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.
MERRILL - People know Helene's Hilltop Orchard in Merrill as the place to go to get your fall season fix.
The pie makers and apple peelers come in early to crank out caramel apple pies fresh throughout the day.
When people come to Helene's, they are usually greeted by the smell of the pies before they even see them.
"I love being out in the parking lot when people step out of their cars and smell the air. It doesn't smell like a lot of other farms. It's distinctly the cinnamon sugar you smell," said Helene' Hilltop Orchard baker Olivia Telschow.
Helene's is only open for six weeks from mid-September to late October; however, Telschow works alongside her mother Helene throughout the entire year.
Even in the winter, the apple orchard is checked on.
"February is pruning season. Think of me when it's minus ten and it's snowing and windy and snow drifts because I will be out there," said Telschow.
The orchard is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through October 30th.
Helene's will close Sunday for the season, but pies will be available to order for Thanksgiving.
MADISON - A University of Wisconsin student charged with sexually assaulting and choking a woman is expected to face additional charges after investigators say they were contacted by dozens of other women.
Police say officers searching Alec Cook's Madison apartment found a black book with names of women he had met and what he wanted to do with them, including his sexual desires.
CRANDON - Kids learn math and English in school, but this evening, the Crandon school district taught their students how to stay drug free. All year long, the school has been promoting values such as respect and forgiveness and tonight was no different.
The Red Ribbon Walk started at the courthouse and then went to Crandon High School. Along the way, walkers saw signs with facts about living a drug free life. No matter how young the students were, they still heard the message loud and clear.
"It's really good for the youth because they can see not to do drugs. To have this event, it should be about a fun experience and it's really good for kids," said 5th grader Bryce Marshall.
Even with the cold temps and rainy weather, there was still a great turnout. After the walk, there was a presentation by motivational speaker Mike McGowan to really push the message of staying drug free.
"I think it's important that we bring forward all the reasons why drugs are bad for kids. They know drugs are bad but how does it affect their lives?" said Crandon parent and teacher Agnes Keller.
The Red Ribbon walk was just one of many events that the school will have over the year to show students how to live out good, positive values.
PRICE COUNTY - One of the men who led police from several counties on an hours-long manhunt near Park Falls in June will soon return home to Florida.
Daniel Schoonover, 23, appeared in Price County Court on Wednesday. He pled no contest to all three charges of escaping a criminal arrest, resisting an officer, and possessing LSD.
Schoonover received a sentence of deferred judgment for the escaping charge and a total for 150 days in jail for the other two charges. He also has six months to pay back more than $900 in court fees.
Back in June, Schoonover and two other men were driving to a music festival in Highbridge when they were pulled over. Police found LSD in the car and tried to arrest Schoonover and the other man, but they took off into the woods. Police from Price, Rusk, Taylor, and Saywer counties as well as the DNR and the U.S. Forest Service all helped in the search. Schoonover was eventually spotted on a county road around 8 o'clock that evening.
He's been in the Price County Jail ever since. That's 144 days, and he will get credit for the time served.
According to the criminal complaint, Schoonover said he ran away because he was afraid of getting arrested in another state. Schoonover said he didn't know about the drugs in the car, and that he only drove with the other men because he knew they were headed to the music festival and needed a ride. Before jail, he worked as a cook in Florida.
His attorney said Schoonover does not have a criminal record anywhere else.
The other two men involved, Adrian Rodriguez and Kevin Sweeney, will return to Price County Court in November and December, respectively.
THREE LAKES - Baseball fans in Three Lakes watched the Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago Cubs in the first game of the World Series on Tuesday night.
A few of those fans might live on Cy Williams Road, or down the street from Cy Williams Park. As they watched, they may have drawn the connection between that Northwoods man, Cy Williams, and the game they were watching on the field.
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Rockfleet Broadcasting / Northland Television, Inc. and By Request Web Designs shall not be held responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, or misprints.