Northland Pines' Lexi Smith signs with NMUSubmitted: 11/09/2016
Northland Pines' Lexi Smith signs with NMU
Story By Katie Leszcynski

EAGLE RIVER - For high school athletes all around the country, National Signing Day makes reaching their collegiate goals official. On Wednesday, Lexi Smith from Northland Pines signed her papers to officially become a Northern Michigan Wildcat next year.

Even though Smith played multiple sports at Northland Pines, she has decided to play basketball at the D2 school. Smith is very excited to play at the next level and has even met some of her future teammates already.

"I wanted to stay close to home and that's definitely close to home, it's only two and a half hours away which was nice. They offered me a scholarship for basketball and that's the sport I wanted to play for college. I really liked it there and the area is really nice too."

She's even been able to visit the school and meet some of the players.

"I've met the team. I went up for some visits and met everybody. I actually played AAU with one of the girls' sisters. It'll just be fun to play at the higher level with more competition and it'll be a lot of fun," said Smith.

Smith has been on the varsity basketball team all 4 years and her coach had nothing but nice things to say about his athlete.

"The impact that she has brought has yet to be measured. On and off the court, she's a role model. She's respected, she's a leader and above all she's a student and an athlete. She's gracious, humble, and an outstanding person," said Head Coach Larry Bergum.

Her parents were also at the signing day ceremony. For her mom, Julie, she knows NMU is the right fit for Lexi.

"I feel very comfortable because she's happy with the decision. She made this choice and she may have had pressure from friends to go D1 or farther away or a school with tougher competition but she made this choice because it was a good fit for her."

Smith is looking forward to being so close to home, with NMU being only two and a half hours away. We'll bring you more highlights from Northland Pines basketball all season long.

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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.

Toxicology results are pending.

-Information provided by Indiana State Police.

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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.

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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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MERRILL - IT, finance, and administration manager Koleman Brenner works just three days a week at Church Mutual Insurance in Merrill.

On Mondays and Fridays, he's getting paid to stay home with his wife, daughter, and newborn son, William, who was born Jan. 22.

Thanks to a new program, his father has up to 30 days of paid leave to spend with the family, which he and his wife love.

"We were talking last night, and she just said, 'This benefit is so great, I'm so glad that you're going to be able to be home,'" Brenner said.

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MINOCQUA - Most people go big for a 25th anniversary. The Lakeland Figure Skating Club is celebrating its anniversary through it's annual ice show.

The club has roughly 30 members. Volunteer Karla Wotruba says the skaters and coaches have been working to master all the routines.

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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.

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Snowfall hurting people's eyesSubmitted: 02/15/2019

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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.

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