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Northwoods Spotlight - National Musky Open Aug 21Submitted: 08/21/2013
Story By Marisa Silvas

Northwoods Spotlight - National Musky Open Aug 21
EAGLE RIVER - If you were out on a lake near the Eagle River area last weekend, you might have seen a lot of gray hats. Anglers spread out on seven lake families. They were all hoping to win the 28th National Championship Musky Open.

Anglers take part in many musky competitions in the Northwoods, but one continues to break records with participation.

Larry Slagowski is the president of the Musky Clubs Alliance (MCA) of WI. He says, "This year we had 1,222 people."

Charlie Pulchinski (Rudolph) "If we catch a fish, that's going to be great," adds Charlie Pulchinski of Rudolph. "But just to be out here is something special."


Dave Allen, the MCA's executive director explains, "Basically we're all fishing for trophies. There's no money involved. Everyone just comes here and has a good time and we give away a lot of prizes."

The largest amateur musky tournament in the U.S. prides itself on bringing fun to fishing.

Steven Tilque (Pound, WI) "There's more friendly people than any other tournament I've fished, ever," Steven Tilque of Pound, WI adds.

This tournament also stresses the importance of families bringing out the younger generations of fishermen, in order to grow the sport.

"It's a really great feeling when you catch a fish and then when you show it to your dad," 12-year old Joseph Pulchinski of Pound says. "and he says I wish I caught that one."

There were 219 muskies caught over the weekend. And for the first time in the open's history, a woman took home the top prize.

Michelle Peplinski of Bear Creek was all smiles after the tournament. "It was a great way to end the summer."


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 IN OTHER NEWS

LAND O' LAKES - Even though it may not feel like it, Autumn has officially begun. Plenty of towns in the Northwoods celebrate the season with a colorama.

This weekend Land O Lakes is hosting its colorama. Land O Lakes has held a colorama for about 35 years.

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RHINELANDER - Kid got outside and got active at the YMCA of the Northwood's Fit Kids Duathalon tonight. 

Three age groups competed in the running and biking events. 

The five and under group ran around the building and biked through the parking lot, but the older age groups biked through the trails behind the YMCA. 

"It's rugged enough that you have to have a little bit or stamina and a little bit or grit to actually make it through the course," said YMCA Aquatics and Youth and Family Director Matt Steingraber. 
 
Some of the kids even trained for the event. 

The top three in each age group got awards. 

The main purpose of the event was to get kids out of the house and doing something to keep them fit and active. 

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - Some strong to severe storms rumbled through the Northwoods Friday.

Newswatch 12 went out to Lake Tomahawk for the video you see above.

Most of the damage there was minimal.
But people like Florian Bieschke from Minocqua didn't want to risk driving in the storm.

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RHINELANDER - Veterans can be some of the hardest workers. That's the message local business owners heard in Rhinelander on Friday.

Nicolet College hosted the Veterans Business Workshop.

The objective was to tell businesses why they should hire local veterans.

Guest speaker from Wisconsin's Veterans Chamber of Commerce Saul Newton says veterans can bring strong and diverse skill sets into the work force.

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RHINELANDER - People usually drop off canned goods and other non-perishable food items as donations. But on Friday, dozens of kids and adults picked potatoes in Rhinelander to help area food pantries. 

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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander mom said her lifestyle completely changed when a new neighbor moved in. 

She used to love the close proximity and the ability to walk to almost anything in town.

She has two young kids and regularly checks the sex offender registry. 

The Rhinelander mom wishes to stay anonymous. We'll refer to her as Linda. 

Linda found out a sex offender moved in a few doors down from her by flipping through a local newspaper, She saw a small box at the bottom page with a notification. 

"He kind of just snuck in," said Linda. 

William Huntington moved close to Linda's house in May. However, Linda says she knew nothing until she did research of her own in July. 

"When I saw what he was found guilty of I was in shock. I was in complete shock," said Linda. 

He was convicted in Dane County for repeatedly sexually assaulting his 8- year- old neighbor about twenty years ago. He's now required to wear a lifetime GPS monitoring system. 

Dana Wszalek works with the Department of Corrections in Rhinelander as a Regional Chief. Her office supervises people like Huntington in the community.

"What we do is not a cookie cutter type of approach to supervision; it's relative to what their risks are based on their case dynamics," said Wszalek. 

State law requires high risk sex offender to live at least 1,500 feet from churches, schools and playgrounds. Restrictions on other sex offenders are left to local offices. 

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office says there are no ordinances for sex offenders in Oneida County.

"They have different life experiences. They are a part of the community," said Wszalek. 

Wszalek understands the wariness community members might feel.

"As a parent it's important to be aware of who's in your neighborhood," said Wszalek. 

Linda said one of her 6- year- old child was planning on walking to school with friends this year, but instead they'll get driven.

"I feel like the neighborhood we moved into to be able to have these things has been taken away," said Linda.

Linda said she was shocked she didn't get a call or knock on her door from law enforcement.

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MOSINEE - Wisconsin's new state budget includes $11.5 billion for education over the next two years.

On Friday, Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) visited schools across the state to discuss some details of the education budget.

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