CONOVER - Frozen lakes might make Saturday a fishing opener by name only, with most water inaccessable.
That's discouraging for Northwoods anglers, but could be even worse for those who rely on southern visitors.
People around Eagle River know him simply as Yukon Jack.
The fishing guide has been around the area for a long time.
But he can't remember too many times when lakes have had solid ice into May.
That could bite into the business of Yukon and other guides.
"Well, I had a couple of calls for opening day, and I said, bring your ice fishing gear, because we aren't going to get a boat in, and they put it off for two weeks," he says.
Yukon says the second week in May is when fishing starts getting popular for his customers.
But even that's no sure thing.
"I talked to one of the guides, and he's got a customer that booked him for five days starting on Monday after the opener, and he's a little bit frustrated, because he's not sure he's going to be able to get his boat in the water," he says.
Even with the late thaw, Yukon doesn't think the fishing patterns will be impacted much once the ice melts.
MADISON - The Wisconsin Elections Commission has agreed to lift overseas ballot restrictions to avoid a legal battle.
The U.S. Department of Justice warned earlier this month that it's preparing to sue because Wisconsin law doesn't let temporary overseas voters to obtain ballots electronically or to submit downloadable back-up ballots in case they don't have time to return an official ballot.
Federal law allows all overseas voters to obtain ballots electronically and submit back-up ballots. Assembly Republicans passed a bill that would have aligned Wisconsin's statutes with the federal law but the measure died in April after Senate Republicans added language limiting special legislative elections.
MADISON - Wisconsin Elections Commission staff plan to hire a half-dozen new employees and upgrade software to bolster election security.
The commission received a $7 million federal grant in March to upgrade security after Russian actors tried to access a state Department of Workforce Development system before the 2016 election.
Staff told the commission Thursday that the Department of Administration has approved hiring six new four-year security positions, including an information technology project manager, an elections security trainer and a voting systems specialist.
MERRILL - Three years ago, Lincoln County got good news.
The federal government planned to spend $1.5 million to help give rural parts of the county broadband internet access. It was part of Frontier Communications' agreement to accept $283 million for broadband expansion nationwide.
But then, the contractors, equipment, and better internet were slow to arrive.
Now, Frontier is finally at work, but plenty of people are still waiting anxiously for their high-speed connection.
MERRILL - People on the west side of Merrill will need to put up with the sound of construction this summer. What was once an empty lot will now be the site of the Stonebridge Apartments. The apartments are a new source of affordable housing in Merrill and should be complete by the late summer.
When you're looking at Park Place apartments in Merrill, you might confuse the building with something else.
"I think Park Place looks like a 1970s dormitory at UW Madison," said Merrill Area Housing Authority Executive Director Paul Russell.
But a new apartment complex being built just across the street is going to offer a different look.
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