WEST ALLIS - Winter Olympics history tells us Americans can fly on ice.
Our nation's speed skaters have won more Olympic gold medals than skaters for any other country.
Wisconsin plays a big part in this success story.
Newswatch 12's Shardaa Gray takes us to West Allis where the Spirit of the North has driven speed skaters for decades.
"It hasn't really hit me yet, but once I'm there and getting into it and being with the team; it will start to sink in." said America's youngest speed skater, Emery Lehman.
17 year old Emery Lehman from Illinois is the youngest U.S. Olympic speed skater this year.
90 years ago a young speed skater named Charles Jewtraw was the first person ever to win a gold medal in the very first Winter Olympics.
Jewtraw won the 500 meter event in 1924 in Chamonix, France.
Emery isn't sure if he'll make history like Jewtraw, but he does have high hopes.
"My goals are probably to finish between 15th and 10th in the 5K," Emery said.
"Then 10K, only 16 skaters; probably I'm going in ranked like 16th. So anything better than last at this point."
Before leaving for Sochi, Lehman trained at the Pettit National Ice Center in West Allis.
He has been training there since he was 14 years old.
They've trained Olympians since 1992, after it was reconstructed to become an indoor facility.
"The impetus behind it was to create an Olympic training site. So it had to open by the end of 1992 for political reasons within the US speed skating," said Pettit Ice Center Executive Director, Randy Dean.
"The USOOC had to be open by the end of 1992 to be an official US Olympic training site."
The Pettit Center replaced the outdoor 24 year old Wisconsin Olympic Ice Rink.
"It was right here in this very site; almost not the exact place where the oval is today, but very close. They'd tell stories of the salt blowing off the expressway, the headwinds and how cold it was," Dean said.
"There wasn't any enclosed oval in the United States. So people got together here and raised some money, got some help from the state and built the Pettit Center here for about 14 million dollars."
85 speed skating medals have been won by American Olympians going into Sochi Games.
Out of that number, 70 medals were won by Olympians that trained or based at the Pettit Center.
Emery's mom remembers when he first put on speed skating skates.
"They loaned him a pair of boats, he got on the ice, he looked at me I was standing on the bleachers, kind of shrugged his shoulders looked down at his boots and started to skate and he fell in love with it." said Emery's mother, Marcia Lehman.
"He just had that intangible quality that you can see in some kids. It's like you can't really teach it. Once you see it's there to be developed." Emery's coach, Jeff Klaiber said.
"It's definitely paid off now. Traveling's a lot of fun and competing is a lot of fun. It's all worth it in the end," said Emery.
"Especially because I love it, it's a lot easier. It's probably a lot harder for my mom and dad who put in just as much dedication as I did, but they don't get to travel as much."
Emery raced Friday; finishing 16th out of 26 races in the men's 5,000 meters, the best finish by an American.
MAUSTON - Authorities are investigating the death of a person who was found unresponsive in Decorah Lake early Friday.
Kyle Lynch, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources warden for Juneau County, says he was called to the scene to assist in a boat search about 1:30 a.m. He also says the Mauston Fire Department recovered the body, which was found in the water.
The Mauston Police Department says attempts were made to rescue the individual, but the Juneau County Coroner's Office pronounced the individual dead at the scene. Police have provided few other details, and the victim's name has not been released.
APPLETON - The U.S. Marshals Service says a convicted sex offender who was wanted for violating the terms of his release has been arrested in Appleton.
The agency says 63-year-old L.C. Streeter, of Milwaukee, was previously convicted of four separate sexual assaults from 1976 to 1985. Wisconsin committed him as a sexually violent person in 1996, and he remained in treatment until his release in 2013 under intensive supervision.
The service said in a statement that he cut off his GPS and electronic monitoring bracelets and fled supervision on Monday, resulting in a warrant for his arrest. Federal marshals and Appleton police arrested him without incident in Appleton on Friday.
Kevin Carr, the U.S. marshal for eastern Wisconsin, says Streeter was "an absolute danger to the community based upon his past convictions."
TOMAH - The Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center says it has adopted another plan to improve patient care.
The La Crosse Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1QMsDMZ) that Friday's release of the "100-day plan" comes almost 11 months after media reports that veterans at the center were prescribed excessive doses of opioid pain-killers and that employees who spoke out faced retaliation from top officials.
The plan, which follows a 30-day plan announced in May, outlines steps for improving access to care, employee engagement and restoring trust.
Among other things, it calls for recruitment of psychiatric staff, employee forums and listening sessions, and opening an employee wellness center.
Several Tomah VA officials — including former Director Mario Desanctis and former Chief of Staff David Houlihan — have been fired since the problems emerged early this year.
WAUSAU - This has been Wisconsin's deadliest gun-deer season in the past five years, with two shooting fatalities already recorded.
Daily Herald Media reports (http://wdhne.ws/1HvNth3 ) that the two fatalities brought to an end a three-year series of seasons that had been free of firearm deaths. Four other hunters also have been wounded.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, hunters violated some of the fundamental rules of gun safety in all the incidents.
A man was killed last Sunday in Columbia County when he was shot while passing a loaded rifle to a companion in a tree stand. Wearing mittens, she grabbed the gun near the trigger and it went off. On Monday, a hunter in Waushara County was killed by a stray bullet.
RHINELANDER - People deposited more than just money at a Rhinelander bank Friday morning. A blood drive at People's State Bank allowed donors to double down on what they gave.
Nurses from the Community Blood Center took donations from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. as part of the "Give a Pint, Give a Pound" blood drive. For every pint donated, the Blood Center will give a pound of food to the Lakeland Food Pantry.
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Rockfleet Broadcasting / Northland Television, Inc. and By Request Web Designs shall not be held responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, or misprints.