Northwoods Spotlight - Lac du Flambeau girls basketball - March 12Submitted: 03/12/2014
Story By Marisa Silvas

- Many young basketball players look up to NBA stars like Lebron James. But in Lac du Flambeau, they've found other 'natives' to inspire them instead.

Finding positive role models for young people is important.

"It was really inspiring seeing them having fun and just playing basketball," Ariana Allen - a seventh grader explains.

"I want to be like them one day and play for the Louisville Cardinals," Ash'lynn Thoms - another seventh grader adds.

They're talking about the Schimmel sisters. Shoni and Jude grew up on a reservation in Oregon. Now they're stars on the third ranked Louisville Cardinals and have become Native American sports icons.

The Lady Warriors basketball team piled into a bus last week and took the trip of a lifetime. They drove 11 hours to see the Schimmel sisters play.

"Borrowed, fund-raising, our youth funds," coach and parent Sheldon Williams explains. "It was all able to make this happen. To see the look on their faces to me was priceless."

The ladies of Lac Du Flambeau are members of the Ojibwe band. But they're just part of 1,500 who made the journey to Louisville.

"One of the signs said we traveled from Alaska to see the Schimmel sisters," seventh grader Nicole Wayman said. "So I was like - 'wow, it was not only us.'"

"It was amaizing," fifth grade player Amaya White adds. "Because it shows people around the world how the Schimmels inspire them."

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NEKOOSA - People in Nekoosa could go back in time this weekend.

Volunteers at Pointe Basse recreated a historical camp portraying lives of people from the 1700s and early 1800s.

Volunteers from all across the U.S. all had a piece of history to share.

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EAGLE RIVER - Eagle River hosted its 36th annual Cranberry Fest during October's first weekend.

Organizers say the weather this year brought in many more visitors.

"People come to this whether there's good weather of bad weather," said Executive Director of the Eagle River Chamber Kim Emerson. "And with this year being great weather, we had above-average crowds and it was just spectacular. We're so happy about that."

By 3 p.m. Saturday, the World's Largest Cranberry Cheesecake had already been devoured. Sales of slices go towards the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. 

Organizers said they also almost sold out of cranberries, but they said they would still have more to sell on Sunday. 

There were also dozens of craft vendors, food and wine and cranberry marsh tours.

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RHINELANDER - Harvest Hoedown started Saturday at noon at the Woodpecker Bar and Grill in Rhinelander.

The event had a hay maze, horse drawn carriage rides, food, and live music all afternoon.

"I think it's going great. We got a little sunshine right now. We got probably a couple hundred people here. People are buying food, spending money. It's what we're after," said Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Executive Director Guy Hanson.

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WOOD COUNTY - Two people who stole a UTV led police on a wild chase early Friday morning. Friday night, those suspects were still on the run.

The Wood County Sheriff's Office tells us a sporting goods store owner walked in as the burglary was happening, just before 7 a.m. The suspects took off in a red Dodge pickup truck pulling a trailer with the stolen UTV. They crashed through several gates to get out.

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MERRILL - One Northwoods farm wants to give all families the full Fall experience.

Grampa's Farm in Merrill has been a popular fall destination in Wisconsin since 2010.

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RHINELANDER - A Wisconsin brewing company executive wants businesses to hire more veterans.

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ACROSS WISCONSIN - Abbotsford 62, Thorp 6

Algoma 24, Sturgeon Bay 8

Almond-Bancroft 61, Tigerton/Marion 6

Amherst 56, Manawa 6

Antigo 42, Lakeland 28

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