PRESQUE ISLE - If you judge this book by its cover, you can guess that it's a mystery thriller set in the Northwoods.
Presque Isle's Kevin McCullough is a DNR forester by day.
But he's a fiction author by night.
"For Sauter, the whole eerie scene was more than he could bear. He wanted to go and comfort the child, but his temples were rocked by a mad pounding. Once again, he felt his eyes squeezing shut and his fists squeezing into balls," McCullough reads, a passage from his book.
That sets the tone for McCullough, writing under the pen name K.R. Mack.
"Treehouse" is the first book he's published.
"It's set in a fictional town in northern Wisconsin, so people recognize some of the backgrounds and some of the characters even though they're fictional," McCullough says.
The book follows a Northwoods detective's investigation of a string of children found hanged under a treehouse.
We won't give away the end, but will tell you it turns into a fast-paced mystery thriller.
Besides just the writing, McCullough had to teach himself to be his own publisher.
"It was a long, lengthy process. The challenge is defintely there, because there's nobody else to blame anything on when it goes wrong. It's all on your lap," he says.
"Treehouse" is available in both paperback and as an e-book.
Follow the links below to read the first chapters and buy the book.
MCALLEN, TX - U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan is visiting the Rio Grande valley for a firsthand look at the U.S.-Mexico border as the Trump administration steps up immigration enforcement and prepares to ask Congress to pay for a border wall.
It's the first time the Wisconsin Republican has visited the border, and protests have been announced to meet his arrival in McAllen, Texas, on Wednesday.
ONEIDA COUNTY - If your truck cracks through the ice, your first thought might be, "get off ASAP."
There are workers who head the opposite way--onto the ice to help.
That describes one local team who carefully went to work on the Willow Flowage in Oneida County in Little Rice on Tuesday.
"This ain't no joke out here," said Tom Quandt, Jr., the owner of Bulldog Off-Road Recovery Service. "I do get nervous, and today's a day I'm nervous because of the ice conditions."
That nervous energy is what likely helps Quandt and his crew carefully cross the ice and get sunken vehicles back above water level.
It's not easy. Quandt and his crew set nerves aside, driving in a bombardier about two miles off the shore on Willow Dam Road to get to the truck, which was near an island.
"I was looking at the ice," Quandt says as he describes the drive out to the car. "I was looking for holes in the ice, I was looking for the color of the ice...There was water coming up out of spots as we were driving out here."
The crew tried a few times to get the truck back on safer ice, but the car fell through again. The crew then decided to drill a trench to a nearby island and pull the car out that way.
"We can sit and play that game all day and it's not going to get us anywhere without a lot of time and labor into this," Quandt said.
The team got the car out and onto the island around 1 a.m. Wednesday.
Quandt said the owner of the car may try to tow his truck back to shore later this week.
The DNR is aware of the situation. By state statute, you have 30 days to remove your car from the ice or get a fine.
RHINELANDER - If you did a double take driving down county highways this week, it was for good reason. Oneida County posted its weight limit restriction signs Monday. That's the earliest those signs have gone up in more than 15 years.
Usually weight limits go into effect in mid-March. Counties put them on to protect roads as frost comes out of the ground. Oneida County Highway Commissioner Bruce Stefonek tried to wait as long as possible.
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