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NEWS STORIES

Northwoods Spotlight - Lumberjack show Aug 14Submitted: 08/14/2013
Story By Marisa Silvas


MINOCQUA - The Northwoods has a history rich with lumberjacks.

In Minocqua, a show featuring lumberjacks is performed 5 times a week.

It shows the history and skills used by these legendary outdoor workers.

They wear flannel shirts, chop wood, throw axes, and put on quite a show. These modern day lumberjacks perform 10 times a week in Woodruff and Hayward to hundreds of adoring fans.

"Timber sports actually started because the loggers wanted to see who was better," explains Sam Fenton who has been performing for six years.

"A lot of people don't realize the tradition of the sport," Charlie Fenton adds - another performer. "How far its come over the years and how much its grown."

So how does someone become interested in becoming a lumberjack?

Darby Hand is in his second year with the show.

"I've gone to several lumberjack competitions as a kid," Hand said. "After watching all that I thought I had to do this - this is so exciting."

"I watched a competition when I was in middle school," Sam Fenton exclaims. "I convinced my dad to get me a hatchet. I chopped down one of the trees in the back yard. That's when they knew I was kind of hooked."

Lori Ring is the announcer for the program.

"These guys are athletes first of all," Ring says. "But we also have a mix of comedy in between the events and they're really good actors."


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 IN OTHER NEWS

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."

Tears were shed thinking of the memories of loved ones, remembering freedom comes with a price.

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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.

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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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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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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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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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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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