WAUSAU - Hundreds of National Riffle Association members came to Wausau for the annual state convention this weekend.
Governor Scott Walker spoke to guests last night, and other state legislators will be at the banquet tonight.
Many of the events planned for the weekend were also open to the general public. People could attend workshops and seminars, and even got a chance to bend the ear of the NRA President.
"I'm traveling around the country to talk to our people, which I always do. This is our state affiliate here in Wisconsin, so I'm here to share my views with them and see what they've got to say," says David Keene, President of the NRA.
The last months have seen a dramatic increase in traffic to gun shows throughout the country.
Organizers say though membership hasn't necessarily picked up, they are seeing more interest in NRA activities.
"Naturally when it comes to the forefront people pay attention to things. They start to realize they can lose what they have. And they start to appreciate the concealed carry the NRA and the state association got for them. Before, everyone has busy lives, everyone has things to do, and so they maybe didn't pay as much attention. Now, yes, people are definitely taking notice," says Jeff Nass, Convention Organizer.
Hear more from David Keene in our in-depth look at Wisconsin's gun culture later this week. You can catch these feature stories, called, "Under the Gun" this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night.
PRICE COUNTY - Vietnam War veterans didn't get the "welcome home" they deserved when coming home from the war. But now, more than 50 years after the conflict, in Price County they are receiving appreciation for their sacrifices.
The Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Trail was officially dedicated on July 17th at the VFW Post 8491 in Prentice. The idea came up at a Price County Commanders call, a meeting made up of all the post commanders and commissioners for Price County, and this monument is anything but 'little'.
GREEN BAY - The only publicly owned team in U.S. professional sports is holding its annual shareholders meeting.
The Green Bay Packers are expecting more than 12,000 shareholders Thursday for the meeting at Lambeau Field. The Packers have about 364,000 owners.
The meeting is held in the open bowl of Lambeau. Shareholders will vote for three nominees to the board of directors, Associated Banc-Corp CEO Philip Flynn, Schreiber Foods CEO Michael Haddad and University of Wisconsin-Madison's Dr. Elizabeth Trowbridge.
MERRILL - Instead of just dreaming of being a firefighter, some children in Merrill actually got to try it out.
The Boys and Girls Club of Wausau went to Northcentral Technical College's Public Safety Center of Excellence in Merrill on Wednesday to explore careers in emergency fields.
"They're going to do one scenario where they're actually going to get put up into fire gear. And they're going to hook up a hose line on a fire truck and they're going to put out a dumpster fire," says Bert Nitzke, the Executive Director of Northcentral Technical College's Public Safety Center of Excellence.
Student's putting out the fire's say it was more difficult than it looked.
"It's kinda hard cause like the hose is pushing back really hard," says Jordyn Schalow, one of the students that took part in the training.
Students also got to experience EMS and police scenarios.
LANGLADE COUNTY - Farmers in Central Wisconsin need to keep a close eye on their potatoes.
Agricultural leaders from UW-Extension received a report of late blight from a farm in Portage County. Late blight is a disease that can kill potato and tomato crops.
The blight was found last week near Stevens Point, and leaders are worried about it spreading into Langlade County. Late blight can spread out several miles though the wind and the water. Agriculture experts in Langlade say there are certain things that you can do to protect your crops.
"Go out and scout them, look at them, we would like you to also spray protectants," says UW-Extension Agriculture Agent Stephanie Plaster. "Home gardeners should be spraying a copper or chlorothalonil-based spray. There are also organic copper sprays available for folks that would like to remain organic."
MILWAUKEE - U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin has introduced legislation aimed at increasing the number of doctors at Veterans Affairs medical centers and reducing wait times.
The Wisconsin Democrat said in a statement Thursday that the bill would create 2,000 residency positions over five years at Veterans Affairs hospitals nationwide. Residency is the next step in doctors' training following medical school.
The bill also would require the VA to allocate the residency positions based on doctor shortages at its facilities and to prioritize training for specialists who are needed.
ONEIDA COUNTY - Leaders in Oneida County want to know what you think of boathouses and piers on lakes in the county. The online survey they've put together could give them better information on the issues.
Planning and zoning workers say the two topics have been debated for years. Oneida County Planning & Zoning's Karl Jennrich says the county started allowing boathouses and regulating piers in 2000 when it rewrote its comprehensive plan.
The board looked at both topics a year ago, but didn't take any action to change current rules.
NORTHWOODS - A warming climate could challenge many of the plants and animals that live in the Northwoods.
People in Boulder Junction learned about some of those risks at the Community Center Thursday night.
The speaker says even though we've had harsh winters these past two years, the lack of ice in the long term could impact fish, evaporation rate and skiing.
"Winter's kind of the limiting factor of the Northwoods. So when you reduce winter, those species that are adapted to being here in this kind of winter, they're going to move further north and actually follow where the winter is because, it's hard to believe, but a lot of species can't live in warmer temperatures," said Naturalist John Bates.
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