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NEWS STORIES

Northwoods Spotlight - Min-Aqua Bats July 24Submitted: 07/24/2013
Story By Marisa Silvas


MINOCQUA - The Northwoods provides many summer activities to enjoy outdoors. But not all of them include free entertainment... Three nights a week, you can head to Lake Minocqua and take in a waterski show.

Andrew McFerrin "We're a 100% amateur waterski club," Andrew McFerrin explains. He's one of the members of the Min-Aqua Bats.

Another member, Elin Wahman adds, "It's been one of the best things I've done in my life."

Since 1950, the Min-Aqua Bats have been entertaining locals and tourists with a top notch ski show. The performers range from pre-teens to 25 years old and it's clear they love what they do.


"It's like acrobatics on waterskis and it's an incredible thing to watch," says Anna Tedstrom also from the Min-Aqua Bats.

Mary Beyer is a fan.

"It's nice enjoyment and it's wonderful to see what the kids do out there."

For many of the skiers, being a Min-aqua bat runs in the family.

Elin "My mom was a Min-Aqua Bat," Elin Wahman proudly proclaims.

Connor Tedstrom adds, "My grandma was a Min-Aqua Bat in the '50's."

Some just grew up liking the idea of performing.

Christian Wahman says, "I definitely thought that these people watersking were so cool and I wanted to be one of them when I was older."

Anna Tedstrom adds, "I used to watch the shows and be like, oh my god, that's the girl on top of the pyramid, I want to be her."

They're known as the world's oldest amateur waterski team... and they perform a wide variety of exciting acts.

The shows here attract quite a crowd and the skiers become local celebrities.

"It's fun to walk downtown with a bunch of our Min-Aqua Bat friends and they're like, oh those are the Min-Aqua Bats," Anna Tedstrom explains.

Christian Wahman says, "It's great to have all the little kids come down and ask for autographs after the show."

And this talented group shows no signs of slowing down.

Chris Coleman is a former Min-Aqua Bat.

"I'm hopeful that the club continues and that they can maintain the heritage that we've built."

Connor Tedstrom says, "There's a lot of traditions here and we've just got to keep it going for another 64 years."


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 06/30/2015

- Find out how a local group is trying to help the endangered Monarch Butterfly population.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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WISCONSIN - With the Fourth of July right around the corner, many people will enjoy the holiday out in the warm weather. If you do, it's important to remember food safety to avoid getting any food illness this weekend.

Bacteria spreads much faster in the heat. Any food left out for more than an hour could go bad. 

Health Department workers say to keep your food out of what they call the "food danger zone".

"It's 140 degrees Fahrenheit to 40 degrees Fahrenheit and ways that they can do this is to put cold food items on top of ice and water baths and hot items, you're going to want to keep them covered with foil or kept on the cooler side of the grill," said Forest County Health Department Nutritionist Karly Johnson.

Food kept inside at room temperature should be put away after two hours. Make sure to wash any utensils or plates used for raw meat before reusing. That's the best way to avoid common food illnesses.

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VILAS COUNTY - Earlier this month, legislators put a proposal into the state budget that would take away a county's ability to make its own shoreline zoning regulations. Here in the Northwoods, two counties have come out against that proposal.

If the state budget went through as it's written right now, individual counties and lake associations could lose their power to set zoning regulations. That's a big issue for many in the Northwoods. Vilas County alone has 1,300 lakes. The proposal has caused great concerns.

"The concern was that the proposal had the potential for doing great damage to the environment, had the potential for causing a severe problem as far as assessment procedures, and generally was opposed by the citizens-the residents-of this county," said Chuck Hayes, a Vilas County supervisor.

Vilas and Oneida counties both held board meetings last week. Both counties voted to ask for removal of zoning changes from the budget. They argue the issue of shoreline zoning was never given any time to be discussed.

"At the very least, I think the public should have had a chance to weigh in on this issue that affects the environment," said Hayes. "The counties, the municipalities and individual residents, their opinion wasn't sought on this. It was simply put in."

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MADISON - Leaders of the Senate and Assembly plan to hold a news conference on Wednesday morning to announce terms of the agreement. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos's spokeswoman Kit Beyer said Tuesday the deal had been reached and details would come out Wednesday.

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MADISON - Update: 6/30  5:40pm

Republican Sen. Luther Olsen says the budget-writing committee hopes to meet on Thursday to complete its work so the Legislature can vote on passing the state budget next week.

Olsen commented Tuesday after leaving a five-hour closed meeting with Republican senators.

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker will greet President Barack Obama when he comes to La Crosse on Thursday to talk about the economy.

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WISCONSIN - Wisconsin's maple syrup season saw success in 2015.

Maple syrup production rose 14 percent compared to last year.

The total production was 215,000 gallons.

That amount is the second highest ever for the state behind 2013.

Newswatch 12 visited Whataview Farm in Phelps in March.

They had a great season and are excited to supply its customers.

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