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Boulder Junction Book Club Beats the Winter BlahsSubmitted: 03/17/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


BOULDER JUNCTION - With the holidays long gone, the ice and snow melt around the corner... what's a girl to do during that in-between period in the Northwoods? Some ladies in Boulder Junction know just how to beat those winter blahs.

The Boulder Junction Book Club has been at it for eleven years.

"Once we start talking we can't stop," says Missy Drake, a Boulder Junction Library Volunteer.

The club gathers every January to select ten books for the year. Then once a month they come to the Boulder Junction Library to talk about the book for that month.

"It started originally meeting here. We all really like that because it doesn't put the onus of preparation on anyone," says Drake.

And it helps keep them on topic without the distractions of food and drink many other book clubs have.

Co-founder Missy Drake says input from other people on the topics they read about can be enlightening.

"It draws out so many different ideas not only just from the book but everyone comes to the story with a different background. You learn so much about the people that you're talking to," says Drake.

This group likes a challenge-- you'll find no "Chick Lit" here.

"We don't do those. We do tackle some really good literature, I think," says Drake.

Members say it's the perfect way to spend your time when things might be a little slow at the beginning of the year.
"We're all very active. But there are many days, up here especially, that are indoor days and great reading days," says Drake.

Most importantly you don't have to be a woman, and you don't have to be able to make every meeting if you're a seasonal resident. Meetings usually have anywhere from eight to 16 people.

"Everyone's invited. Everyone is very welcome. We are just an open group and always welcome more people," says Drake.

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ATV rides for seniorsSubmitted: 06/29/2016

ONEIDA COUNTY - The Oneida County Senior Centers gives seniors the chance to try new things.

Wednesday, thanks to the help of two ATV groups, the seniors were able to go on rides through the forest.

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PLUM LAKE - St. Germain ATV riders will need to find a new route that avoids Plum Lake.

That's because the Plum Lake Town Board voted against opening up parts of two roads: Kurtzweil Road and Birch Spring Road. Both are on the border of Sayner and St. Germain and are shared between the two towns.

A few months ago, St. Germain asked Plum Lake to open parts of those roads as part of an ATV route. At first, the Plum Lake Town Board approved them. That was before they found out a section of Kurtzweil Road was completely in Plum Lake.

"At that time the Plum Lake Town Board by a 2 to 1 vote approved letting them use that, assuming at the time the two roads were boundary roads equally shared by Sayner and St. Germain," said Will Maines, the Plum Lake Town Chairman.

So when St. Germain came back to the next town meeting with an ordinance for the roads ready to go, the Plum Lake town board then voted no.

Maines said most of the people in Plum Lake don't want ATVs on their town roads. The board found this out from a survey of residents and taxpayers they sent out in 2015, where he said about two-thirds of non-resident property owners and about two-thirds of Plum Lake resident voters voted against allowing ATVs on town roads.

"We'd like to cooperate with the town of St. Germain, but we represent the people of Plum Lake, and they have given us the message loud and clear: they don't want us to allow them on any section of our roads," Maines said.

The St. Germain Town Chairman Tom Christensen said the decision is "disappointing," but, "it is what it is."

About 6 towns in the eastern part of Vilas County allow ATVs on town roads, but the towns in the western part of the county don't allow them on town roads.

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The Merrill mother brought her kids to the daily free lunch program at the park Wednesday morning. For Barker, the healthy meals make a big difference in her life.

"The generosity, the park, we go to the library, so it's all in a convenient area," Barker said. "And, it's all healthy food."

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RHINELANDER - Celebrating our nation's birthday with family and friends can be a great time. But it's good to keep safety in mind this weekend too.

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BAYFIELD - Authorities in northern Wisconsin say a teenage girl has died in an all-terrain vehicle rollover.

The Bayfield County sheriff's office says the 14-year-old left her home in the Town of Barnes on the ATV Tuesday. She was reported missing around 10 p.m.

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WAUSAU - Police officers in Wausau will now wear body cameras, according to a department release Wednesday.

The department also released video from one of the department's first traffic stops using the body camera on its Facebook page.

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MADISON - A Sun Prairie man accused of decapitating his mother with a sword last year has been committed to a state mental hospital.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed with a psychiatrist's report Wednesday that 41-year-old Matthew Skalitzky was mentally ill at the time of the killing.

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