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Northwoods Spotlight - Pond Hockey ChampionshipsSubmitted: 02/12/2014
Story By Joe Dufek

Northwoods Spotlight - Pond Hockey Championships
EAGLE RIVER - More than 2,300 pond hockey players made their way to Dollar Lake - just outside
of Eagle River. The annual Pond Hockey Championships featured 336 teams playing
on 31 rinks.

"This is our ninth year playing in Eagle River," tournament manager Scott
Albrich of USA Hockey explains. "It's the best weather we've had."

Many teams were from the Northwoods. Including "Range Beverage" out of Hurley.
They finished second in the 30+ silver division. Cory and Ryan Moderson are
brothers on the team. Cory's family enjoys watching him play. 5-year old Devin
is watching dad play for the first time.


"Cool," Devin said. "I never saw him play before."

"This is his first time," Cory Moderson - Devin's dad adds. "He's probably
going to want to go out there after seeing dad play."

Cory's wife Mae says it's amaizing watching the change in her husband when he
steps on the ice.

"He's a completely different person," Mae explains. "Not the guys who is
sitting on the couch. He's out there like an animal or a teenager playing
hockey with his brother."

It's not just the men getting in on the fun. "Up Yours" is one of the 40
women's teams. They're from Houghton, MI. All of these players are older than 50.

"We can't take the down side of life," Shelley Farrey points out. "We figured
we've got to make the best of everyday. Last year we decided to form a team.
Played against kids we could have given birth to. It was tough. If they had a
38 and over division, we would be the only ones out there."

"Very exciting to see hockey being played in it's purest form," Albrich adds.
"Chance for players to go back to when they were kids. Going outside and just
playing."


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 IN OTHER NEWS

HARSHAW - More than 50 people from Vilas, Forest, and Oneida counties came together Wednesday to learn leadership skills. 

Northwoods United Way hosted the second annual Leaderfest at Rondele Ranch in Harshaw. 

Executive Director Nancy Sattler was excited to present this opportunity to people in the area. 

"We want to offer the opportunity for enrichment, learning, and growth and the opportunity also to network with other people from the Northwoods and to learn from them and maybe they can help them in the future," said Sattler. 

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RHINELANDER - Kids all over Wisconsin will head back to school soon.

However, workers at a Rhinelander bus service say knowing bus safety skills could safe your child's life.

"The song Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round inspired me so much. That's why I became a bus driver," said Jake Kriesel a Rhinelander bus driver who never puts a break on fun.

But Kriesel says bus safety is no laughing matter.
"Bus drivers only have one thing in mind and that is your safety," said Kriesel.

Kriesel drives for Bowen's Bus Service, and Thursday he will be a part of a School Bus Safety Open House.

"Making sure there're safe. That's really our number one job," said Kriesel.

The open house will have three bus emergency scenarios for kids to learn how to evacuate safely.

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EAGLE RIVER - A $14,000 donation will help bring kids from urban areas to the Northwoods.

Baden-Powell Northwoods Experience donated the money earlier this month.

The Milwaukee-based group tried to use that money to save a Laona Boy Scout camp last year, but it wasn't able to raise enough money fast enough. 

So, the group decided to donate the left over funds to Trees for Tomorrow. 

Executive Director Robin Ginner said the two groups missions line up well. 

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EAGLE RIVER - Wednesday's weather made it the perfect day for a group of people to grab their paddles and explore some Northwoods waters.

The Northwoods Land Trust invited the community on a tour of private and protected waters.

People met up to paddle down Deerskin River in Eagle River.

Executive Director of the Northwoods Land Trust Bryan Pierce said Deerskin River is special because it's a trout stream and known for its resources.

"Our intent is to try and keep it that high quality keep the water quality protected and also provide for both fish and wildlife habitat," said Pierce. 

Wednesday was also a celebration.

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MADISON - Wisconsin state Superintendent Tony Evers says his years of experience leading schools in the state makes him the best Democratic candidate to challenge Republican Governror Scott Walker for re-election next year.

Evers officially launched his candidacy on Wednesday.

He says in an interview that his three statewide victories as state superintendent show he can gather the support needed to defeat Walker.

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GREEN BAY - A Green Bay Police captain and a secretary sickened after opening a suspicious envelope have returned to work.

The Police Department headquarters was evacuated Monday afternoon when the workers became ill.

The workers were released from a hospital Monday night and returned to work Tuesday.

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WAUSAU - You'd never guess it seeing the rows of stocked shelves and fresh paint, but Kevin Korpela's Downtown Grocery store in Wausau once stood as four fire-damaged walls with no roof.

"We had a home to go to, it just wasn't ready yet," Korpela said.

Tuesday morning, Korpela and his wife, Megan Curtes Korpela, showed Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch around their new digs in its old location nearly two years after fire destroyed the grocery on North Third Street.  A teenager tossed a lit cigarette in a dumpster behind the building in September 2015, severely damaging the building, which also housed Evolve Fitness and Sweets on Third.

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