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Badgers Final Four run could help Wisconsin high school basektballSubmitted: 04/07/2014
Story By Joe Dufek

Badgers Final Four run could help Wisconsin high school basektball
- Oh so close. The Wisconsin Badgers finished just short of playing in the national championship game on Monday night.

Wisconsin fell to Kentucky Saturday night 74-73.

Wisconsin's improbable run to the Final Four is over.

But it was a great season for not only the Badgers, but the fans too.

The biggest beneficiary could be high school basketball in the Northwoods and state-wide.


"When we talk about a high school team goes far in the playoffs - it gets all those little boys shooting, dribbling, and aspiring to greatness," Lakeland coach Rich Fortier explains. "It think watching (Wisconsin Head Coach) Bo (Ryan) do this, it helps in recruiting. It gets boys out playing basketball. It gets us thinking about basketball for another week and maybe longer."

Brad Soderberg was an assistant with the Badgers during their 2000 Final Four run. His brother Kurt is the boys coach at Merrill. The Soderbergs are from Stevens Point.

"I think what is the point of Bo Ryan's teams is they don't beat themselves," Soderberg adds. "Once the nerves become an issue playing in bigger stadiums and tougher competition - the first thing you have to overcome is foolish mistakes. I don't think Bo Ryan's teams beat themselves. That's why they were on such a roll."

A dozen of the 16 players on the Badgers roster were from the Midwest. Six played high school basketball in Wisconsin.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

ROSENDALE, WI - An explosion and fire at a cheese plant in Fond du Lac County sent one person to the hospital.

The sheriff's office says 36-year-old Travis Klotzbach, of Brandon, was using a cutting torch on an empty 55-gallon barrel in the auto shop at Knaus Cheese near Rosendale when the explosion happened just after 7 a.m. Friday.

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SUGAR CAMP - Students at Sugar Camp Elementary School invited their grandparents to join them at school on Friday. Grandparents toured classrooms, heard poems and stories, and ate lunch with family.

Jenna Erikson is a sixth grader at Sugar Camp. Her grandparents drive two hours from Colby every year to experience Grandparents Day with her.

"We read our speeches, then I showed my grandparents around the room a little bit," Erikson said. "It's really fun, and it's just a good time."

More than 130 grandparents visited their grandchildren at school. Sugar Camp has been hosting the event for decades.

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RHINELANDER - Snow plows can't do their job very well when cars sit in their way.  That's why Rhinelander's winter parking ban will return in just a couple of weeks.

Starting December 1st, cars can only park on designated sides of the street during the day.  On even-numbered days, cars park on the side of the street with even addresses.  On odd numbered days, cars must park on odd-numbered sides of the street.

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ANTIGO - Blaze orange and camouflage swarmed the front of Mills Fleet Farm in Antigo this morning.

People started lining up for Orange Friday 2017 around 4 a.m. for free hats and gift scratch offs!

More than 500 people filed in as the doors opened at 6 a.m.

The line didn't slow down for 15 minutes after that.

Many customers came to grab last-minute hunting gear including hunting licenses.

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TOMAHAWK -
UPDATE: The suspected shooter from a homicide in Tomahawk has been identified as Eric Lee Moen, 32.  Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins confirmed Moen is being held in the Lincoln County Jail for a 1st-degree intentional homicide charge.

The Lincoln County Clerk of Courts reports Moen is being held on a $1 million cash bond.  He has yet to appear in court, but an initial appearance has been set for Monday at 1:30 p.m.

Online court records show Moen was convicted of various traffic offenses.  He was also convicted of misdemeanor battery in Portage County from a 2002 case.

Elvins plans to release more information Friday afternoon.




Tomahawk police identified the victim in the city's first shooting homicide in years.  Friday morning, Police Chief Al Elvins announced Charles K. Ramp, 52, was shot and killed outside his home on W. Mohawk Drive Thursday night.

Police arrested the suspected shooter, a 32-year-old man from Wausau, but did not identify him.  The suspect was found about 130 miles away in Lake Hallie, which is near Eau Claire.

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RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Salvation Army hopes to raise $40,000 in its bell ringing campaign again this year. It reached that goal during the holidays a year ago.

Volunteers kicked off the bell ringing drive at Trig's and Shopko on Friday. Eighty-six percent of money raised stays in the Rhinelander area to help families in emergencies.

"We're very excited that we're keeping our goal at 40 (thousand dollars) this year, and we're hoping that people are continuing to be generous in helping us reach that goal," Rhinelander Salvation Army Kettle Coordinator Kim Swisher said. "People are friendly, they're excited, they're like, 'Oh, it's bell ringing time!' [That] always means the holidays. We're excited about that."

You'll see volunteers at Trig's and Shopko through the holidays. Bell ringing starts at Walmart next week.

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EAGLE RIVER - Americans eat more than 46 million turkeys on Thanksgiving Day. That much thawing, handling, and cooking of turkeys means people can make mistakes.

The Vilas County Public Health Department wants to help people avoid exposing themselves to dangerous bacteria. It says frozen turkeys should always be thawed in the refrigerator or under running water.

"You don't want to set them out on your countertop for any amount of time to thaw them because that's when they're going to be in the 'danger zone.' The 'danger zone' is between 40 and 140 [degrees Fahrenheit], and that's when pathogens can grow," said Vilas County Registered Sanitarian Amy Springer.

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