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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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MERRILL - It might look like Olivia Telschow works alone these days.  That impression isn't far from the truth.

"It definitely isn't a job for a slacker," Telschow said of her work.

Telschow is in her second year of running Helene's Hilltop Orchard south of Merrill. She's been busy pruning 14 acres of apple trees, mowing the grass, and cutting the corn maze four times in the last month alone.

"We kind of go through this mad panic about six weeks before we open and all of the sudden it's no longer counting down the weeks, it's counting down the days," Telschow said.

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HARSHAW - More than 50 people from Vilas, Forest, and Oneida counties came together Wednesday to learn leadership skills. 

Northwoods United Way hosted the second annual Leaderfest at Rondele Ranch in Harshaw. 

Executive Director Nancy Sattler was excited to present this opportunity to people in the area. 

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EAGLE RIVER - Most of us go out on the boat for a day of fun and relaxation. But to Gary and Shele Fawcett, a trip out on the water means a chance to teach history.

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"We talk about Eagle River and the things that used to happen up here, but nobody knows the stuff that's going on on the lakes," said Gary.

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HAZELHURST - A local Northwoods business works together to make better products than it did when it first began in 1925. 

Tomahawk Live Trap has grown and even relocated to Hazelhurst since then.

Greg Smith and his wife Jenny bought Tomahawk Live Trap about seven years ago.

And the company has been growing ever since.

Sales have more than doubled since Greg and Jenny took over.  But it's not just the sales that have grown.

"When we first came in here, the culture, I'm going to say was toxic," said Greg Smith.

But it's not toxic anymore. Tomahawk Live Trap has worked with UW-Stout and its Manufacturing Outreach Center to form a better team.

"You treat people like people, you empower people so they can do their jobs and you listen to them," said Smith.

Operations Coordinator, Chris Powers was there when the Smith's took over and has noticed the big improvement with the environment.

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The program uses a "lean" philosophy which helps trim unnecessary portions of a work area.

"Only using and having what you need in an area versus a bunch of clutter and stuff in an area," said Powers.

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Baden-Powell Northwoods Experience donated the money earlier this month.

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So, the group decided to donate the left over funds to Trees for Tomorrow. 

Executive Director Robin Ginner said the two groups missions line up well. 

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EAGLE RIVER - Wednesday's weather made it the perfect day for a group of people to grab their paddles and explore some Northwoods waters.

The Northwoods Land Trust invited the community on a tour of private and protected waters.

People met up to paddle down Deerskin River in Eagle River.

Executive Director of the Northwoods Land Trust Bryan Pierce said Deerskin River is special because it's a trout stream and known for its resources.

"Our intent is to try and keep it that high quality keep the water quality protected and also provide for both fish and wildlife habitat," said Pierce. 

Wednesday was also a celebration.

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Deputies found out about the allegations against the man in May. 

To protect the victims' identities, we are not releasing his name at this time.

The assaults took place in the Town of Birch in Lincoln County in the summer or 2016 and the spring of 2017. 

The two victims were teenagers between the ages of 16 and 18. 

The suspect appeared in Lincoln County Court today where he was formally charged with three felony counts. 

The suspect posted a $5,000 cash bond and has been released from jail.

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