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NEWS STORIES

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

WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin DNR wants to know if it has the right plans for beavers in the state. The final public feedback period is open for the new beaver management plan.

The document will guide decisions on beavers through 2025. The final draft touches on topics like population, habitat, and damage management. The current draft recommends keeping beaver populations mostly stable in the state.

Public input for the final beaver management plan is open through June 22. The DNR will also host a public meeting on June 16 from 6-8 p.m. at the DNR Service Center in Rhinelander to take comments.

You can read the final draft of the plan by clicking the link below. Another link shows opportunities for feedback.

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EDGAR - Marathon County authorities say a woman has died from drowning in a pool in Edgar in central Wisconsin.

Lt. Tim Burkholder of the Marathon County Sheriff's Department says it happened sometime after midnight Monday.

While the investigation is ongoing, he says the drowning appears to be accidental.

The department is withholding the victim's name and other details for now.

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MINOCQUA - Many golf courses in the Northwoods need to work hard to make a profit each year. Cold northern springs and falls mean a shorter playing season than other parts of the state. Many increase their rates near the peak of tourism season.

One Northwoods course went the other direction during the last week of April and tried something new. Timber Ridge Golf Club in Minocqua offered something unheard of - completely free golf for everyone.

"We all just kind of thought, what a nice idea, to just say thank you to all of our customers. (We thought,) come on out for a free week of golf," said Timber Ridge PGA Professional Jerry Collins.

The course was in great shape by late April. Golfers flooded in to play during the entire week.


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RHINELANDER -  A Northwoods veterans group wants people to remember those who died serving our country. 

The Oneida County Veterans Council held a Memorial Day ceremony in Rhinelander on Monday.

The Rhinelander High School band and choir performed at the ceremony.

Mayor Dick Johns was the speaker. 

Event organizers hope people take time on Memorial Day to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. 

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ST. GERMAIN - A popular Northwoods tradition kicked off its 40th season today. The St. Germain Flea Market draws thousands of bargain hunters each week during the summer.

The market attracts nearly 400 vendors every week. Vendors showcase everything from homemade crafts and artwork to plants and homemade treats.

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MERRILL - Hundreds of people gathered in Merrill on Monday to honor the lives of the service men and women lost over the years.

"From the Second World War, there were over 400,000 men and women who lost their lives, and it took a tremendous toll on our young people," said World War II veteran Richard Bjorklund.

The ceremony featured a guest speaker and acknowledged those still alive who served. People young and old remembered friends and family who are no longer here.

"Everybody worked together, and we still lost guys," said Vietnam War veteran John Jirovec. "It's hard to forget. Really hard to forget."

For one mother, every day is Memorial Day.
 
"My son Ryan, Sergeant Ryan Jopek, was killed in action on August 2, 2006," said Jopek's mother Tracy. "He just turned 20 and was coming home in a couple weeks, but fate didn't have it quite that way, and he didn't make it home, and we miss him every day."

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Last Thursday, 15 members of the Oneida County community graduated from Leadership Oneida County. The nine-month program aims to give participants a better understanding of the county's resources and to improve participation in organizations throughout the county.

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