RHINELANDER - You've probably heard the saying "music is food for the soul." At the Birchwood Lodge in Rhinelander, live music and open mic sessions will fill up your soul. And there's also plenty on the menu to fill your stomach.
James and Billy Heath grew up in Chicago. They went to summer camp in the Northwoods….and decided to come back for good.
"We love this area," James said. "We're all outdoorsy people too, we like snowmobiling and playing in the snow and it just fits."
"We moved up here, and I met the love of my life after we got here, and then James and Mary Elise came up here and it's just been a blast," Billy said.
The brothers now call Birchwood Bar their home, along with their girlfriends Mickey Buell and Mary Elise Cher.
"James and I definitely do the majority of the cooking, and the girls do the majority of the bartending," Billy said. "That's sort of how it breaks down by… by choice and well, they're just better-looking than us."
The brothers mix it up in the kitchen.
"We live here and work here, so we eat here," James said. "We've gotta get creative and come up with new stuff. We make sure everything is good."
Good food, good drinks and a good place to hang out.
"We just tried to create an atmosphere up here that welcomes everybody," Billy said.
"It speaks to our pace of life," James said. "We're all very low-key and lovers of life and music (004-5)
"We try and make everybody feel at home, whether they're from town or out of town," Billy said.
No matter where they're from, people seem to stay awhile once the music starts.
"Besides running the bar, that's the passion," Billy said. "We just love to play and sing."
"We're musicians with a bad bar habit," James said. "We learned how to play with family and sitting around campfires."
Campfires, symphony orchestras….and now, Friday nights at the Birchwood.
"When it's the four of them together, it's such great energy," Mary Elise said.
"The later the evening gets, the more we're practicing," James said. "The smaller the crowd, the more adventurous we get."
They also get adventurous with local bands and monthly open mic sessions.
"There are some really talented people out there," Mary Elise said. "There's definitely an audience for it. Tons of people come out and it's just a lot of fun."
Wisconsin water supplies deal with two contaminants during 2013
WISCONSIN - Wisconsin keeps high standards for clean drinking water. On a yearly basis, they do a good job at meeting that standard, but during 2013, more water supplies were found with one of two contaminants.
One contaminant, nitrate was found in more than double the amount of water supplies during the year compared to 2012. The 56 public water supplies found with high nitrate levels is a small number out of the thousands of water supplies in the state, but it can still be a big problem.
RHINELANDER - Do you find yourself looking for new places to eat out? Well, Tula's Cafe recently added a brand new location in the Northwoods. We found out what makes them unique, in our latest helping of 'Morning Meals with Marisa.'
Tula's recently reopened in Rhinelander. This is their second location and the manager told us so far, so good.
Tula's manager Lana Knack explains, "They said it's great to have a new restaurant choice to go to up in the Northwoods. Tula's is very successful in Minocqua, so we model everything that they do and it's worked very well."
They have an extensive menu with items like pigs in a blanket, cinnamon rolls and much more.
"We've got a lot of really unique breakfast items. Especially featuring the Trigs Smokehouse. Our kielbasa omelettes have gone very well. We also have a wonderful eggs benedict," adds Knack.
And of course you're going to need something to wash it all down.
Knack says, "We have liquor service to enjoy a cocktail with any of your meals starting as early as 6 a.m. for those people that are shift workers."
The decor fits right in to the Northwoods and makes for a cozy dining experience.
"It's so unique with so many booths that people come in and sit for quite a while. So it's very comfortable for them," explains Knack.
Tula's grand opening runs through Labor Day and they'll have five dollar deals all throughout. If you want to check out Tula's, they open at 6 a.m., seven days a week.
RHINELANDER - Some students in the School District of Rhinelander will get Chromebooks starting this school year.
Freshman and sophomores at Rhinelander High School will get the computers to use at school and at home.
Some elementary and middle school students will also get to use them in the classroom.
Leaders think this will benefit students.
"They're not just learning about how to use the tool," says Instructional Technology Coordinator Heidi Catlin. "Digital literacy, digital citizenship, how to use it appropriately, when is it appropriate to use it, and the different resources that are out there."
MANITOWISH WATERS - Cranberry growers in Wisconsin work hard every year to produce the fruit. But they may not be able to harvest as many berries this season.
Cranberry growers don't expect an overly large crop this year. This comes after several years of great harvests in the state.
The numbers might not be as high, but farmers say they won't be disappointed with this year's cranberry results.
"Overall I think it will be a decent crop," says Bob Winter, owner and manager of Vilas Cranberry Company. "There's been some hail in the southern part of the state and even in western Wisconsin, so that takes its toll, but cumulatively how much that really is remains to be seen. You never know until you get it all in the barn at the end of October."
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