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."
MAUSTON - Authorities are investigating the death of a person who was found unresponsive in Decorah Lake early Friday.
Kyle Lynch, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources warden for Juneau County, says he was called to the scene to assist in a boat search about 1:30 a.m. He also says the Mauston Fire Department recovered the body, which was found in the water.
The Mauston Police Department says attempts were made to rescue the individual, but the Juneau County Coroner's Office pronounced the individual dead at the scene. Police have provided few other details, and the victim's name has not been released.
WAUSAU - This has been Wisconsin's deadliest gun-deer season in the past five years, with two shooting fatalities already recorded.
Daily Herald Media reports (http://wdhne.ws/1HvNth3 ) that the two fatalities brought to an end a three-year series of seasons that had been free of firearm deaths. Four other hunters also have been wounded.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, hunters violated some of the fundamental rules of gun safety in all the incidents.
A man was killed last Sunday in Columbia County when he was shot while passing a loaded rifle to a companion in a tree stand. Wearing mittens, she grabbed the gun near the trigger and it went off. On Monday, a hunter in Waushara County was killed by a stray bullet.
APPLETON - The U.S. Marshals Service says a convicted sex offender who was wanted for violating the terms of his release has been arrested in Appleton.
The agency says 63-year-old L.C. Streeter, of Milwaukee, was previously convicted of four separate sexual assaults from 1976 to 1985. Wisconsin committed him as a sexually violent person in 1996, and he remained in treatment until his release in 2013 under intensive supervision.
The service said in a statement that he cut off his GPS and electronic monitoring bracelets and fled supervision on Monday, resulting in a warrant for his arrest. Federal marshals and Appleton police arrested him without incident in Appleton on Friday.
Kevin Carr, the U.S. marshal for eastern Wisconsin, says Streeter was "an absolute danger to the community based upon his past convictions."
TOMAH - The Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center says it has adopted another plan to improve patient care.
The La Crosse Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1QMsDMZ) that Friday's release of the "100-day plan" comes almost 11 months after media reports that veterans at the center were prescribed excessive doses of opioid pain-killers and that employees who spoke out faced retaliation from top officials.
The plan, which follows a 30-day plan announced in May, outlines steps for improving access to care, employee engagement and restoring trust.
Among other things, it calls for recruitment of psychiatric staff, employee forums and listening sessions, and opening an employee wellness center.
Several Tomah VA officials — including former Director Mario Desanctis and former Chief of Staff David Houlihan — have been fired since the problems emerged early this year.
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