Rhinelander Music Students Head South for FestivalSubmitted: 04/03/2013
Rhinelander Music Students Head South for Festival
Story By Hayley Tenpas

RHINELANDER - Some music students from the Northwoods can warm up their vocal cords, and just plain, warm up, in the Lone star State soon.

Today Rhinelander High School's band and choir heads south for their spring break trip.

More than 100 students, teachers and chaperones are going to San Antonio, Texas.

They'll compete in the "San Antonio Choice Music Festival".

"The trip is basically based around the festival that we are participating in on Saturday. It is called the Choice Music Festival. It's an ajudicated competition so both band and chorus will be performing. And we have several, as I mentioned sight seeing activities that we're going to see," said band director Connie Piasecki.

Students were extremely excited to head out this morning.

Band director Connie Piasecki says this trip was a long time coming.

"We've been preparing for the festival for several months. We entered it 2 years ago, and we've been fundraising for this trip so we knew about the festival but selected our music this school year and then have been working on it, as I said, for several months," said Piasecki.

The band and choir will compete on Saturday.

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WAUSAU - When you think of Wisconsin, two things might come to mind - beer and snow. 

The Granite Peak Ski Area in Wausau decided to combine the two and host an annual brew fest. 

Andy Ledesma is the head brewer at Red Eye Brewing Company in Wausau. The Granite Peak Brew Fest is one of the many perks of his job.

"No other beer fest is like this, that's for sure," said Ledesma.

He definitely wasn't alone serving more than 40 beers on Saturday. 

Jeff Geurink works for South Shore Brewery in Ashland. They've been around for 20 years, but they wanted to make this brew fest a part of their line up.

"Get our name out there and make sure people are enjoying our beer and get as much information as possible out about our brewery so then when they go out and get a beer, they remember us," said Geurink.

Something everyone will remember from the brew fest was the set-up.

"Snow bar?! You can't get that in the summer time," said Roland Bruhnke.

He's right. Most beer festivals are in the summer. But when it's still feeling like winter in March, Granite Peak turns lemons into lemonade, or more appropriately, hops into beer.

"I think it definitely helped that when they get to the bottom of the hill, you see a bunch of beer," said beer salesman Jesse Bartnik.

So even though beer and physical activity isn't the best combination, dozens of people were loving it this weekend.

"The winter, the skiing, the beer, it's all one big package all rolled into one," said Bruhnke.

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RHINELANDER - This time of year, winter activies start to wind down and the summer fun hasn't quite started yet.

That's why Fisher's Resort and Bar on Lake George in Rhinelander enjoys having it's annual ice golf tournament each year.

"In year's past, March is always kind of a slower season up here in the Northwoods so we figured we'd create an event and put efforts towards a local organization," said Fisher's Resort and Bar owner, Russ Fisher.

That local organization they raise money for is the Hodag Sno-trails snowmobile club.

This year, the tournament had it's biggest turn out.

30 teams came to play, including first timer Dennis Herrmann who lives right across the lake.

"This has nothing to do with golf, I can tell you that right now. But it's a challenge for all the obvious reasons. But you do it for the charity, you do it for the fun and it gives everybody the chance to get out," said Herrmann.

This year they cut it down from 18 holes to 13 so people could get inside faster to enjoy the chili and the raffle items after their round of golf.

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RHINELANDER - An Oneida County judge set a trial date for a Rhinelander woman charged in the death of her toddler stepson.
Ellen Tran's trial is expected to start with jury selection on October 19.

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RHINELANDER - Kathie Woodford keeps track of each time she donates blood.  Her visit to a Rhinelander blood drive on Friday marked her 26th pint.

"I just recently got my third gallon," Woodford said.

The universal donor (Woodford has O-negative blood) likes to give as often as she can, but Friday's blood drive was one she simply couldn't miss.

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TOMAHAWK - Two best friends turned into business partners about a year ago.

Bill Eastwood and Blake McMahon own Outboards Bar and Grill in Tomahawk.

The duo's combined restaurant and business experience helped them hit the ground running.

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"Friday night is the night that pretty much everyone goes out to eat. So if you don't have a good fish fry, people around here start talking!" say Eastwood.

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"There's never been a night that we haven't arrested somebody whether it's a 'John' or a person seeking the sex act or a female that's coming in to provide that for one of our undercovers," said D'Acquisto, who's starting her third year with the unit. 

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ANTIGO - "It did come as a shock at first, but it's something that you realize it's not the end of the world," said Tracie Quade. 

Quade's 18-month old son, Benny, was diagnosed with Down syndrome when he was born.

"It's actually a really, really awesome thing. People with Down syndrome are wonderful loving people and they are just as capable of doing as much as anybody else," said Quade.

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