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.
RHINELANDER - The Oneida-Vilas Transit Commission will get its long-awaited federal funding installment by October 4.
The timing means no Northwoods Transit Connections drivers will have to voluntarily furlough their pay, but the requirement of 24-hour advance notice for rides will stay in place.
Transit Commission Chair Erv Teichmiller learned the news over the weekend.
The commission is waiting on an expected payment of $300,000 from the federal government. In 2016, that money came in early September. As of last Friday, the commission wasn't expecting the payment until as late as November.
RHINELANDER - A large open lot on Rhinelander's east side could soon fill in with a chain restaurant.
Cory Moritz-Hoffmann and her husband hope to build a Pizza Ranch next to Kwik Trip on Eisenhower Parkway. The pair of former Pine Lake firefighters got the idea about six years ago when they first went to a Pizza Ranch in Iowa.
They considered pursing a franchise then, but it was more than they could afford at the time. About two years ago, the Hoffmanns contacted an investor and saw an opportunity to turn their dream into a reality.
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander factory that makes smoke flavoring caught fire early Monday morning.
Shortly before 6:00 a.m., Rhinelander, Crescent and Newbold Fire Departments responded to a fire at Red Arrow Products on Rhinelander's west side.
An employee says there were about eight workers inside at the time.
No one was injured.
"Flames were coming out of a conveyor area as high as the roof. We made an interior attack and knocked that flame down. Came in from the other side of the partition wall, then made another interior attack and knocked that down," says Chief Terry Williams.
As of 7:30 a.m. Monday morning, firefighters were still working to make sure the flames were out.
MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker has selected a former legislator to run the state Department of Natural Resources.
Walker's office announced Monday that he has chosen former Republican state Rep. Dan Meyer to serve as DNR secretary. He replaces Cathy Stepp, who resigned in August to take a position in President Donald Trump's administration.
HARSHAW - Oneida County sheriff's deputies found three runaway sisters, ages 14, 14, and 12, in the woods in Harshaw just after 1 p.m. on Monday.
The sisters had been reported missing by their parents Monday morning. The parents had gone to wake the girls up for school, but instead found a note saying they had gone on an "adventure."
The missing girls triggered a search from the Oneida County Sheriff's Office Special Response Unit, Newbold Fire Department Search and Rescue, Minocqua Fire Department, Lake Tomahawk Fire Department, and Little Rice Fire Department.
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