WAUSAU - Canoeing with a friend on the weekend can serve as a great way to relax.
But this weekend in Wausau, canoeing was everything but peaceful.
The Whitewater Park played host to the Open Canoe Nationals.
The course had a fast water current with rocks and other obstacle.
Competitors from around the world tried to navigate the stretch.
Canadians Paul and Willa Mason use canoeing to bond as a family.
They think this is the toughest course in the country.
"Especially tandem it's really hard to get both people through the gate and not hit it with your stern," Paul Mason said. "You will see us all looking back as we go through, so it is very challenging, probably the hardest we've been to."
The events consisted of men’s, women’s, and mixed classes for both tandem and solo canoes.
John Kazimierczyk has canoed for 37 years. He believes the sport is always looking for new people.
"Start with a canoe club, and dont be afraid to get wet and dont be afaid to make mistakes the first time you try it," Kazimierczyk said. "Its fun, you have to do it for fun."
The next event at the Whitewater park will be in August.
That event will include freestyle canoeing with paddlers doing flips and twists throughout the course.
MADISON - A federal appeals court has upheld Republican Gov. Scott Walker's public union restrictions.
The restrictions stripped most public workers of nearly all their collective bargaining rights. Two unions representing city of Madison and Dane County public workers filed a lawsuit in 2011 alleging the law violated their right to freely assembly and equal protection.
U.S. District Judge William Conley found the restrictions constitutional in September. A three-judge appeals panel affirmed Conley's ruling Friday, saying the U.S. Constitution doesn't require the state to maintain policies that allow certain associations to thrive.
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen calls the ruling ``a victory for the law and for Wisconsin taxpayers.''
An attorney for the unions tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he needs to talk to his clients before deciding whether to appeal.
MERRILL - When you think of movies you probably think of Hollywood, but one man from Northcentral Wisconsin is bringing his feature film to the local screen.
Wausau’s Jarrod Crooks not only makes movies, but he also stars in them.
His latest film, "Dispatched" is based off the Elvis Presley movie, “Girl Happy,” says filmmaker Jarrod Crooks. “My character Jake is sent to go watch my bosses daughter while she’s on vacation with a friend. Then an old enemy is kind of after him while he’s on vacation, so some things happen.”
Crooks made, "Dispatched" on a $5,000 budget and it’s full of romance, action, and comedy.
“My buddy would joke with me, ‘why don’t you just pick one genre man and then just go with it'," says Crooks. "I’m like because I want to make this movie how I want to make It'." "I actually like romantic comedies, I think they’re kind of fun, and I think they’re cute. I like action films because I’m a guy, and I like comedy because Jim Carey is great.”
Crooks is only 28 and has already made 4 feature films. His passion started when he was 12 years old.
“I went over to my friend’s house and he had a video camera. I was like oh we should make a movie, and at that time I was really into, “Wishbone,” says Crooks.
“We’d always remake our own literature pieces. Then I saw my first Jackie Chan movie and I’m like, alright it’s settled we’re doing action films from now on," says Crooks. “From then on it was just a love affair with the filmmaking.”
His latest film will be shown at the Cosmo Theatre in Merrill on Saturday at 5pm.
“The fact that I’m bringing it to central Wisconsin is great because this is where I grew up," says Crooks. "All my family and friends get to see it, so I’m very excited about that and you get to see yourself on the big screen what’s better than that.”
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