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Hodag volleyball avenges earlier defeat, takes down AntigoSubmitted: 10/04/2013
RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander High School volleyball team gave Antigo a positive Bell Game preview Thursday night, taking down the Red Robins in four games.

The Hodags recovered from a 5-0 deficit in Game One to rally back, taking the match 25-22, 25-14, 22-25, 25-17.

Rhinelander avenged an earlier loss to Antigo and pulled back to even in the Great Northern Conference at 4-4. The Robins fell to 4-4.

Senior captain Katie Berrell led a balanced attack with 18 kills. Riley Aschenbrenner chipped in 14 kills, while Brianna Gilbert added 13.

“I said, just keep (Berrell) in the middle and let her find her rhythm. She doesn’t need to destroy the ball every time she touches it. She just needs to keep the ball in bounds and get a feel for how the game was going,” Hodags coach Paul Mildebrandt said.

Mildebrandt was especially pleased with Aschenbrenner’s night.

“Riley put on a clinic tonight. I told Lexi (Haug), our setter, that Riley should. When you’re a head taller than anyone else on the court, I said, keep feeding her. She started blocking their tips, she started blocking their attacks. She got into their heads, really quick,” he said.

Haug had 69 assists on the evening.

Antigo was without the injured Caroline Roller, who stands second in the conference in kills per game average.

“The part we focused on tonight was playing with a really active back row, both defensively and off the serve receive. Antigo, with the injuries that they had, didn’t really have anyone that was going to offensively hurt us. They were going to be looking for more of a spot game. They were going to be looking more to keep the ball in the court,” Mildebrandt said.

Rhinelander started off poorly, dropping the first five points of the match to the Red Robins. However, they ended up fighting back to take a 13-12 lead, and later put away the game by three points.

“We did start out a little sluggish. With it being Homecoming week, the girls have had a lot on their mind. We dug our way out of that game,” Mildebrandt said.

A five-point scoring streak in the middle of Game Two served as a springboard to a 25-14 Hodags victory.

“Once our defensive started to pick up, we started to play a lot better, and we saw the score change,” Mildebrandt said.

The Rhinelander coach used Game Three to get playing time for lesser-used players like Alyssa Ellis, Kyle Glinski, McKayla Smith, and Yvonne Gardner. That seemed to throw the team off, and contributed to the loss.

“It did affect some of our starters, because you’re used to playing with the normal players,” he said.

However, the Hodags used four straight points during Gardner’s serve to take Game Four, 25-17.

Rhinelander next returns to the court Monday at Wausau East. They resume GNC play on Tuesday at Mosinee.

Story By: Ben Meyer

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UPDATE: Police believe they made right choice in Nerf gun ticketsSubmitted: 04/24/2014

WAUSAU - UPDATE: 5:52pm 4/24/2014

Police believe they made the right choice handling a report of gunmen near a high school in Wausau Tuesday night.

They found out the gunmen were actually six kids playing a game with toy Nerf guns.

Police eventually ended up giving the high school seniors disorderly conduct tickets.

Some people thought the tickets were excessive, but in a press release in released Thursday by the Wausau Police Department said they "believed there was a serious, potentially life threatening situation".

Someone called the Wausau police around 9:45 p.m. Tuesday.

The person said there were people pointing guns at other people in a car.

Police say they handled the situation different than a traffic stop because of the seriousness of the call.

After police got all the seniors out of the car, they saw the nerf guns.

The teens got the disorderly conduct citations because police say they caused a disruption in the neighborhood.

Leaders at Wausau West High School said in a statement that there's "potential in a game like this for negative consequences."

Some of the students have also been placed on athletic probation.

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Six kids got tickets after a battle using toy Nerf guns in Wausau.

Police issued disorderly conduct citations to the high school seniors.

Some residents of Wausau called police when they saw the young people pointing a gun at a car Tuesday night.

But, it was only a toy Nerf gun that shoots foam bullets.

