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Northwoods town receives JEM grantSubmitted: 06/20/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson

Northwoods town receives JEM grant
THREE LAKES - One Northwoods town just received a large check.

The Wisconsin Department of Tourism recently gave Three Lakes more than $27,000 for its Heritage Festival.

Last year, the Three Lakes Chamber of Commerce received $30,000 for the first Heritage Festival.

Skip Brunswick, Executive Director of the Three Lakes Chamber of Commerce, says, "It's quite an honor to be considered one. I think last year we were one out of sixteen that got it and there must have been thirty-some that applied so [we're] pretty proud of it."

The money comes from the Joint Effort Marketing or "JEM" Grant program.

JEM gives out $1.1 million a year to non-profits for promoting Wisconsin tourism.

Only three other Northwoods groups have received grants from the JEM program over the last year.

Brunswick says the grant money is not just beneficial to Three Lakes.

"We like to bring attention to the entire Northwoods, just not Three Lakes. So if I do my part to bring people up to the Northwoods, they're going to be able to see some of the other areas that we have up here," he says.

This year's festival celebrates Ireland, Italy, Germany, Poland, and of course, Wisconsin.

There will be food from those countries, live entertainment, lumberjack shows and games for kids.

They expect about 2,500 people to attend.

The festival will be held on June 29th and 30th.

Related Weblinks:
Three Lakes Heritage Fest Information

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"Lights of the Northwoods" is a drive-through light show packed with more than 32 individual displays.

Vice President Shawn Hill says he's excited and a bit nervous to officially share the display tonight.

Those nerves have nothing to do with the amount of snow we got.

"I was thinking as the snow was flying and I was looking at the lights I'm like, This is going to be like one of

those Hallmark movies we watch all the time!' It's really going to be pretty on the lake here with the lights

shining off the snow," says Hill.


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"It goes fast it goes really fast," said Drury.
Drury was about 18 -years -old when he walked into the Merrill Fire Department for the first time.
"When you're 18, 19,20 years old and you're looking at 50 something years old you think you're never going to get there," said Drury. 

Drury is one of 184 firefighters to ever work full time with the city of Merrill.
"As a firefighter they spend a lot of time at the fire house so they miss a lot of things," said Drury's daughter Cassi.
After 32 years of missing birthdays, holidays and family time Drury was ready for a change.
"I realized I had enough this is a young man's job," said Drury.
Friday afternoon Drury said goodbye to a room of men who merged and became family.
"Not having that is a little scary I know they'll always be our family but it's hard to leave," said Cassi.
Cassi watched her dad rush off to help his community since the day she was born.
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RHINELANDER - It feels a little better about needing to shovel, blow and plow driveways when people know everyone else needs to, too.

Newswatch 12 found a few people around Rhinelander embracing the tasks Wednesday.

Bart Bartholomew has a motto when it comes to shoveling snow.

"Gotta get her done," said Bartholomew.

Bartholomew geared up Wednesday morning on Stevens Street in Rhinelander with not one, but two shovels.

"It usually takes 45 minutes with an average shovel, [but for] me, it only takes 25 if you have two shovels," said Bart with a laugh.

Rhinelander saw around seven inches of snow Wednesday.

The season's first big snowfall brought many people outside to scrape, shovel and blow their driveways.

"I got [a lot to] do over there," said Mathew Bozek.

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"[He's the] North American Big foot," said Golden Harvest employee Steve Quade.

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"[The northern] big foot version is a Yeti," said Quade.

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Driver Karrie Dollar harnesses and hitches those horses every year.

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MERRILL - Taxpayers will need to decide if they want to pay more to support the Merrill Area Public Schools.

Wednesday, the school board voted in favor of a four-year referendum for $2.5 million dollars

The district faces a nearly $2 million operating deficit for next school year.

It has used savings to keep the school running for the last few years.

The priorities of the referendum will be enhancing the school's fab lab, addressing maintenance issues, and attracting and retaining high quality teachers and administration.

Wednesday the school board also reviewed budget options if the referendum does not pass.

The referendum question will be on the April ballot. 


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