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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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 IN OTHER NEWS
Northwoods Children's Museum hosts turkeys for educationSubmitted: 11/28/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - People who head to the Northwoods Children's Museum will get a special surprise.

The museum in Eagle River is hosting a couple of live turkeys this month.

Workers say the live animals help children understand exactly where their Thanksgiving meals come from.

The program has been running for about 10 years.

Turkey and Tradition draws a lot of people to Eagle River every November.

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Black Friday Shopping in the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 11/28/2014

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RHINELANDER - Many people woke up early and headed to the store for Black Friday.

It is considered one of the biggest shopping days of the year because it can mark the start of the holiday shopping season.

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Local author writes book after 11 years of researchSubmitted: 11/28/2014

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PRESQUE ISLE - You can learn a lot about your family history after 11 years of research.

Presque Isle's Richard Fields now knows five generations of his family name, and 1200 people related to him.

He started his research in 2003. Fields finished this year.

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Holiday Model Train Show Opens in MinocquaSubmitted: 11/28/2014

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MINOCQUA - If Black Friday and the snow didn't get you into the Christmas spirit just yet, a local train display could help.

The Northwoods Model Railroad Club opened Santa's Village Friday.

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Funeral set for 3 children who died in U.P. crashSubmitted: 11/28/2014

DAGGETT, MI - A funeral has been scheduled for the three children killed in a weather-related crash in the Upper Peninsula.

TV station WBUP-WBKP reports (http://bit.ly/1vpSGy8 ) the funeral for Michael, Maxwell and Joelle McCue is set for Sunday at the Carney Free Church in the Menominee County community of Carney. The children ages 11 to 14 died Monday after their van smashed into a semi-truck on snowy U.S. 41 near Daggett.

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Wisconsin's wolf hunt may soon come to an endSubmitted: 11/28/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin's wolf hunt may soon come to an end.

Hunters are four wolves shy of Wisconsin's statewide kill limit, throwing the prospect of using dogs in this year's hunt into doubt.

State tallies show hunters had taken 146 wolves as of Thursday, just short of the 150 wolf limit.

The 2012 Republican law that created Wisconsin's wolf hunt allows hunters to use dogs to trail wolves beginning the first day after the end of the nine-day gun deer season.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 11/28/2014

- People in the Northwoods didn't let the chillier temperatures stop them from heading out for Black Friday this morning.

- Kids in Eagle River got a special treat at the Northwoods Children's Museum. The museum brought in two live turkeys for their annual Turkey and Traditions event. Every November, two turkeys are brought in to help teach kids about where their Thanksgiving meal comes from. Hear about the importance of the program coming up on Newswatch 12 tonight.

- If you're not in the Christmas spirit yet, a local model train show can help transport you to Santa's Village.

- And homemade pizzas turn into more than sauce and dough at one Eagle River household. We'll meet Gary Anderson tonight on Newswatch 12 and tell you how his pizza making turned into a fundraising tool to help people in the Northwoods.

We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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