RHINELANDER - With only two days until the elections politicians are taking every opportunity to reach out to voters.
The 7th Congressional Race is now the most expensive in the state.
Republican Representative Sean Duffy and Democratic challenger Pat Kreitlow have jointly spent more than $8 million on their campaigns.
In an area where manufacturing companies provide most of the jobs, ensuring small businesses succeed is a top priority for 7th district candidates.
Democratic candidate Pat Kreitlow "Small business owners around here deserve relief in a couple of different ways. One it's small middle class families where those small business are who should see tax relief by extending tax reliefs for 98% of Americans but also there should be tax credits for businesses that hire workers."
With Environmental Protection Agency regulations like Boiler MACT which requires paper mills to reduce pollution emissions--some small businesses struggle to stay successful.
Republican candidate Sean Duffy said, "We've passed over 30 jobs bills that have taken the weight of government off our small businesses like manufacturing and our farmers. It's important we let them focus more on running their businesses and expanding, growing, and hiring people instead of dealing with government, the red tape, rules, and regulations."
In the Northwoods, unemployment teeters close to 8%. Putting people back to work is what Congressman Duffy says is the only way to fix our deficit.
"The most important thing we can do is grow the economy. There's not a correlation with raising tax rates and bringing in more revenue. There's a correlation with the economy and putting more people back to work. When more people are working and making more wages more money comes into the federal government," said Duffy.
"Deficit reduction is only going to come with a balanced approach. You can't tax your way to prosperity. You can't cut your way to prosperity. Mega millionaires need to pay their fair share and make sure they're not paying a lower rate than hard working families around her. But you also have to go after the wasteful spending," said Kreitlow.
Growing up Kreitlow says his family struggled. He waited in line with his mother for food stamps. And was the first in his family to attend college. He says his story shows he's more in touch with hard working Americans.
Kreitlow said "My story is much more like there's. My work ethic is like theirs. We're very practical folks around here."
As a father of six and someone who grew up logging in Wisconsin, Duffy says he's more in touch with voters than his opponent.
Duffy said, "I've been open and accessible making sure I'm listening to voters whether it's my town hall at least once every year per county I've done more than that with coffees with your congressman."
Kreitlow and Duffy will continue traveling around the state reaching out to voters. Both candidates say they're confident going into Tuesday's race. »
LAKE TOMAHAWK - All around you witness goodwill gestures. It could be as simple as a smile and wave or opening a door for someone. In Lake Tomahawk, it's making a pie.
"I made a pretzel crust with butter and sugar, " explains Sheila Punches. Sharon Hilgendorf adds, "Flour, for the thickening."
Snowshoe baseball's been entertaining crowds since the 1960's. But over at the concession stand, the pie takes center stage.
Strawberry rhubarb, banana butterscotch pie, blueberry pie, rocky road and coconut cream are just a few of the creations. "I like making ones that I think will appeal to the crowd," says Linda Penno.
Each week a different service club's in charge of the snack shack and in turn, takes home the proceeds. Locals bakers, a lot of local bakers make their best pies and donate them to support the cause.
"You get involved with it over the years and it just becomes your way of life on Mondays," says Punches.
On an average night they sell 80 pies. Each one is cut into six pieces and are only two dollars a slice. That means making almost a thousand dollars is easy as pie.
Ken Lochte of Rhinelander exclaims, "This is the only place you get your dessert first, before you get your food." "It's a great honor and pleasure and I've been doing it for quite a few years now," adds Rebecca Morien.
No matter how you slice it, everyone benefits from this unique fundraiser.
"It is unique and different which makes Lake Tomahawk special," says Morien. "It's a very good fundraiser for the community who in turn give it all back. So, it's kind of a domino effect you know," adds Hilgendorf.
If you think this is a lot of pies, the team is requesting the bakers provide double this Friday. They're hoping to have more than 200 pies for the Snowhawks game against the Wounded Warriors.
MERRILL - Members of a Northwoods union chapter gathered unique inspiration for a fundraiser - The Beatles.
Merrill-area Local 6 members gathered Wednesday on the Wisconsin flowage to raise money for groups in need of assistance. The union leaders organized boat rides, raffles, barbecues, and contests. The inspiration for the fundraiser came, in part, from the 1965 Beatles single Help!
"I found out it was the anniversary of the 'Help!' release from The Beatles record, and I decided, let's help our community," said Local 6 Vice President Valerie Nelson. "Our membership is very passionate about certain organizations within our community. One being the Lincoln County Humane Society, the local food pantry, and the American Cancer Society."
EAGLE RIVER - A new type of foundation could give you a better way to build a home, and the idea for the improvement starts right here in the Northwoods.
Composite Panel Systems in Eagle River builds composite panels for home foundations. Composite means anything made of two or more materials, which includes fiberglass in this case. The company describes the EPITOME Quality Foundation Wall as a revolutionary composite building solution for residential foundations.
The company makes them off site, and then they put them together on location. Composite Panel Systems' Scott Weber says that means a shorter build time compared to concrete foundations.
MILWAUKEE - Authorities are looking for a fourth suspect in a shooting on an interstate in Milwaukee County.
Sheriff David Clarke says people in a minivan and another vehicle were shooting at each other in a ``running gun battle'' on Interstate 43 Tuesday afternoon. One vehicle struck the other and the minivan spun into the ditch near Fox Point. Three people in the van were arrested. Authorities say a fourth person left the scene.
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