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 - Looking back on his 28 years as airport director, Joe Brauer says he has a lot to be proud of.
"When we got the disabled passenger lift, the non-motorized one, we were very, very proud of that," said Brauer, who's worked as the airport director for 28 years. He's also been in the airline business for 20 years.
Now, the longtime Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport director will be passing things off to a familiar face.
MADISON - The Wisconsin Senate has unanimously approved an $80 million juvenile justice overhaul plan that would close the troubled Lincoln Hills prison by 2021 and replace it with smaller regional facilities.
The Senate voted without any debate Tuesday to pass the plan, which largely mirrors what the Assembly unanimously approved last month.
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