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.
WAUSAU AREA - Organizations in the greater Wausau area set up funds remembering and honoring the victims of Wednesday's shootings.
A Marathon Savings Bank fund will support the families of the two bank employees shot. Dianne Look had worked at Marathon Savings Bank for almost 19 years, and Karen Barclay had been there for more than six years.
MARATHON COUNTY - The suspect in a Wisconsin shooting spree that left four people dead has been identified, and court records show one of the victims was his wife's divorce lawyer.
A person close to the investigation identified the suspect Friday as 45-year old Nengmy Vang. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the person wasn't authorized to speak ahead of authorities officially identifying Vang.
ST. GERMAIN - A school bus doesn't feature a lot of amenities. Seats, windows, and that's about it. But a company out of St. Germain thinks buses, and other big vehicles, make the perfect kitchens.
Caged Crow Fabrication is owned by Josh Romaker. HeÂ moved to the Northwoods about three years ago. Around the same time a woman in Madison approached him to help refurbish an old camper. He decided to make it into a food truck instead.
"We took on the challenge and that first build was featured on US Today and some magazines and our phone just started ringing. We've got them in Denver, Salt Lake City, New Jersey," said Romaker.
That was just the beginning for Romaker's company, Caged Crow Fabrication in St. Germain. They now specialize in food trucks of all kinds.
"If a customer wants a food truck that looks like a barn or a steam train or a school bus conversion, we really stick to the unique food truck builds," said Romaker.
The 1982 bus that Caged Crow Fabrication is working on now will be complete in a little over a month. The team made up of just a few workers has one rule- they never build the same thing twice. And they take their time.
"We have a sign on the wall here that says 'quality over quantity'. I think our reputation right now is really based on the attention to detail and I think we want to keep that up," said Romaker.
If you're interested in checking out more work from Caged Crow Fabrication, follow the link below.
WASHINGTON - UPDATE: 3-24-17, 4:00pm: Ryan bemoans collapse of health care bill:
Speaker Paul Ryan says the collapse of the House Republican health care bill means former President Barack Obama's health care law will be around for the foreseeable future.
The Wisconsin Republican addressed reporters minutes after GOP leaders abruptly shelved the legislation, averted likely defeat for the bill. But it still dealt a damaging setback to President Donald Trump, Ryan and an entire party that has long said it wants to annul Obama's statute.
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