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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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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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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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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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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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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BARRON COUNTY - The discovery of skeletal remains in northwest Wisconsin turns into a homicide investigation.

Forensic analysis revealed the man had been shot in the head.

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KIEL - Police say a report of gunshots at a high school in the eastern Wisconsin community of Kiel (KEEL) turned out to be false and that all students and staff are safe.

Authorities say a staff member of Kiel High School reported hearing gunshots outside the building shortly before 7 a.m. Friday, prompting a heavy law enforcement response.

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