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Northwoods Spotlight - State-bound youth basketball teams - Mar 19Submitted: 03/19/2014
Story By Joe Dufek

Northwoods Spotlight - State-bound youth basketball teams - Mar 19
RHINELANDER - You don't have to be in college to be part of March Madness. Young teams from Northland Pines and Rhinelander received invites to their version of the Big Dance.

"Our team has done very well, considering we weren't as good last year," Alex Fortier of Rhinelander's 5th Grade Team explains. "We've changed a lot and now we're going to state."

"All the kids are looking up to the March Madness people, the college players," Northland Pines 6th grade player Ryan Peterson adds. "But now we get to have our own tournament that's this big too."


More than 700 boys and girls teams from 5th through 8th grade will play in the Wisconsin State Invitational Championship Tournament.

"The jitters of the bigger gymnasiums, the big crowds- it's exciting," Northland Pines head coach Jim Swenson said.

This will be the Eagles second time at state. Several of them got a taste of the high level of competition last year.

"I was kind of happy, kind of nervous because last year we didn't do very good," Northland Pines player Joe Misina admits.

The boys had a scrimmage Monday night. Both squads saw it as an chance to improve.

It's becoming more and more important for young athletes to have opportunities like this. They need experiences on a big stage to prepare them for high school competition.

"The only way we're going to prepare these kids is to start them out now," Rhinelander head coach Todd McEldowney explains. "And not to play against poor competition but to play against the best kids we can. Because that's how they're going to improve."

Other teams taking part include Antigo and Merrill's 5th grade girls teams, Medford and D.C. Everest in 8th grade girls, and Rhinelander and Wittenberg-Birnamwood's 8th grade boys teams.

It runs March 29th through April 13th throughout the state. Appleton, Stevens Point, and Wausau are among several cities hosting the tournament.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

GRAND RAPIDS - Saturday afternoon a boat crash in Wood County caused multiple injuries according to DNR Conservation Warden Korey Trowbridge.

The single boat crash happened around 12:30 p.m. on Lake Wazeecha in Grand Rapids. Five people were on board when the boat collided with the shore line.

Multiple people were transported to a hospital for their injuries. The extent of those injuries is unknown.

The Wood County Sheriff's Department, the Grand Rapids Police Department and the DNR are all investigating the crash. 

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Oneida County Fair fundraiserSubmitted: 06/17/2018

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RHINELANDER - The new Oneida County Fair Coordinator wants to see the fair grow and get the community fully involved.

It's Tom Barnett's first year as fair coordinator and Saturday at Pat's Tavern in Rhinelander he hosted a fundraiser.

He said he didn't have a financial goal for Saturday's event, but says every dollar is more than they had before and makes a difference.

"We really want to bring the community into the fair. We want them to be involved a lot more. With the support from the community the sponsorship, it's only going to help the fair grow bigger and better. We need that sponsorship we need the support from the community to make the fair grown and make it more successful than it has been," said Barnett.

Pixy the Clown and Ms America were two of the many guests at the event.
There was also food, drinks and raffles.

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RHINELANDER - It took a local author 30 years to publish his book.Jay Woolf was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia or CLL. He decided to use his pain from the disease to help others cope.

Woolf is from Winchester, Wisconsin. He started writing the book "It IS a Laughing Matter," when he was diagnosed with cancer 30 years ago. He just finished the book last year.

"Every death joke that I knew, started coming to mind and every time it came out I realized it was helping me. If it helps me, maybe it could help somebody else," said Woolf. 

Woolf wanted to use his jokes to help people.He sells his books and also does talks at local libraries. Woolf has been in remission for about 17 years.


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EAGLE RIVER - A week long workshop in Eagle River shows students they're not alone in their passion for nature. Kids from all over the Midwest arrived at the Trees for Tomorrow campsite for the first day of The Natural Resources Career Workshop.

Out of towners visit the Northwoods to escape noise, and enjoy some peace and quiet. 

"I just like being out in nature instead of one of those people playing video games constantly," said 16-year-old Austin Shimeck.

The Natural Resources Career Workshop turned the benefits of visiting the Northwoods into a classroom. 

"Giving them the experience that some of these students may not have had," said Trees for Tomorrow Coordinator Vernon Gentele. 
 
High school students from all over the mid-west came to the camp to explore the unique environment. 

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MADISON (AP) - Madison is ending its compost collection program because residents were putting too many non-compostable items in their carts and the city can't afford its own biodigester.

Bryan Johnson is the city's recycling coordinator. He tells The Wisconsin State Journal that ending the program will give officials time to study other options for collecting food scraps and other compostable materials.

The program currently has about 1,100 households and 40 businesses involved.

Johnson says separating non-compostable materials is a labor-intensive and slow process that requires additional water. The digester's operator, GL Dairy Biogas, charges a $200-per-ton fee to separate debris from compostable material.

Mayor Paul Soglin says he hopes the city can find ways to work with larger producers before integrating the process into the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District.

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MINOCQUA - In just a couple months, the democratic primary will decide which party candidate will run against Governor Scott Walker.

On Saturday, five of those candidates spent time in Minocqua answering citizen's questions at a candidate forum.

Mike, McCabe, Tony Evers, Matt Flynn, Kathleen Vinehout, and Dana Wachs were all in attendance. The forum had candidates answer audience questions on education, healthcare, the environment, and economy issues. 
 
Organizer Jackie Cody said the event was a way to get people informed on each candidate before the democratic primary. 

"At this particular point we need to have democrats, and independents, and those who are questioning what's going on with answers before the magic date of August 14th, and this provides people with information," said Cody.

More than 100 people attended the event.

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MINOCQUA - T-shirts and running shoes are typical at a 5K race, but paws and doggy dish prizes, not so much. 

"There isn't anything like this, in this area at least," said Blue Raven Race Productions organizer Karen McCabe.

The first-ever Paws on the Run 5K was held in Minocqua Saturday to support the Northwoods Wildlife Center. 

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