PHILLIPS - Chances are, Kayla Dalka can lift more weight than you. That strength has earned her a spot in the Special Olympics USA Games. She'll be representing Wisconsin in powerlifting.
"I like powerlifting because I like to go to the meets," Kayla explains. "And every time I make a lift that's right, I like to see my coach smile."
Kayla was born with a cognitive disability which affects her IQ. She may have some limitations, but her spirit is undeniable.
"It makes me feel like a champion," says Kayla.
"She wanted to meet different friends and get to know the different kids around school," Kayla's mom Pam Lentz adds. "So she started out in powerlifting."
More than 3,500 athletes will travel to New Jersey to showcase their talents this week.
"When she passed and mom told me she was gonna go, I was really excited for her," Phillips powerlifting coach Jeff Schillinger explains. "I've had five kids make it to worlds and this is just as cool if not better than those kids that were world champions."
One of Kayla's biggest cheerleaders is her lifting partner Damien.
"She's awesome. She did really good, really good," Damien Klepac said. "It's like way to go!"
Kayla's favorite event is the deadlift. At the Wisconsin State Special Olympics she lifted a personal record 305 pounds.
"If you do the right techniques then the good weights will come," Schillinger adds.
She's also flourished working at Club 13 in Phillips.
"Always on time, does whatever you ask her to do, keeps up very well," owner Mike Reed said. "She does a very good job for us."
Powerlifting has helped Kayla grow in many ways.
"She can talk in front of crowds, she opens up her mouth now. She's got a lot more confidence," adds Lentz.
"Kayla will get first place," Klepac exclaims. "She rocks!"
We'll take you live to the Vilas County Courthouse for day 3 of the trial for 36-year-old Rodney Teets who is accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman at knife point in July 2015.
The Northern Wisconsin Initiative to Stop Homelessness wants to work with landlords to help people get back on their feet. We talk to the housing program team leader about a meeting coming up in Rhinelander that will allow landlords to share information that can help the homeless find places to rent.
And we talk with The Forest County Health Department director about a program that is encouraging people to limit their time with TV, computers, iPhones and other types of screens for a week.
We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.
RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Area Food Pantry hopes you'll sample some of the area's best salads and win some prizes on Saturday.
The pantry is hosting the Garden Fresh Salad Bowl event at Holiday Acres. It's a fundraiser for the pantry, and several local restaurants are participating.
"It should be a very nice event. It's a beautiful setting," said Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Executive Director Guy Hansen. "We've got 12 different restaurants that have contributed salads toward this."
About half of the crowd will win handcrafted door prizes from the Northwoods Turners. The event runs from 11 to 1. Tickets are available at the food pantry, CT's Deli, Forth Floral, and People's State Bank.
RHINELANDER - Nothing gets the competitive juices flowing like racing to fix a car's fuse box. Nicolet College in Rhinelander hosted 12 Northwoods high schools for some friendly competition with a specific goal in mind.
The competitions varied from auto skills to welding to even cupcake baking. The goal was for students to begin thinking about college.
"Getting to see the inner workings of a vehicle, getting to work and learn at the same time, it makes me think more about college and what I want to do with my future," said Crandon sophomore, Kegan Wilson.
TOMAHAWK - Unless you find yourself in trouble, you don't usually sit down and talk with a cop.
The Tomahawk Police Department held its monthly Coffee with a Cop meeting Wednesday morning.
It gives people the chance to pull up a chair and talk to Chief Al Elvins about their questions or concerns.
Those concerns change with the season.
Warmer weather means kids will be out of school soon and there'll be more foot traffic.
And don't forget about those motorcycles.
"Watch out for the motorcycles. So often they hit a blind spot on us and you don't see them. If you are driving a bike, be aware of your surroundings. Remember that four wheels don't always see your two wheels," said Chief Elvins.
The city's drug takeback will be open all day on Saturday. The department does it twice a year.
You can bring in any over the counter or prescription drugs to the station's drop-off box.
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