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Northwoods Spotlight: Softball on IceSubmitted: 02/20/2013
Story By Marisa Silvas


ARBOR VITAE - Spring training is going strong in Arizona and Florida, but that's not the only place to swing a bat in February. Marisa Silvas caught up with some folks playing softball on a frozen lake.

"People truly look forward to this," says Nick MacDonald - Charity Softball Organizer.

Softball in the snow. Not your typical winter activity. But one that brought a big group out to Arbor Vitae to give it a try.


MacDonald adds, "You have people out here that play softball once a year and this is the tournament they do it."

" It's the first time I've seen softball played on the ice," adds Logan Murphy - a Lakeland Junior who was an umpire at the event.

Playing on a frozen lake does provide some challenges.

Jesse Anderson, one of the players explains, "It's more difficult on the snow. It's a different set of rules. It's like running in beach sand."

The event isn't just about the love of the game. It's also hitting a home run for charity.

Slo's Pub Owner Sue Slominski says, "The money goes for Cruisin For a Cause, which is a benefit for Angel on my Shoulder. So we try to do these added events to contribute to that."

This was the third year of the tournament, and they raised a record $1650.


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/16/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos responds to harsh criticism from Rhinelander's Robert Kinney, a former member of the Ethics Commission who resigned a month ago saying the board "require(s) too much secrecy and too little transparency."

We'll tell you why it's important to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species even in winter.

We'll introduce you to a Land O' Lakes elementary student who didn't want anything for himself this Christmas but instead wanted help from the community so he could give to his classmates.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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PHILLIPS - The Phillips School District covers 600 square miles. That means a lot of time on the bus for many students, and a lot in fuel costs. This year Phillips is trying something new, hoping that investing a little extra money now pays off down the road.

The Phillips School District bought two new buses for this school year. Both buses run entirely on propane, rather than diesel. 

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MINOCQUA - It takes a lot of guts to quit your day job and follow your passion. But one Minocqua woman has had success with her painting. And now she's sharing it with others.
Benson quit her job as a dental assistant three years ago to follow her passion as an artist.
"When I learned that I could make people happy with things I created…it was more of an encouragement for me to pursue it more," said Benson.
Now, she teaches others about how to step out of their comfort zones.
"Persuade you to take up something new or something you thought you couldn't do is always a good thing," said Benson.

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EAGLE RIVER - It took a couple years to come back, but lots of volunteers made sure Eagle River could get its ice castle back in time for the middle of winter.

The icy tradition took more than one-thousand hours to put together.

The Eagle River Fire Department and other volunteers stacked the 90 pound blocks over the last five days.

Each ice block is nearly uniform, so they fit together like legos. 

"It's a tedious process using those ice scrapers and getting that tight seam," said Fire Chief Michael Anderson.

Even though it took a lot of hours and manpower to get the job done, Anderson says they do it for the Eagle River community.

"I see it as an obligation for our community, to put it together because they like it so much and it brings so many tourists to the area," said Anderson. 

The castle will stay up as long as the weather stays cold. 

You can visit the castle at any time. It is near the railroad depot on Railroad Street in Eagle River.


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RICE LAKE - Police say a man in a small northwestern Wisconsin community was killed after he followed through on his threat to explode a bomb in his apartment building.

Rice Lake police say 12 to 14 residents were evacuated before the explosion and subsequent fire that destroyed the one-story building Sunday night.

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ANTIGO - In a week, the Christmas trees of Antigo will burn in a huge bonfire.

Community volunteers will burn the trees next Monday in the annual city event. This Monday, those trees disappeared from the streets.

City workers rounded up, crushed, and hauled away Christmas trees from the curb all across the city.

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EAGLE RIVER - An Eagle River girl with some special skills hopes you'll go online to support her.

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