Wausau West High School officials have also placed some students on athletic probation.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)

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Statewide tornado drillSubmitted: 04/24/2014

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RHINELANDER - There was no severe weather Thursday, but sirens across the Northwoods were blaring at about 1:45 pm on Thursday.

That's because the National Weather Service held a statewide tornado drill.

It was part of their severe weather awareness week, and Oneida County took part in the drill.

"The sirens are only set off for warnings, in the city of Rhinelander, it's only going to be a Severe Thunderstorm Warning that is affecting the city area," said Oneida County Emergency Management Director Ken Kortenhof. "It's also going to be set off for a Tornado Warning affecting the area."

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Police: Smoking in bathroom caused school fireSubmitted: 04/24/2014

OCONTO - Police say a student smoking in a bathroom caused a fire that resulted in an estimated $5 million in smoke damage at Oconto High School.

After reviewing surveillance video and interviewing students and staff members, Oconto police have identified as 16-year-old student as a person of interest.

Firefighters interviewed the student, who said he left class early and went to the bathroom, where he smoked a home-rolled cigarette.

Police believe the cigarette was used too close to a toilet paper dispenser, causing an accidental fire. No one else used the bathroom after the boy.

The April 16 fire forced the building to be evacuated. Students returned to class Monday at Oconto Middle School.

WLUK-TV (http://bit.ly/1lJIFZH) reports the boy is being referred to the Oconto County Department of Human Services.

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FDA proposes regulations for e-cigarettes Submitted: 04/24/2014

ACROSS THE U.S. - A new proposal from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would expand regulation on tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, not regulated already by the agency.

The proposal, which was released Thursday, would regulate hookahs, nicotine gels, cigars and e-cigarettes. The FDA currently only regulates cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco.

Some smokers turn to e-cigarettes to try to stop smoking. Medical experts don’t know the full health impact of e-cigarettes yet. Leaders at the FDA want to get ahead of the trend.

The proposal would make e-cigarette producers register their products and show their ingredients to the agency.

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WisDOT leaders hopeful for increase in Northwoods railSubmitted: 04/24/2014

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ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Railroads give businesses a chance to move loads of material for a low cost. Loggers could use rail as an alternative to trucking material, but many businesses don’t get that opportunity in the Northwoods anymore.

Canadian National bought rail in the Northwoods about a decade ago. They have cut back service drastically since then.

Some counties haven't seen train travel in years, which hurts business. Now, those businesses want to reestablish rail service.

In response, a group of counties in Northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan formed the Northwoods Rail Transit Commission.

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Dane County judge to hear Planned Parenthood lawsuitSubmitted: 04/24/2014

MADISON - A Dane County judge is set to hear arguments in a lawsuit challenging a 2012 law that sets out conditions for abortions.

The law requires a doctor to determine whether the woman's consent is voluntary and inform the woman of domestic abuse services if he or she suspects the woman is being coerced. The law also requires doctors to perform a physical exam before they can prescribe abortion-inducting drugs and be in the room when the drugs are given to the woman.

Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit in February 2013 arguing the law is unconstitutionally vague. The organization argues its unclear how doctors should determine voluntary consent and whether doctors need to be present when drugs are dispensed or administered.

Judge Richard Niess is set to hear arguments Thursday morning.

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Board speeds up start of short-term loan program Submitted: 04/24/2014

MADISON - The start of a new short-term loan program that wasn't slated to begin until July has been moved up in an effort to help businesses hurt by recent cutbacks at Oshkosh Corp.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the state's chief jobs agency, voted this week to start the pilot program earlier. It will provide loans or loan guarantees of up to $250,000 to companies for projects or expenses that may not be eligible for traditional financing.

The board says it was starting the program earlier in light of news that Oshkosh was cutting 760 jobs from its defense division because of budget cuts being made by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The loan program this year will only target businesses in Oshkosh Corp.'s supply chain

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