children and take them to and from school.  Parents expect those buses to safely transport their kids, but who makes sure they are?  We'll introduce you to a state employee who helps keep the wheels spinning safely.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MARATHON COUNTY - The search for a man on the run ended with the suspect shooting himself.

Marathon County Deputies were looking for someone wanted in Clark County after a gun was fired.

The car that person was in was later spotted between Athens and Edgar.

While police were waiting for backup, the man stopped the car and ran into the woods.

Deputies and a police K9 tracked the man for close to an hour.

They eventually found him in the back of a semi-trailer.

The man was armed with a hand gun.

Deputies told him to drop the gun, but he shot himself instead.

Outside agencies will be brought in to handle the investigation.

The man's name has not yet been released.

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RHINELANDER - A Northwoods woman wants to make sure all children have something to read.

That was the inspiration behind Food for the Mind. 

Pauline Doucette started it ten years ago. 

The group gives out children's books at local food pantries, like Rhinelander, Tomahawk, and Antigo.

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RHINELANDER - Resort owners in the Northwoods often collect stories from their guests, but rarely do guests teach owners about the history of their own resort.

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FOX LAKE, IL - Even with 100 investigators on the ground for a second day, authorities in northern Illinois acknowledge they have no indication that three suspects wanted in the gun-slaying of an officer are still in the area.

Lake County Major Crimes Task Force Cmdr. George Filenko says the officer provided no concrete description of the men he was pursuing on foot before he was shot, except to tell dispatchers that two of them were white and one was black.

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MADISON - About $7.5 million in federal funding for Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin would be cut off under a pair of Republican-backed bills being considered by a state Assembly Committee.

The Assembly's Health Committee held a hearing Wednesday on the measures.

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