EAGLE RIVER - Volleyball is in Jacqueline Smith's blood.
"It's been my dream to play volleyball because it's been in my family of course because of my mom who started it," said the Northland Pines sophomore.
Her mom and her head coach, Julie Smith, played for the University of Wisconsin. But that's not where the family's link to the sport stopped. Jacqueline's older sisters Maddie and Lexi dominated the Great Northern Conference from 2013-2016. And Jacqueline is picking up where they left off.
"She's always been surrounded by her siblings so I think it's great, I'm so proud of her because she's doing fantastic without them here," said Julie Smith.
Jacqueline Smith racked up 99 kills across four matches last week. That number puts her season total at 225, but she says she's more concerned with other parts of her game.
"I want to be an all-around player instead of just being known as a stronger hitter," said Smith.
And she says that includes her approach off the court.
"Just be a good leader by being humble and not trying to be better than everyone else, just keep uplifting everyone else and try to make them better while making yourself better also," said Smith.
That humility is easy to see. When talking about her own success, Smith is quick to deflect credit to the Eagles' setter Hadley Kruse.
"My success is just because of Hadley, our setter," said Smith. "I wouldn't be able to do any of this if I didn't have a setter like Hadley."
That willingness to give credit to others also shows leadership, even as an underclassman.
"I think of her as older than what she is, so I'm wondering why is she doing this or why isn't she doing this and I'm reminded she is only a sophomore," said Julie Smith.
Even as just a sophomore, Smith is already creating her own volleyball legacy, by playing out her passion just like her mom and sisters did.
Smith and the Eagles will play their final game of the regular season Tuesday against Antigo. They are currently 6-5 in the Great Northern Conference.
RHINELANDER - Thursday Rhinelander turned into the city of lights. The Light of the Northwoods kicked off its drive-through light show at Hodag Park today. "We never got to do anything like this when I was a kid," said volunteer Corey Passmore. However, Passmore's son will get the chance to experience a Christmas in a way his father was never able to. "As far as I can think back we've never had anything like this in Rhinelander," said Passmore. Months of preparation, hundreds of hours setting up, and more than a dozen creative minds helped create magic in Rhinelander. "Symbolizes an opportunity for community to come together," said YMCA of the Northwoods CEO Ryan Zietlow.
RHINELANDER - It costs nearly $240,000 to run Rhinelander's homeless shelter every year.
Frederick Place got an extra boost this month to help cover those costs with two grants totaling $8,000.
"With our just shy of $240,000 annual operating budget, we typically only get $40,000 from the state and federal government. So we are raising that $200,000 every single year," said NATH Executive Director Tammy Modic.
RHINELANDER - The initial emergency call -- someone screaming for help on a lake near Rhinelander Thursday afternoon -- sounded bad, but it appears it was a false alarm.
Search and rescue crews called in Newbold's air boat to search Lake Thompson around 1:45 p.m.
Pelican Deputy Fire Chief Norman Peterson said first responders first searched the west bay shoreline on foot. They then used the air boat to sweep the entire lake, but didn't find anyone, any tracks, or any places someone might have gone through the ice.
IRMA - Until Thursday, we never got an inside look at Lincoln Hills School and Youth Prison. We have heard from Lincoln Hills line staff and the Department of Corrections, but never were able to see the facility.
Thursday the DOC held a guided media tour of the school and living units. Newswatch12's Rose McBride has been following the stories that come out of Lincoln Hills for months now, and she went on that media tour.
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