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Northwoods Spotlight - Northland Pines basketball brothers - Mar 5Submitted: 03/05/2014
Story By Joe Dufek


EAGLE RIVER - Last week, the season ended for the Northland Pines boys basketball team. The team only won one game all season long.

But for one Eagle River family, great memories were made - despite the record.

That's because one of the sons is able to enjoy life from the sidelines - despite obstacles.

Ken Kluever of Eagle River and his wife Carie learned their second child - Austin has spinal bifida. It's is a developmental congenital disorder caused by the incomplete closing of the embryonic neural tube. Some vertebrae overlying the spinal cord are not fully formed. Austin will be bound to a wheel chair his whole life.


"I don't even let it be an issue," Austin explains. "I'd like to be either a coach or a sports therapist."

Austin loves sports - just like any teenager. In fact, the family enjoys watching their oldest son Zach play for the Northland Pines basketball team.

"All the guys like (Austin) when he hangs out with the team," Zach said. "Everyone knows him. He is always there. It's a fun time."

"I could see it from the coach's standpoint," Northland Pines head coach Brent Luebke adds. "(Zach) wanted to play for and get the opportunity to represent his brother and his family."

Winning just one game this year, it was a tough season for the Eagles. However, despite all of the losses, game night was always special.

"It's amazing to watch him play and see how good he is," Austin explains. "His shooting and dribbing."

But that doesn't mean Austin was above giving Zach grief after a game - typical for brothers.

"Every now and again, he would say something under his breath," Zach points out with a laugh. "Try not to make it obvious, but he was always there."

"It's made us closer," Ken adds. "We wouldn't change anything we have done."


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 12/09/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

The lakes are expected to freeze soon, and many people are anxious to get out on the ice. However there are things you should keep in mind when heading out on the frozen lakes. Tonight we talk to a DNR warden about tips for staying safe on the ice.

A Rhinelander elementary school will be purchasing $2,000 worth of chrome books. We'll tell you how the students earned the funding.

We'll show you how a Woodruff company decorated the Governor's Mansion in Madison.

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

Boys:

Antigo vs. Lakeland

Crandon vs. Tomahawk

D.C. Everest vs. Merrill


Girls:

Laona/Wabeno vs. Crandon

That will be 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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RHINELANDER - Every Christmas, thousands of children write letters to Santa. Sometimes, some of those kids need a little bit of help writing letters.

The Rhinelander High School FBLA/DECA organization went to local elementary schools Friday to help hundreds of kids write their letters.

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WOODRUFF - Gov. Scott Walker won't spend much time away from pieces of the Northwoods while in Madison this Christmas season.

The State Capitol Christmas tree came from Eagle River. Meanwhile, JJ's Acres of Woodruff decorated the outside of the Governor's Mansion with pine roping and wreaths.

The garden center also helped with holiday decorations at the mansion in 2013.

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MADISON - The recount of Wisconsin's presidential election vote is nearly finished.

State election officials announced Friday that 89 percent of total ballots cast for president have been counted and 60 of the state's 72 counties had finished their work. So far, Democrat Hillary Clinton has gained 49 votes on Republican Donald Trump, who defeated Clinton by more than 22,000 votes in

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OUTAGAMIE COUNTY - Two people died when a dump truck drove through a stop sign west of Green Bay Thursday afterrnoon.

The truck hit a car at the intersection of two county roads in Outagamie County.

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LANSING, MI - Michigan lawmakers may re-enact a wolf-hunting law declared unconstitutional by the state appeals court.

The Republican-led Senate voted 27-10 along party lines Thursday to define wolves as a game species and to authorize the state to designate game. The bill goes to the House.

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Play Video

WAUSAU - Wausau police officers believe they're pretty good at caching criminals. But they say they're not so good at helping victims suffering from mental trauma. 

To try to fix that, the Wausau Police Department will hire a mental health therapist to serve in the Victim Resource unit. 

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