STEVENS POINT - Boys swimming dove into the postseason Saturday.
The Hodags were an overwhelming favorite to win sectionals and that's exactly what happened.
Rhinelander won seven of 12 events.
The Hodags qualified for state in two relays and in five individual events.
Senior Nolan Francis easily took the gold in the 100-yard butterfly and back stroke..
He says the team's success comes from their strong connection.
"We are all best friends now, every single one of us," Francis said. "There is no weak link, there is no outsider on this team. We are a team, all 10 of us, even with the coaches, we are all good friends. The energy is fantastic and that's what it's all about."
Rhinelander scored 377 points at the meet, leaving second place Lakeland more than 100 points behind. , Head coach Jenny Heck says her team couldn't be more deserving.
"These are ten guys who aren't only great swimmers and athletes but great people and they work really hard," Heck said. "They have a strong work ethic, they don't get in trouble, they help each other in school, in the weight room, in the pool and it's not always when you get a team like that."
Lakeland made quite the splash too.
The sectional runner-ups won four events and will be represented in eight at the state meet in Madison next weekend.
SEYMOUR, IND. - A chain-reaction crash in southern Indiana killed a Minocqua couple on Wednesday morning.
Glenn Cardelli and his wife, Kathryn, both 57 years old, were traveling in south an RV near Seymour, Ind., on Interstate 65. The RV was behind a semi and an SUV, both of which slowed due to highway maintenance.
Another semi failed to slow down behind the stalled traffic and crashed into the Cardellis' RV. The crash killed the couple and John Mumma, 67, an Illinois man driving the SUV.
The vehicles caught fire. Interstate 65 was closed for about eleven hours for cleanup and crash investigation.
RHINELANDER - A former contracted janitor accused of sexually assaulting a Rhinelander student appears headed for a trial.
Stavros Iliopoulos appeared in Oneida County Court on Friday afternoon. Attorneys told Judge Michael Bloom they had not reached a plea deal. Bloom decided to schedule one final pre-trial conference for late August before a two-day jury trial was set for Sept. 4 and 5.
In late November, police said Iliopoulos, 65, took a girl into a dark closet and hugged, kissed, and touched her inappropriately at Northwoods Community Elementary School, a public charter school in Harshaw.
Iliopoulos worked for a contracted company, Victory Janitorial, at the time.
WOODRUFF - Shoveling snow can hurt your back. But some may not know that staring at all that snow can hurt your eyes.
The term albedo tells us the amount of light that's either absorbed into the ground or reflected back up. On days like Friday, the snow pack will really make it look brighter out and boost the albedo amount. That's hard on the eyes.
Dr. Kirby Redman is an Optometrist in Woodruff. He says there are simple ways to protect your eyes from the sun's damaging rays.
All sorts of animals are affected by icy conditions. Some Northern Wisconsin owls dive INTO the snow to hunt small rodents. But recent freezing rain has formed an ice crust that owls can't break through. That means owls are beginning to starve.
Amanda Schirmer has been working at the Northwoods Wilderness Center for the past four years. She says that owls may hang around birdfeeders to prey on smaller birds. They may also be seen near roads.
LINCOLN CO. - The Lincoln Co. Sheriff's Office is calling a death east of Merrill on Thursday a homicide.
In a press release on Friday morning, the sheriff's office said a 77-year-old woman was found shot and killed around 8:30 a.m. on Thursday. In the same home, a 78-year-old man was found critically injured from a gunshot wound.
It happened at a home on Range Line Road in the Town of Pine River.
The sheriff's office said it believes the shooting is isolated and the public is not in danger.
The Lincoln Co. Sheriff's Office and Wisconsin Department of Justice Crime Lab worked to process the scene.
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