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.
VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County finally got what it wanted. For fifteen years, the county had needed someone to act as a full-time Recreational Officer--someone to monitor public safety on the snowmobile and ATV trails as well as the lakes and rivers. Now, Vilas County Deputy Sheriff Randy Schneider will fill that role.
PHILLIPS - The Price County Sheriff's Office wants to find out what it needs to do to get a K-9 officer. Sheriff Brian Schmidt believes a new dog would improve the office's ability to find drugs.
The county doesn't have its own K-9 officer. However, they do turn to other departments for help.
"What we would utilize is surrounding counties, and it is at their discretion," Schmidt said. "Like Rhinelander, we utilize their dog on occasion, maybe once or twice a year. But again, it is their dog, so they have their needs come first. So if we have our own equipment, our needs are met with our equipment."
WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling received a record number of phone calls to the helpline in 2014â€"14,731 to be exact. This is a 5.6 percent increase from calls received in 2013.
Some of the callers reported having to file for bankruptcy or having thoughts of suicide. The report from the Council also calculated $47,000 as the average gambling debt of callers in 2014, and $20,000 as the median debt.
VILAS COUNTY - Many snowmobile trails in Eagle River still need more grooming after all three trail groomers went out of service. The trails didn't get groomed for four days last week because all three of the Sno-Eagles Snowmobile Club's trail groomers need repairs.
The club hasn't had all of their groomers working for a couple of weeks. Sno-Eagles President Ken Storms said the trails took a big hit last week when all three went down. The club says it has made a concerted effort to catch up with trail grooming, and get the trails smoothed out.
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