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Northwoods Spotlight - Rhinelander Swim Club Dec 18Submitted: 12/18/2013
Story By Marisa Silvas

Northwoods Spotlight - Rhinelander Swim Club Dec 18
RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Swim Club is having one of their best years ever. They're also celebrating a special anniversary.

These kids love the water.

13-year old Taylor Macak says, "I just want to do my best."

The Rhinelander Swim Club is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year... and with more than 100 swimmers, it's not showing any signs of aging.

Assistant coach Ken Heck explains, "Just to see the faces and their smiles. Watch them learn, watch them get faster and compete is a lot of fun."


Maria Kipper (13 Years Old) "I'm actually surprised we've been doing it this long," 13-year old Maria Kipper adds. "there's so many kids we've been doing it this long. It's awesome."

The young swimmers range from 5 to 17 years old and practice 3 nights a week to prepare for meets.

"I'm hoping for a ribbon or two," 9-year old Liana Teter proclaims. "But mostly I'm just hoping to come home happy."

The swim club wasn't always this popular. In fact, back in 2007, they didn't know if they'd make it to their 50th. But then along came the Olympics, and someone named Michael Phelps.

"Any time there's a successful Olympics, the year following that you should see some growth in your programs," Craig Catlin - the swim club's vice president explains. "We saw significant growth."

Being in the pool isn't the only reason these kids enjoy the club.

And if the numbers are any indication, the Rhinelander Swim Club will be making a splash for quite some time.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

CRANDON - A new local owner could reopen Crandon's shuttered nursing home facility.

Peg and Jim Houle officially bought the former AGI Healthcare facility, which announced its closing last April. All 37 residents were moved by May.

The Houles replace Milwaukee-area lawyer Robert Roth, who shut down the nursing home when it was no longer profitable.

The Forest County Economic Development Partnership helped coordinate the sale to the Houles.

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EAGLE RIVER - Colder temps and windy weather delayed work on the Vilas County Courthouse expansion this winter.

The $11 million project is scheduled to be finished at the end of February. The only portion of the building still being worked on is the connector between the new building and the existing courthouse. 

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MEDFORD - Police in Taylor County arrested a man who shot at officers during a standoff near Medford on Wednesday evening.

The Taylor County Sheriff's Office reports it arrested Jake M. Wendt, 31, after a "lengthy phone negotiation" with the suspect, according to a news release sent late Wednesday night.

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's police chief hoped to fill two jobs in his department last summer.  A field of eight finalists led to zero job offers, but this week Lloyd Gauthier's force might finally get back to full strength.

The Rhinelander Police and Fire Commission approved hiring Tyler and Logan Pontbriand on Monday.  Their hires would bring the total force in Rhinelander to 17, including the chief and captain positions.

The Pontbriand twins are deputies with the Vilas County Sheriff's Office.  Logan started as a corrections officer in May 2015 while Tyler was hired as a deputy in January 2016.

Gauthier says they had six qualified applicants after reopening the application process in November, but the Pontbriands - who both live in Rhinelander - had qualities you simply can't teach.

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RHINELANDER - A Three Lakes man accused of sexually assaulting two children pleaded not guilty in court on Wednesday. 
 
David Teresinski, 69, is accused of sexually assaulting a child over the course of five years. 

In December, details about another child Teresinski allegedly assaulted came forward. 

Wednesday in Oneida County Court, Teresinski waived his right to hear evidence against him.
Teresinki is out on a $25,000 cash bond. 

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CRANDON - UPDATE 1/17/18

The Wisconsin Department of Justice identified Craig Justice, a 21-year veteran of the Forest County Sheriff's Department, as the officer who shot and killed Cude on January 4. Justice worked at the Crandon Police Department for one year before joining the Sheriff's Department.

As is normal in an officer-involved shooting, Justice is on paid administrative leave during the investigation.

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RHINELANDER - Local veterinarian, Dr. Alison French, actually sees a decrease in vet visits in the winter months due to less outdoor exercise and fewer injuries. But less time outside with pets is not necessarily a good thing.

French recommends you give your pets plenty of water and take walks outside even in the coldest temperatures.

Just like humans, animals dehydrate faster in the cold. Make sure you refill your pet's water bowls.

"Make sure they have fresh water. So if they're outside all the time make sure they have a heated water dish," said French.

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