Northwoods Spotlight - Northland Pines basketball brothers - Mar 5
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."
PHILLIPS - The Price County Sheriff's Office wants to find out what it needs to do to get a K-9 officer. Sheriff Brian Schmidt believes a new dog would improve the office's ability to find drugs.
The county doesn't have its own K-9 officer. However, they do turn to other departments for help.
"What we would utilize is surrounding counties, and it is at their discretion," Schmidt said. "Like Rhinelander, we utilize their dog on occasion, maybe once or twice a year. But again, it is their dog, so they have their needs come first. So if we have our own equipment, our needs are met with our equipment."
VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County finally got what it wanted. For fifteen years, the county had needed someone to act as a full-time Recreational Officer--someone to monitor public safety on the snowmobile and ATV trails as well as the lakes and rivers. Now, Vilas County Deputy Sheriff Randy Schneider will fill that role.
WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling received a record number of phone calls to the helpline in 2014â€"14,731 to be exact. This is a 5.6 percent increase from calls received in 2013.
Some of the callers reported having to file for bankruptcy or having thoughts of suicide. The report from the Council also calculated $47,000 as the average gambling debt of callers in 2014, and $20,000 as the median debt.
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Rockfleet Broadcasting / Northland Television, Inc. and By Request Web Designs shall not be held responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, or misprints.