Northwoods Spotlight - Hodag mountain biker Oct 16Submitted: 10/16/2013
Story By Marisa Silvas

RHINELANDER - Cross country and mountain biking. Not exactly two sports you would pair together.

But a Rhinelander junior has done just that.

And he's earned high marks in both.

Rhinelander's Issac Wendt knows all about speed, endurance and power... in fact, he recently won the first ever WI Interscholastic State Championship in mountain biking.

SOT - Issac Wendt "I went and I just rode and had fun with it," Wendt says. "Seeing what it was like when I got there, I realized that the course was fitting my style."

More than 60 racers representing schools across the state competed. Wendt won the varsity boys division with a time of one hour and 21 minutes for the 20 mile course.

Issac had a simple approach to the race.

"I went out and got a good lead and I knew I was in first place and just kept trying to put more time on the next guys. It's cool when you know you're in first and everyone's looking at you."

The junior also plays basketball and runs cross country. His coaches say the sports compliment each other.

"Cross training is a great thing to do for runners," Issac's cross country coach M.J. Laggis adds. "You can see the definition on his legs and the biking is helping his running big time."

While Issac was thrilled to win the first state race, he hopes it's just the beginning and that the sport gains more popularity.

"I hope it catches on with the high school crowd and people get into it and everyone wants to ride together," Wendt explains.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 03/23/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

After more than 15 years of negotiation, the city of Tomahawk bought a critical piece of land from the Canadian National railroad to be used for a 4.6 mile bike loop. We talk to the Tomahawk Public Works director about the project which appeared at one time to be impossible.

A support group that started in Antigo for family members and caretakers of people with Down syndrome is trying to expand. We talk to members of that group.

And we talk to a coach about the Northern Edge high school girls' hockey team which was concerned about low numbers of players for next season but is hoping there's enough time to recruit new players from Rhinelander and Antigo.

We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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PORTAGE COUNTY - Portage County will hold an information meeting to share information about a sexually violent offender that will soon be released.

Gregory Loomis, 43, sexually assaulted two children in 1988 and 1992.

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RHINELANDER - The warmer weather might have you spending more time outside with man's best friend.

But the remaining snow and ice could increase the risk of injury for dogs.

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CRANDON - Planners in Tomahawk dreamed about a bike loop around the city starting in the early 2000s.

Two decades later, it's finally about to happen.

After more than 15 years of negotiation, the city bought a critical piece of land from the Canadian National railroad.

It will allow the city to start building a 4.6 mile bike loop around the city.

"It's a win-win for everybody. There was a little frustration from by position, but you just...kept your foot on the gas through the whole process," said Tomahawk Public Works Director John Cole.

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RHINELANDER - An Oneida County judge set a trial date for a Rhinelander woman charged in the death of her toddler stepson.
Ellen Tran's trial is expected to start with jury selection on October 19.

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CRANDON - UPDATE (3/23/18): The Forest County Medical Examiner released the name of the inmate who died in the Forest County Jail earlier this week. 

The Forest County Sheriff's Officer said a man committed suicide Wednesday morning. 

An autopsy showed 44-year-old William Zastawniak died by hanging. 

He was facing three child sexual assault charges. 

The medical examiner is still waiting on toxicology results. 

The death is still under investigation.

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TOMAHAWK - Two best friends turned into business partners about a year ago.

Bill Eastwood and Blake McMahon own Outboards Bar and Grill in Tomahawk.

The duo's combined restaurant and business experience helped them hit the ground running.

Fish quality comes first at Outboards.

"Friday night is the night that pretty much everyone goes out to eat. So if you don't have a good fish fry, people around here start talking!" say Eastwood.

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