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.
EAGLE RIVER - The Northland Pines fishing team is about as basic as it gets.
Just two kids, bait, and their gear.
"I didn't expect to go anywhere," said Northland Pines Junior Mike John.
But in their first year the team is headed to nationals after getting second BASS Wisconsin High School Fishing Tournament. It was the first tournament they've competed in together.
Mike John is going to be a junior. Harmon Marien became a freshman right before the state tournament started.
"Wednesday previous I was in 8th grade and then that Saturday and Sunday we took second in the high school tournament," Northland Pines Freshman Marien said. "That was pretty cool, good way to start high school."
MERCER - You don't expect to see crowds in secluded parts of Iron County, but loons tend to be a big draw.
"There's a lot of people who have had interest in loon research," said DNR wildlife biologist John Olson.
"Monitor change overtime in the wildlife population here in the Turtle Flambeau Flowage. Are loons increasing or staying stable or decreasing the numbers of breeding pair?" said retired wildlife biologist, Bruce Bacon.
The community has shown interest in the animal and with the research collected, the volunteers can maintain a steady population of loons in the water.
"Over the years, there have been a number of people who have done real exciting loon work up here," said Olson.
Over the last few surveys, the DNR have decided to expand its research to all wildlife in water and on land, not just the loons.
"The survey has developed into being more all-inclusive of any wildlife we see out here. Especially breeding birds," said Olson.
Some animals seen on Friday include a deer and her fawn, ducks, geese, eagles, ospreys, and of course multiple loons.
The Turtle Flambeau Flowage is a total of 14,000 acres. Individual volunteers maintain the area year round. If they notice a home or shelter destroyed, they will help start a new one for the animals.
"It's rewarding to see a place like the Turtle Flambeau Flowage in Wisconsin and this monitoring gives us a sense of how to monitor and protect it," said Bacon.
Overall, the goal for the group is to collect data on the animals and maintain that number to keep the Northwoods booming with wildlife.
The power of volunteerism was in full effect on Friday. Six boats covered all 14,000 acres of the Turtle Flambeau Flowage.
RHINELANDER - This week, a seven-year-old put his life in danger to save his baby sister and little brother from a house fire near downtown Rhinelander.
On Friday, the Rhinelander Fire Department honored that little boy for his bravery.
Rhinelander firefighters now call Adam Granger, 7, a hero.
"He tells me over and over how he wasn't scared and just wanted to save his sister's life and didn't want her to die," said Jenny Schroeder, Adam's mother.
Adam saved his six-month old sister and four-year-old brother from a house fire in downtown Rhinelander.
"His actions, his quick thinking, saved two lives that day," said Rhinelander Fire Assistant Chief Tom Waydick.
Investigators still don't know the exact cause of the fire, but they say it started in the kitchen. Adam's father, Adam Granger, Sr., went outside for a couple minutes to start a campfire, and the next thing
he knew his house was up in flames.
"And the kids were in and out of the house helping him," Waydick said.
When he saw the smoke, Adam's father and his brother ran inside to get the three kids upstairs��"not realizing they had already gotten out. To do that, Adam had to run past the fire to get to the bedroom where his baby sister was. Then he went back towards the flames and led his younger brother down the back steps to safety.
"[I'm] Very proud and honored to have him as my son," Schroeder said.
Schroeder doesn't want to think of how it could have turned out.
"We've talked about how the other outcome could have been worse," Schroeder said.
GREEN BAY - Prosecutors have charged a 26-year-old man accused of fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend and her mother and injuring a third person in the Green Bay area.
Jacob Cayer of Ashwaubenon was charged Friday with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide. WLUK-TV reports Cayer also is charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide, burglary and bail jumping.
WAUSAU - Police in Wausau expect to forward forgery charges to the Marathon County District Attorney against four people after finding counterfeit money in the area.
Patrick J. Eppolite, Jr., 22; Michael A. Beck, 27; Jeremy J. Hess, 36; and Amanda M. Bender, 32, are currently in jail on probation holds, but investigators believe they're connected to some counterfeit 20 dollar bills in the area, according to the Wausau Police Department.
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