Taste of Tomahawk Brings in the CrowdsSubmitted: 03/17/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

TOMAHAWK - Ever wanted to sample beer without paying for it?

One local town held their own taste testing Saturday afternoon.

"Shopping in the grocery story isn't fun. Going shopping isn't," said Great Lake Food Owner, Storm.

"But if we can make it a little more fun and people can taste something we do and they go 'Hey how do you do that?' and they can do it, that's what it's all about."

That's exactly what Taste of Tomahawk was all about Saturday afternoon.

"You see these products in the store or want to go to their shop, but not quite sure you want to get it," participant Greg Zipp said.

"Here's a little chance just to have a little bit of a lot of things. So you can taste it and what you know that you like, you can go back and get."

"It's a good experience. You get to taste different beers different wines it's very nice," said participant Billy Hill.

"You get to meet a lot of nice people and it's a good way to get tomahawk on the map."

This is the tenth year for the wine and beer tasting.

Not only did they have a record breaking crowd, but organizers added something different this year.

"We have a lot of food tables. We have ten food tables this year which we've never had before," said Tomahawk Chamber Member Service Coordinator, Jan Arends.

"We have a record mark food tables this year. And we are very very happy to have them."

And if you've had one too many beers, you have a safe option to get home.

"The Inshalla Country Club is a part of the Tavern League which offers the Safe Ride Home program. So we always have that available." Arends said.

"They try to keep the four hours minimum so people won't get too intoxicated." said Hill.

Whether or not people visit the venders after this event, one business owner thinks it's just about being a part of the community.

"Tomahawk is a small town that's trying to survive with big towns all around it," Storm said.

"You have to be a part of that community. And if you're not going to dance, no one's going to dance with you."

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WOOD COUNTY - We now know the names of the people involved in a Wood County Crash that killed two people Tuesday afternoon.

The Wood County Sheriff's Department says the cars crashed head-on along Highway 80 in the Town of Dexter around 3:30.

71-year-old Barbara Baldwin of New Lisbon was driving one of the cars, and died in the crash.

Her passenger, 74 year old Louise Hemenway of New Lisbon, also died.

Another passenger in the car, 72-year-old Dona Sharp, was hurt....as was the driver of the second car, 30-year-old Greg Kopelke of Wisconsin Rapids.

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TOMAH - The Tomah VA Medical Center will end a lease agreement for a shelter for homeless veterans.

The Veterans Assistance Foundation has operated the shelter for nearly 20 years.

Tomah VA spokesman Matthew Gowan says there have been more than 30 incidents involving shelter residents recently.

They include a suicide attempt, a drug overdose and criminal violations.

The center has given the foundation notice that it will end the lease in January.

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The Chamber Board of Directors voted to fire executive director Bill Clow October 3rd.  Clow had only started last December.  Eric Britton has been serving as interim director since then.

Past president and current board member Brett Aylesworth says the chamber sent out a job description to all members this week, asking if anyone is interested.

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The pie makers and apple peelers come in early to crank out caramel apple pies fresh throughout the day.

When people come to Helene's, they are usually greeted by the smell of the pies before they even see them.

"I love being out in the parking lot when people step out of their cars and smell the air. It doesn't smell like a lot of other farms. It's distinctly the cinnamon sugar you smell," said Helene' Hilltop Orchard baker Olivia Telschow.

Helene's is only open for six weeks from mid-September to late October; however, Telschow works alongside her mother Helene throughout the entire year.

Even in the winter, the apple orchard is checked on.

"February is pruning season. Think of me when it's minus ten and it's snowing and windy and snow drifts because I will be out there," said Telschow.

The orchard is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through October 30th.

Helene's will close Sunday for the season, but pies will be available to order for Thanksgiving.

Call (715) 536-1207 for more information.

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It happened on County Highway D near its intersection with County Highway H. The driver was the only person in the car. She wasn't injured.

An Oneida County Sheriff's Deputy on scene couldn't yet say why she lost control of the car.

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MERRILL - A former Merrill High School choir teacher will go to jail after a judge found him guilty of sexual assault last month. 

26-year-old Chase Tonar will spend three years on probation and 15 years on a sex offender registry. As a part of that probation, Tonar will serve four months in jail.

Tonar had sex with a student both while he was a teacher at Merrill High School and after he resigned last May.

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EAGLE RIVER - The Northwoods didn't get a lot of bitter cold or snow early last winter.  That forced Vilas County to keep its snowmobile trails closed much later than it hoped.

But the county set its target opening date for this year, with hopes we see a very different winter.

The county set a projected date to open trails of December 12.  That allows deer hunters to get through their season without worrying about snowmobiles in the woods.

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