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NEWS STORIES

2012 Record Year for Tourism in Eagle RiverSubmitted: 04/23/2013
Story By Kailey Burton


Photos By Kailey Burton

EAGLE RIVER - The City of Eagle River saw more revenue from tourists in 2012 than ever before.

According to the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce, businesses can thank a number of year-round special events for the increase in customers.

"We strategically do events throughout the complete season... In other words there's events in the winter, spring, summer and fall, and just different things to bring different people to the area. We continue to try to make them grow, and continue to look for new ways and new things to do to bring people to the area," said Conrad Heeg, Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce Director.

Some of those events include the US Pond Hockey Tournament, Klondike days, Cranberryfest, The World Championship Snowmobile Derby, and Journey's marathon.

The chamber also draws people in by advertising Eagle River and its events as far away as Chicago, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis.

"People come from those distances to come here to do things, well they're automatically going to stay overnight. And if they stay overnight they're spending money on lodging, to buy gas to go shopping to go to dinner," said Heeg.

Chamber Director Heeg, also credits their database of more than 400 volunteers for making the many large-scale events possible.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

KENOSHA - Police say 11 people were hurt but none seriously when a bus crashed on Interstate 94 in southeastern Wisconsin.

The Kenosha County sheriff's office says the coach-style commercial bus was returning from Milwaukee to the Chicago area when the driver suffered an apparent medical condition and collapsed about 11:30 p.m. Saturday.

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MADISON - Lawmakers are set to reignite conversations this week about whether vaping, using electronic cigarettes and other vapor smoking devices, should be included in Wisconsin's smoking ban.

The ban took effect in 2010. It outlaws smoking in all public indoor locations, including restaurants and bars. But the ban does not currently apply to vaping, giving venue owners the right to decide whether or not to permit e-cigarettes.

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MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee police say a 7-year-old boy has drowned while attending a birthday party at a hotel.

Police say the party was at the Comfort Suites Park Place hotel in northwest Milwaukee.

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CALEDONIA - An elderly couple is dead after being struck by a sport utility vehicle as they left a church in southeastern Wisconsin.

Police say Oscar and Vernetta Lang, both 83 and from Caledonia, died after being struck about 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

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MINOCQUA - A large crowd had the chance to try a wide variety of tasty chilli Saturday.

The Minocqua Brewing Company hosted their fourth annual Chilly Chili Challenge. People had the chance to try 10 different chili's.

Minocqua Brewing Company Manager Doug Etten says the warm weather might have played a roll in how many people came out Saturday.

"It's so nice out this weekend that we've got a lot of people in the area, but they'll be out doing some stuff," said Etten. "We understand that and they should be because that's why they come to the Northwoods."

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WAKEFIELD - Close to 3,000 people in Gogebic County experienced a widespread power outage Friday.

The Gogebic County Sheriff's Office aren't sure how it happened, but power is being restored.

They say the outage affected much of the county, but it was narrowed down to the city of Wakefield. About 50 percent of the city was without power.

Deputies say the city of Wakefield maintains its own power grid. They say Wakefield Electric Department and Xcel Energy worked all day Saturday to restore power.

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MILWAUKEE - A driver who entered Interstate 94 the wrong way is dead and five others are injured after a six-vehicle crash in Milwaukee County.

According to the county sheriff's department, 32-year-old Marcos Cortez, of Wauwatosa, entered the freeway at about 8 p.m. Friday travelling westbound in the eastbound lanes without headlights on when he crashed into another car.

Cortez died on the scene. The three people in the car he struck were not seriously injured.

Four other vehicles were involved in secondary crashes, with two people taken to hospitals for minor injuries.

The eastbound freeway was shut down for nearly 5 hours while deputies investigated.

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