EAGLE RIVER - With her hands folded and head bowed, Northland Pines Senior Class President Sam Hytry stood humbled and empowered Wednesday afternoon.
"I'm praying for Antigo and everyone else that's involved," Hytry said.
Hytry shared those prayers during the school day through a smartphone.
"We sent out an email yesterday and we also used social media like Twitter and Facebook to kind of get the word out too," Hytry said.
The word was actually two, combined in a hashtag: "#AntigoStrong."
Last week, D.C. Everest students encouraged districts everywhere to wear maroon and white May 4 in support of Antigo after the prom-night shooting. Former student Jakob Wagner shot two prom-goers before police shot and killed him April 23.
At Pines Wendesday, at lunch or in class, it was easy for student council members to find kids who were showing support.
"Even just dress-up days that are fun for our school we don't have this amount of kids doing it," junior Shelby Foster said. "And for something so on the spot and something that means so much, for this amount of kids to show that they care in this little way, it's a big deal."
That big deal wasn't limited to only Northland Pines. Photos from people across the state filled social media, from Rhinelander to Prentice, Tomahawk and Crandon in the Northwoods to Stevens Point and even the Horicon School District near Beaver Dam. The Antigo fire and police departments showed their pride via social media too.
That message hits home, literally, for Grassl. The librarian graduated from Antigo High in 1999. Wednesday, she wore an Antigo tennis warm-up jacket.
"You might be from a different school, but you're relatable," Grassl said of the Antigo Strong campaign. "You're all taking the same math classes, you're all in the same stresses.... Pines students are just awesome when it comes to supporting other people and stuff. [Seeing so many students dress in maroon] does not come as a surprise to me."
Pines students estimate that about 70 percent of the school's 411 students donned Antigo colors. Sam Hytry knows it's a simple gesture with deep meaning.
"They would do the same for us," Hytry said. "Even though we are all across the state, it's really something we promise each other that we're going to be there."
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.
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.
THREE LAKES - Plenty of Three Lakes High School students didn't know what they want to do for a career as of Friday morning. By Friday afternoon, many still weren't sure, but dozens got an inside look at possible careers.
The school held its annual Career Day on Friday morning. About 25 presenters included police, an FBI agent, college teachers, and graphic designers.
The school first held Career Day in 2009. Organizers hope students realize they have plenty of opportunities close to home.
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.
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