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Merrill's Sladek signs with Northern IllinoisSubmitted: 11/13/2013
Story By Joe Dufek

Merrill's Sladek signs with Northern Illinois
MERRILL - Wednesday was the first day of signing national letters of intent for several sports.

It was a big moment in the lives of a couple of Northwoods athletes.

Especially for Merrill senior Renee Sladek.

A year ago she suffered an ACL tear in her left knee during basketball season. She also cracked her knee cap and pulled a couple of tendons.

She put in a lot of hard work both in the weight room and the gym. She even played volleyball this year.


On Wednesday, she signed to play Division One college hoops at Northern Illinois. She will play for Kathi Bennett - the daughter of Wisconsin legend Dick Bennett.

Others signings include, Renee's teammate, Dawn Leland signed to play for Division Two MN-Crookston.

And in baseball, Tomahawk's Kevin Bolder is heading to St. Cloud State - another Division 2 program from Minnesota.

Congratulations to all of the area athletes who signed letters of intent.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

EAGLE RIVER - When you grab a bowl out of your cupboard, it probably came from a big box store.

You won't find those at The Warehouse Art Center in Eagle River.

These are hand-thrown bowls made right in the ceramic studio.

Teacher John Langer and his students made about 200 bowls for the upcoming Empty Bowls Supper Fundraiser for the art center and Vilas Pantry.

You'll have the chance to eat soup and KEEP one of these bowls for a small donation.

"Having something that is handmade and touched by nother person is so important. It makes a great connection, you know?" say Langer.

The Empty Bowls Supper Fundraiser is this Sunday, April 29th at 4 P.M.

For more info, click below.

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LINCOLN COUNTY - Police in Lincoln County caught a woman driving the wrong way on Highway 51 near Irma.

People calling on cell phones reported the wrong way driver around 11:00 p.m. Saturday.

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MILWAUKEE - Students willing to spend the summer on a Harley could ride off with a free motorcycle.

Harley-Davidson is making the offer for those who join its summer internship program.

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TOMAH (AP) - A veterans affairs hospital in Wisconsin is using nontraditional therapies for pain and mental health as officials continue to address problems with over-prescribing medication at the facility.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that the Tomah VA Medical Center is one of 18 veterans hospitals across the country launching the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Whole Health program.

Whole Health coaches help VA patients set personal health and wellness goals, address chronic pain, prevent illness or injury and treat mental health needs. The program also uses alternative therapies like tai chi, acupuncture and Healing Touch, which focuses on restoring a person's energy field.

The initiative comes four years after a veteran died at the facility from a mixture of prescribed drugs. Federal investigations found that some staff were over-prescribing drugs.

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TOMAHAWK - Young aspiring writers got the chance to meet two authors over the weekend, and get some feedback from them. The Headwaters Reading Council held a Young Authors Festival at Tomahawk Elementary.

About 30 kids participated in the event. Each author held presentations on their books and explained the process of getting them published.

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RHINELANDER - A sustainability fair in Rhinelander connects people who want to keep the earth clean and healthy.
Organizers celebrated Earth Day by teaching people how they can accomplish that.
Abby Meyer came up from Green Bay for her first Sustainability Fair in Rhinelander Sunday. She sells all natural skin care products.

"It's the future of being able to have a planet, such great energy here," said Meyer.
Meyer and 42 other exhibitors feel energized to protect the earth.
"It's kind of interesting what other people do and the good they're doing for other people," said maple syrup vendor Leroy Schmieder.

Schmieder said being around people with the same mission is encouraging.
"It's kind of a community thing, you learn what everybody else is doing," said Schmieder.
Fair organizer Ann Eshelman said the fair teaches the community, but also brings people with a message together.
"They're providing something that we as a group think is valuable, they're kinda isolated," said Eshelman.
When the fair started eight years ago organizers wanted to end that isolation. Bringing vendors together to share their message, make connections, and walk away with new information.
"Giving each other jobs and work and supporting each other," said Meyer.

Eshelman believes that support is what the community needs to help move in the right direction.
"[It] can enable even ordinary Northwoods residents to do something for the earth," said Eshelman.
It can also show them that helping the environment starts at home.
"An important part of sustainability is helping out your community," said Meyer.

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MINOCQUA - Some people in Minocqua noticed their water had a brown tint on Friday. The Lakeland Sanitary District says the water is clean and safe.

Crews were running fire hydrants to fix a water main. A well unexpectedly started and mixed iron into the water which left a brownish color. 

A superintendent from the sanitary district says water is now clear but If you do see color in your water run the cold faucet for a few seconds. 

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