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SPIRIT OF THE NORTH: Learning to LugeSubmitted: 02/19/2014
Story By Hayley Tenpas


NEGAUNEE, MICHIGAN - Imagine a sport where you slide 65 miles per hour down a steep, curved, icy slope.

That sport would be the luge.

There's only one place in America where anyone can simply drive in and learn to luge.

That's Negaunee, Michigan.

"It's definitely a rush going down the ice," said second time slider Wesley McDermott.

"My biggest kick is when they come up and they have this gigantic smile on their face," said coach Jessica Straczeowski.

Lucy Hill in Negaunee, Michigan is a natural luge hill, winding down a steep slope surrounded by snow.

"They look like an ice rink that's tilted 45 degrees," said Straczeowski.

Although similar to the event you'll see in Sochi, Negaunee's track is completely flat.

"Our athletes actually have to sit up to brake, to slow down before corners," said Straczeowski.

The track isn't refrigerated or as fast as the one in Sochi.

"They go like 65 mph instead of 90 mph," said Straczeowski.

But the journey to the top of the hill starts with learning the rules, and once you're geared up, it's go time!

"It's speedy! You just get your adrenaline running and you're on a sled and you're only this high off the ice and the ice makes a sound like, shhhhhhkkkeewwwwww," said Straczeowski.

Many athletes learn about luge in Negaunee and eventually switch to an artificial track like ones in Sochi.

"Our club feeds into the USLA, Lake Placid, so we have sliders from here who are participating in the Olympics artificial track," said Straczeowski.

Luge has been in the Olympics since 1964.

This year the USA picked up the first ever medal in women's luge this year.

"There's so much once you do it, it captures your heart," said Straczeowski.

You can learn to luge with the Upper Peninsula luge club on Saturdays. That's when it's open to the public.


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 09/30/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

Several ash trees in Rhinelander have become infected with the emerald ash borer and will need to come down. Tonight we'll show you what signs to look for to keep an ash tree on your property from being infected.

You'll hear from inmates at the McNaughton Correctional Center about what it's like making the transition from being in prison to going back into the community.

And tonight on Friday Night Blitz, we'll bring you scores from high school games all across northcentral Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following games:

Houghton vs. Northland Pines

Antigo vs. Lakeland

Medford vs. Rhinelander

Florence vs. Three Lakes/Phelps

Rib Lake/Prentice vs. Tomahawk

That's tonight on Friday Night Blitz, at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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LAC DU FLAMBEAU - When people found a woman's body in Lac du Flambeau, police first thought she committed suicide -- something Newswatch 12 does not cover.

But Friday, the Vilas County Sheriff's Office confirmed it is investigating the 45-year-old woman's death as suspicious.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - If you want to escape car exhaust, streetlights, and sirens, people in Oneida County know you don't need to pack for an extended trip.

Tucked away in western Oneida County, the Willow Flowage offers outdoor enthusiasts a year-round playground.

With 27,000 acres of undeveloped land and 6,000 acres of pristine water, the Willow Flowage reminds a lot of people of Canada...almost.

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PRICE COUNTY - Some of us owe a lot to our health clinics for keeping us healthy enough to have birthdays every year.

One local health operation celebrates a big birthday of its own.

Marshfield Clinic turns 100 this December, but on Friday the clinics in Price County celebrated the milestone.

"We invited all of our community members along to celebrate this milestone because without our community members we wouldn't be here today," said operations manager Katie Weinberger.

In 1916 Marshfield Clinic started off with six doctors. Now the operation has facilities in more than 50 communities and more than 6500 employees.

"Share a little bit of history not only about Marshfield Clinic but about our Park Falls and Phillips clinics as well and how we have served our community," Weinberger said.

More than 60 people attended the event.

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RHINELANDER - Almost 12,000 people took a trip into history this year. But you only have one more day to check out the Pioneer Park Historical Complex in Rhinelander. The museum closes for the season Saturday.

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Rhinelander Homecoming parade Submitted: 09/30/2016

RHINELANDER - Construction did not stop Hodag pride Friday night.

Green and white spilled into downtown for Rhinelander's homecoming celebration.

The dance team showed off its moves and the football team rolled down Brown Street.

The homecoming parade got students, parents, and even grandparents to come out in support.

"I am here to see my grandson, he is on the court, "said Elsa Burke.

Hodag jerseys and green facepaint lined the street as the RHS band and flag twirlers marched.

There definitely was a lot to look at, but football seemed to be the only thing on some people's minds.

"To see the Hodags come home with a W. That would be good," said RHS student Jacob Mahner.

The varsity football game kicks off at 7 p.m. tonight against the Medford Raiders.



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MADISON - A judge has ordered an investigation into whether transportation officials have been denying people temporary photo ID to vote.

U.S. District Judge James Peterson issued the order Friday after media reports surfaced that transportation officials refused to issue a temporary ID to a man without a birth certificate.

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