EAGLE RIVER - Traffic around the Northwoods might be a little busy this weekend.
But that's making plenty of business owners happy, thanks to a little "white gold."
Up in the Northwoods it does more than add to the beauty of the landscape.
It's bringing in business that is much needed.
After a winter with weather ups and downs, the snow is finally here.
"It's a blessing from the sky," said Matt Rankin, owner of Eagle River Inn and Resort.
That blessing couldn't be timed better.
Eagle River is hosting thousands at the USA Hockey "Pond Hockey Championship"
"The energy level at the pond hockey is, I've never been to anything that's higher. It is amazing," said Conrad Heeg from the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce.
Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Nordic Ski League State Championships returns to Rhinelander.
And all this white stuff is bringing in the green.
"It's just been phenomenal, it packs the lodging. Of course people need to go out to eat and buy gas and hopefully do some shopping while they're here, so it trickles down to our whole economy," said Heeg.
Over at the Eagle River Inn and Resort- all rooms are full.
"Business has been great, thanks to the pond hockey and snow, it's excellent and snowmobilers, with everybody," said Rankin.
The Rhinelander Café and Pub is already gearing up for skier traffic this weekend.
"That's a lot of families coming into the area, and my whole goal is to make sure they have a good time here in Rhinelander, and they want to come back maybe in the summer time because they've enjoyed the community," said Rhinelander Café and Pub owner Mark Gutteter.
In the meantime, the economy is enjoying its new company.
The Pond Hockey Championship and Nordic Ski State Championships continue throughout the rest of the weekend.
Pond Hockey will bring 2 thousand players from about 30 different states to Eagle River.
The Nordic Ski Championships will host almost 400 skiers and their families.
RHINELANDER - The new Oneida County Fair Coordinator wants to see the fair grow and get the community fully involved.
It's Tom Barnett's first year as fair coordinator and Saturday at Pat's Tavern in Rhinelander he hosted a fundraiser.
He said he didn't have a financial goal for Saturday's event, but says every dollar is more than they had before and makes a difference.
"We really want to bring the community into the fair. We want them to be involved a lot more. With the support from the community the sponsorship, it's only going to help the fair grow bigger and better. We need that sponsorship we need the support from the community to make the fair grown and make it more successful than it has been," said Barnett.
Pixy the Clown and Ms America were two of the many guests at the event. There was also food, drinks and raffles.
MADISON (AP) - Madison is ending its compost collection program because residents were putting too many non-compostable items in their carts and the city can't afford its own biodigester.
Bryan Johnson is the city's recycling coordinator. He tells The Wisconsin State Journal that ending the program will give officials time to study other options for collecting food scraps and other compostable materials.
The program currently has about 1,100 households and 40 businesses involved.
Johnson says separating non-compostable materials is a labor-intensive and slow process that requires additional water. The digester's operator, GL Dairy Biogas, charges a $200-per-ton fee to separate debris from compostable material.
Mayor Paul Soglin says he hopes the city can find ways to work with larger producers before integrating the process into the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District.
The Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce will need to find a new executive director. Maggie Steffen has resigned from her position for personal reasons. In a Facebook post, Steffen thanked the people who helped her during her year and a half as director.
She also said the Chamber made many great strides during her time. When the Chamber hires a new director, he or she will be the sixth director since 2011.
MINOCQUA - In just a couple months, the democratic primary will decide which party candidate will run against Governor Scott Walker.
On Saturday, five of those candidates spent time in Minocqua answering citizen's questions at a candidate forum.
Mike, McCabe, Tony Evers, Matt Flynn, Kathleen Vinehout, and Dana Wachs were all in attendance. The forum had candidates answer audience questions on education, healthcare, the environment, and economy issues.
Organizer Jackie Cody said the event was a way to get people informed on each candidate before the democratic primary.
"At this particular point we need to have democrats, and independents, and those who are questioning what's going on with answers before the magic date of August 14th, and this provides people with information," said Cody.
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