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Enjoying the snow before winter endsSubmitted: 03/09/2014
Story By Karolina Buczek

Enjoying the snow before winter ends
MINOCQUA - Winter will end before we know it.

And some people can't wait for the temperatures to rise.

"It's just been really cold this year and we can't really go out because it's really cold," said Isabel Johnson.

But some don't want to part with their favorite winter activities.

"You can also go ice fishing which is also fun. And hockey because you can still do it in summer but not so much because it'll cost money. And in winter, you can just play in open rinks and stuff, for free," said Logan Seymour.

Minocqua winter park gave the community a chance to get their last fix of winter in.

Its community appreciation day gave locals a chance to ice skate, ski, and snowtube for free on Sunday.

"Since it's been a long, hard winter, people in the community deserve a pat on the back for helping us have a very successful season. Also we want to provide an opportunity for people to try out what we have to offer," said Tim Collins of Minocqua Winter Park.

More than 500 people took advantage of the opportunity.

Some were excited kids.

"It's really fun to go down the hill and then not fun to bring it back up. But only go down."

"Playing hockey. Playing with my brother."

"I just like going down the hill really fast."

It also gave them the chance to give back to the community.

"We've received a lot of donations for our trail funds so we can provide more grant and donation funded services for the community," said Collins.

People at the event also donated more than one-hundred pounds of food for the Lakeland food pantry.



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RHINELANDER - Kid got outside and got active at the YMCA of the Northwood's Fit Kids Duathalon tonight. 

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"It's rugged enough that you have to have a little bit or stamina and a little bit or grit to actually make it through the course," said YMCA Aquatics and Youth and Family Director Matt Steingraber. 
 
Some of the kids even trained for the event. 

The top three in each age group got awards. 

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RHINELANDER - Starting Monday, Northwoods Transit Connections riders will need to call 24 hours in advance to get around the Rhinelander, Minocqua, and Eagle River areas.

Many bus drivers will also voluntarily furlough their pay until federal funds come in.

The Oneida-Vilas Transit Commission, which operates the popular public transit program, made the moves at a meeting Friday morning.

"What we're adjusting is some things internally around accessing an adequate fund supply," said Commission Chair Erv Teichmiller.

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RHINELANDER - A well known sex offender in this area will get out of prison again.  Albert Chagnon, 35, is set to be released into Oneida County on Tuesday.

Chagnon was convicted of child pornography possession in 2003.

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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander mom said her lifestyle completely changed when a new neighbor moved in. 

She used to love the close proximity and the ability to walk to almost anything in town.

She has two young kids and regularly checks the sex offender registry. 

The Rhinelander mom wishes to stay anonymous. We'll refer to her as Linda. 

Linda found out a sex offender moved in a few doors down from her by flipping through a local newspaper, She saw a small box at the bottom page with a notification. 

"He kind of just snuck in," said Linda. 

William Huntington moved close to Linda's house in May. However, Linda says she knew nothing until she did research of her own in July. 

"When I saw what he was found guilty of I was in shock. I was in complete shock," said Linda. 

He was convicted in Dane County for repeatedly sexually assaulting his 8- year- old neighbor about twenty years ago. He's now required to wear a lifetime GPS monitoring system. 

Dana Wszalek works with the Department of Corrections in Rhinelander as a Regional Chief. Her office supervises people like Huntington in the community.

"What we do is not a cookie cutter type of approach to supervision; it's relative to what their risks are based on their case dynamics," said Wszalek. 

State law requires high risk sex offender to live at least 1,500 feet from churches, schools and playgrounds. Restrictions on other sex offenders are left to local offices. 

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office says there are no ordinances for sex offenders in Oneida County.

"They have different life experiences. They are a part of the community," said Wszalek. 

Wszalek understands the wariness community members might feel.

"As a parent it's important to be aware of who's in your neighborhood," said Wszalek. 

Linda said one of her 6- year- old child was planning on walking to school with friends this year, but instead they'll get driven.

"I feel like the neighborhood we moved into to be able to have these things has been taken away," said Linda.

Linda said she was shocked she didn't get a call or knock on her door from law enforcement.

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