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NEWS STORIES

A Bite of the North: Birchwood LodgeSubmitted: 11/15/2012
Story By Lex Gray & Ryan Michaels

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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."

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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.

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Looking for a brand new restaurant to try?Submitted: 08/20/2014

RHINELANDER - Do you find yourself looking for new places to eat out?
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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.

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Some elementary and middle school students will also get to use them in the classroom.

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DNR and Nokomis ATV Club seeks input from public Submitted: 08/19/2014

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"We have to do some paving and stuff, but outside of that they said it could be allowed," said Nokomis ATV Club Secretary Jim Cleary.

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Cranberry harvest numbers may slide compared to last several years Submitted: 08/19/2014

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