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NEWS STORIES

Northwoods Spotlight: Lumberjack GamesSubmitted: 03/06/2013
Story By Marisa Silvas


EAGLE RIVER - Last weekend in Eagle River, you could hear some very distinctive sounds. The roar of the chainsaw. the crack of the ax. Marisa Silvas heads to the forest to find out why the chips were flying.

The logging industry has a rich history in Northern Wisconsin, and many events that began in these forests were on display last weekend.

Patrick Grove the UW-Stevens Point Timbersports Co-Cordinator says, "It just brings you back to a simpler time."


"We have chopping, so we have very sharp axes and saws. And it's just a great time," adds UWSP junior Allison Johnson.

"We really enjoy Klondike Days. It's in our backyard and it's a wonderful kickoff to the season," says Nancy Zalewski, a World Record Holder.

Axe throwing, sawing, and chopping. Just a few of the skills featured at the 23rd Anniversary of the Great Northern Lumberjack competition in Eagle River.

The event is the only winter contest of its kind in the country. Competitors came from Colorado- even West Virginia. One group didn't have to travel far - the team from UW Stevens Point.

Timber sports are all about timing and accuracy. But it also helps to have top of the line equipment.

The world record for one woman in single buck is 11 seconds. It took Alison and me 43.

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Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





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"Those stories need to go out to the rest of us," Meredith said.

Brush stroke by brush stroke, Meredith went to work this spring, painting the uniforms and faces of Northwoods World War II veterans and bringing their stories back to life.

"They weren't gods and heroes," Meredith said. "They're ordinary people who overcame their fear and the courage and dignity to basically save the world."

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MADISON/TOMAHAWK - It may come as a surprise, but fishermen, hunters, or hikers can't legally cross most railroad tracks in Wisconsin.

That's even if the rail line splits their own property. Walking across tracks is only allowed on the thousands of crossings specifically approved by the state.

Some legislative Republicans think that doesn't make sense. They added a proposal to the state budget on Thursday to allow people to cross tracks on foot. Making a crossing would no longer be considered trespassing, and railroad companies would have no power to prevent it.

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NORTHWOODS - As people start getting ready for the 4th of July, many will camp here in the Northwoods.

The DNR expects almost 3,000 people to camp in the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest this weekend.

The DNR thinks this will be their best 4th of July yet, with almost all of the campgrounds full.
People say there's nothing better than camping in the Northwoods.

"We like to come up to the Northwoods because it's beautiful and the water's crystal clear," said Prairie Farm resident Peter Fetting. "The other campers are always really friendly, and I've been coming up here for 30 years. This is my 30th year coming up here to camp."

People already got a head start heading out to beaches and on the water Friday. Campers say more people should come enjoy the woods this summer.

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NORTHWOODS - Many people travel to the Northwoods for the fourth of July. 

That means there can be a lot of extra traffic.

Wisconsin State Patrol makes sure it's ready for the holiday.

It has more people staffed on busy holiday weekends.

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS - A cracked lime kiln has caused a fire that damaged the Verso paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids.

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MADISON - Wisconsin could force drunk drivers to pay in more money to support SafeRide Home programs in the state.

Earlier this week, we told you the state was planning to kick in less money to support county SafeRide Home programs. The program offers free taxi rides home from bars.

A proposal passed by a Capitol committee on Thursday night could help SafeRide Home.

It would add a $50 surcharge to some OWI offenses. That money would go back into SafeRide Home programs.

The proposal is part of the state budget, which has yet to become law.

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ANTIGO - Low temperatures this time of year can cause problems for some farmers. One Northwoods strawberry farm had to close down for a few hours earlier this week because the berries aren't ripening as fast as normal.

"The cold days this week made the berries ripen much slower than normal," says Andy Merry, owner of Merry's Berries.

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