Tomahawk hosts D-2 Water Ski NationalsSubmitted: 08/06/2017
Katie Leszcynski
Katie Leszcynski
Sports Reporter/Anchor

Tomahawk hosts D-2 Water Ski Nationals
TOMAHAWK - The Browns Lake Aquaducks traveled all the way from the Lake Geneva area up to Tomahawk this weekend. Why did a whole ski team and all their gear make the long trip? They qualified to compete in the D2 Nationals that were in the Northwoods. I went to the competition to see what it was all about.

The Aquaducks from Burlington, Wisconsin are no strangers to skiing together.

"We practice Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and we have shows on Thursdays. So it's four times a week and then it's drilling, drilling, drilling trying to get it down to an hour," said skier Justin Spiegelhoff.

That hour is the strict time limit they were allowed on the water to wow the judges during the D2 National ski competition. So what do those judges look for?

"They pretty much spell out exactly what they want to see," said Spiegelhoff.

Joel Johanningmeier is the chief judge and has broken it down to four categories.

"Flow, execution, difficulty and spectator appeal," said Johanningmeier. "Then there's also some box scores that we use for theatricals, boat driving, different pieces."

Something that made it a little harder for the Aquaducks was that about 20 skiers on the team had the stomach flu all week.

"People are recovering.. but it's been a pretty tough week," said Spiegelhoff.

But by the smiles on their faces and the constant cheering, you couldn't tell.

And maybe they all got the stomach flu because they are ALWAYS together, even off the water.

"We do family dinners, yesterday we did team bonding, we all went to a national park and hiked," said skier Justine Laux.

Justin and Justine have been skiing with the group since they were little kids. And they aren't the only ones that are in the group for life.
"We range from our 'littles' that we take out on the water that are 14 months and our oldest is 63, I think," said Laux.

No matter the age, the group is always cheering and rooting for one another.

"Stay positive, pump people up. If you have a fall, that's okay. We have something else coming on next," said Laux.

To be at the nationals this weekend, teams had to qualify at state back in July. And this wasn't the first time it was in Tomahawk. The locations rotate every few years, so the event will be back in a couple summers.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 03/22/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

People gathered in the Wausau area today to remember four people who died in a shooting at three different places one year ago today. Tonight we look back at the shooting, and we take you live to the Wausau area and discuss the mental health of the officers following the shooting.

A new bill in Wisconsin would require dispatchers to know how to explain CPR over the phone. We talk to an operator and a paramedic in Oneida County where the dispatch center has already been following that procedure for decades.

And we'll bring you a preview of this weekend's ice golf tournament fundraiser for a local snowmobile club.

We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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OCONOMOWOC - Authorities say more than 70 people were treated at local hospitals after an air quality issue forced the evacuation of Oconomowoc High School and the adjacent Oconomowoc Arts Center.

Western Lakes Fire District Chief Brad Bowen says low carbon monoxide readings were detected on some of the first patients treated, but officials could not immediately find a cause or source.

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RHINELANDER - Golfers can't wait to get back on the course after our long, tiring winter.  We'll need to melt a lot more snow to make that happen, but on a Rhinelander-area lake this weekend, ice will be needed for golfing.

Fisher's Resort on Lake George will host the 13th-annual Ice Golf tournament Saturday.  Golfers shoot real golf balls on nine holes on the frozen lake.  The four-person scramble format costs $40 per team.

The event is one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for the Hodag Sno-Trails snowmobile club.

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HARSHAW - Rhinelander charter school students mixed in math with science, social studies, and reading projects on Thursday.

Northwoods Community Elementary School hosted parents to show off their work. Some classes did the math to plot out a vegetable garden. Others did research on Wisconsin counties and planned a weeklong trip there.

"I added decimals to count up all my rates for my bills, all the admissions to state parks, and renting," explained Oceana Patulski, who did a project on Door County.

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MADISON - The Wisconsin State Patrol says it saw more drugged drivers on the roads and had a significant increase in drug arrests from 2016 to 2017.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that the State Patrol saw a 20 percent increase in drug arrests during that time period, with fewer than 2,900 arrests in 2016 to more than 3,400 last year. A drug arrest involves the possession of illegal narcotics or paraphernalia.

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RHINELANDER - Just like many small community courthouses, Oneida County doesn't have any way of keeping guns out of the building.

In response, on Tuesday, the Oneida County Board approved a mandatory active shooter training session for all employees.

"You have to keep your eyes open," said Oneida County Human Resource Director Lisa Charbarneau.

Charbarneau has learned not everyone who walks into the Oneida County Courthouse has good intentions.

"We do deal with not so pleasant things, whether that be social services, removing children from homes, we have inmates in and out for issues in the court," said Charbarneau.

The courthouse has an open door policy with multiple entrances open to the public.

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Lincoln Hills bill passesSubmitted: 03/22/2018

MADISON - The state Assembly has put the final stamp of approval on a plan to close Wisconsin's troubled youth prison.

The chamber passed an $80 million juvenile justice overhaul plan unanimously Thursday that calls for closing the prison outside Irma by 2021 and replacing it with smaller regional facilities. The measure now goes to Gov. Scott Walker.

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