EAGLE RIVER - The population of Eagle River is just shy of 1400. But last weekend, over 2400 pond hockey players, and fans were in town. The annual Pond Hockey National Championships were a Big hit on a little lake.
The first year of the Pond Hockey Championships featured 42 teams - that was 8 years ago. This year it was 346 teams, 18 divisions, playing 612 games.
Add to that 28 rinks, and 3 days of action. The result - another successful weekend for everyone involved.
"I'm here playing with my nephew and also seeing former high school opponents," says Tom Kuklinski - a member "We're with Mugsy" out of Eagle River.
Scott Aldrich is the Manager of adult hockey for USA Hockey. "To see hockey played in its purest form, its great to see," adds Aldrich.
With temps at times reaching near 30s a few weak spots formed on the ice. But extra work by the Eagle River Fire Department helped keep ice conditions safe and ready for play.
"Every night we have to flood the rinks to fill in the cracks caused by playing games," says Pat Weber - Cheif of the Eagle River Fire Department. He also had a team called "Frozen Seven" which has played every year since the tourney began.
Players from 27 States as well as Canada played on Dollar Lake. It was a chance to relive childhood memories.
Visting fans and Northwoods folks all gathered to see how this special weekend has grown.
The Chamber of Commerece estimates lodging for the players brought in over $1-million dollars into the Eagle River economy.
EAGLE RIVER - When school starts up again in the fall, buses usually fill with kids.
But Parsons of Eagle River car dealership is filling buses with school supplies for their second annual Fill the Bus fundraiser.
The car dealership began collecting school supplies last week for their month long fundraiser to benefit kids in the Northland Pines and Phelps school districts.
"Last year our new car manager, Brandee, and some others sat down and came up with this idea to help the local schools. It was such a success last year we decided to try it again this year," said Parsons Eagle River co-owner Jenny Gretzinger.
RIVER FALLS - A Wisconsin company is offering to microchip its employees, enabling them to open doors, log onto their computers and purchase break room snacks with a simple swipe of the hand.
Three Square Market, also known as 32M, says it expects about 50 employees to take advantage of the technology. The chips are the size of a grain of rice and will be implanted underneath the skin between the thumb and forefinger.
VILAS COUNTY - When Dee Burlingame walks into the Sayner Cemetery, she walks to the very back of it, near the wooded area.
"When we bought that plot we did so laughing and saying that the deer would come and run across us," said Burlingame.
Dee and her husband of more than 34 years, John Burlingame, have called Sayner their home for many years, even though they met in Cleveland, Ohio. But about a year ago, Dee's life took an unexpected turn.
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