RHINELANDER - From your grip, to your shoes, to your ball, bowling is all about comfort, which is why Darin Bloomquist knew one school in particular just felt right.
"It felt like home to me," Bloomquist said.
Tuesday, the Rhinelander High School graduate signed on to bowl with Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, IA. Bloomquist signed the paperwork at Hodag Lanes on Stevens Street in front of family and friends.
"I'm going to prosper and grow as a bowler and a learner and I think Mount Mercy is a good option for me to do that," Bloomquist said.
Bloomquist had scholarship offers from Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana and Robert Morris University in Chicago. He was ready to sign with the latter when he decided to look at one more school.
Winning the Wisconsin state bowling title in March put Bloomquist on coach Andy Diercks' radar, thanks to a Facebook video.
"I won't say that I don't reach out a lot online, but if you get five-percent, you're lucky," Diercks said. "Wisconsin does it right. Their high school bowling is a little more challenging than even in Iowa. When you're a state champion in Wisconsin, you really did something special."
Diercks asked Bloomquist to come visit the school and knew he needed him on his team. Nationally, Mount Mercy's men ranked 43rd last year, according to CollegeBowling.com. Diercks expects Bloomquist to boost that number early on in his collegiate career, but the more than $23,000 scholarship offer is largely academic based, showing the school's emphasis on classwork.
"All the things that go along with being part of a team, it means so much more to life than just to bowling itself," Diercks said.
Rhinelander Bowling Club Head Coach Mike Bourcier considers Bloomquist one of the best talents he's had, scoring wins on the lanes and helping attract youngsters to the sport.
"With him winning [the state title], I feel it's opened the door a little bit more for our sport here... The more I can bring in, the better," Bourcier said.
Bloomquist now faces a move more than 300 miles from home, but he's ready to roll into a school that fits just right.
"I have a lot more to learn, there's a lot more I want to learn and I think the bar's just been raised," Bloomquist said.
Bloomquists' scholarship will cover about half of his tuition at the private university. He plans to study business starting this fall.
RHINELANDER - It's easy to slip on ice, skid on roads, or get stuck in the snow.
One thing that also happens is joint pain from common winter activities.
Shoveling heavy snow is one of the biggest problems Rhinelander Chiropractor Dr. Tony Lowenberg sees causing this pain.
He said shoveling is a physical activity that can cause excessive stress on the body; especially for people who don't lift heavy often.
"Lifting and the twisting creates wear and tear on their body. Then [people] feel it as pain and then their muscles get tight because they are not used to lifting stuff," said Dr. Lowenberg. "It's more people that are not used a physical job, shoveling can be [troublesome]."
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander student made it onto her school bus and to class unhurt last Tuesday, but she almost didn't. A recent close call left Bowen Bus Service employees wondering if Rhinelander will be the next to see a student killed while simply trying to get to and from school.
On Hwy 8 last week a student was nearly hit by a truck at her bus stop, leaving the bus driver in disbelief. In a surveillance video from the bus, you can hear the bus driver say "That car like just missed you. That truck just missed her."
TOMAHAWK - After a bitterly cold November, road crews in Tomahawk enjoyed a warm up on Monday. But temperatures shifting above and below freezing this week will create perfect conditions for a lot more work. John Cole is the Director of Public Works for the City of Tomahawk. He says that pothole issues are something that his crew fights all season long.
"It's job security, it's not a good job security, but it is job security for sure because you always have potholes to fill," said Cole. "When you get that expansion and contraction, we get water in those cracks, and when you get the traffic and people driving on them."
In Tomahawk, Cole sends crews out every week to look for potholes and fill them. He also sends out crews whenever they get a call about a bad pothole.
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