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Deployed soldiers receive relaxing vacation in the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 07/09/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray


Photos By Shardaa Gray

EAGLE RIVER - When soldiers get sent overseas, they normally don't get to go fishing.

But here in the Northwoods they're doing just that, for free.

"Fishing doesn't stay the same. Every year it's different." said fishing guide, Marve Elliott.

For the last seven summers, the USO has brought selected servicemen and their families to Camp R & R at the Appleton Lodge on Butternut Lake near Eagle River.

Part of the stress-free week is fishing with Yukon Jack and his guides.

"They volunteer their time to the USO for the service members and their families. And it happens to be every week we have it it's a Tuesday," said USO of Illinois Program Director, Wiley Norden.

"Like I said it's one of the highlights of the week."

Korean War veteran Marve Elliott volunteered his time to guide these soldiers in the water.

"We want to give back something to these guys to because we know what they've gone through with their families," Elliott said.

"We've been here several years now, all three of us. Al and Doc, we enjoy doing it."

But the real enjoyment is the reaction from the kids.

"What I really enjoy is taking sons or daughters or parents take their kids out on the lake and they'll watch a kid catch their first fish or something. That's great. That's great." said Elliott.

Senior Chief Michael Allen is thankful for the respect shown to military members.

"Hearing that people actually care about people going overseas and spending time with my family is a great opportunity to give back," Navy Senior Chief, Michael Allen said.

"It's awesome for us to actually see some of the benefits."

Catching a fish might be tough, but showing appreciation for our troops is all that matters.


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 IN OTHER NEWS
ATV rides for seniorsSubmitted: 06/29/2016

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ONEIDA COUNTY - The Oneida County Senior Centers gives seniors the chance to try new things.

Wednesday, thanks to the help of two ATV groups, the seniors were able to go on rides through the forest.

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PLUM LAKE - St. Germain ATV riders will need to find a new route that avoids Plum Lake.

That's because the Plum Lake Town Board voted against opening up parts of two roads: Kurtzweil Road and Birch Spring Road. Both are on the border of Sayner and St. Germain and are shared between the two towns.

A few months ago, St. Germain asked Plum Lake to open parts of those roads as part of an ATV route. At first, the Plum Lake Town Board approved them. That was before they found out a section of Kurtzweil Road was completely in Plum Lake.

"At that time the Plum Lake Town Board by a 2 to 1 vote approved letting them use that, assuming at the time the two roads were boundary roads equally shared by Sayner and St. Germain," said Will Maines, the Plum Lake Town Chairman.

So when St. Germain came back to the next town meeting with an ordinance for the roads ready to go, the Plum Lake town board then voted no.

Maines said most of the people in Plum Lake don't want ATVs on their town roads. The board found this out from a survey of residents and taxpayers they sent out in 2015, where he said about two-thirds of non-resident property owners and about two-thirds of Plum Lake resident voters voted against allowing ATVs on town roads.

"We'd like to cooperate with the town of St. Germain, but we represent the people of Plum Lake, and they have given us the message loud and clear: they don't want us to allow them on any section of our roads," Maines said.

The St. Germain Town Chairman Tom Christensen said the decision is "disappointing," but, "it is what it is."

About 6 towns in the eastern part of Vilas County allow ATVs on town roads, but the towns in the western part of the county don't allow them on town roads.

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RHINELANDER - Celebrating our nation's birthday with family and friends can be a great time. But it's good to keep safety in mind this weekend too.

The Rhinelander Fire Department responds to a few injuries every year from fireworks. That's far better than the national average of more than 10,000 fireworks-related injuries. But the most common injury actually comes from a firework many parents consider safe.

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- You might enjoy getting on the water during this holiday weekend, but watch out for foreign plants and animals hitching a ride on your boat. Aquatic invasive species can attach to people's boats and trailers as they're entering or leaving the water.

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MERRILL - When you need to feed three children on a limited budget, Stanges Park becomes something of a summer oasis for Claire Barker.

"Two to three times a week we're here," Barker said.

The Merrill mother brought her kids to the daily free lunch program at the park Wednesday morning. For Barker, the healthy meals make a big difference in her life.

"The generosity, the park, we go to the library, so it's all in a convenient area," Barker said. "And, it's all healthy food."

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MADISON - A Sun Prairie man accused of decapitating his mother with a sword last year has been committed to a state mental hospital.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed with a psychiatrist's report Wednesday that 41-year-old Matthew Skalitzky was mentally ill at the time of the killing.

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WAUSAU - Police officers in Wausau will now wear body cameras, according to a department release Wednesday.

The department also released video from one of the department's first traffic stops using the body camera on its Facebook page.

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