Footstock lets local skiers compete with national championsSubmitted: 08/25/2013
Story By Adam Fox

Footstock lets local skiers compete with national champions
CRANDON - You would think most national sports competitions end up in big cities.

But when it comes to figure eight endurance barefoot skiing, the national competition calls the Northwoods home.

More than a thousand people came out for Footstock in Crandon this weekend.

It's the home of the National Figure Eight Endurance Barefoot Championships.

Skiiers compete one on one, head to head. First one to fall loses.

Coming into this year, Pete Fleck had won Footstock six times. He lives in Florida, but makes the trip every year.

"There are guys I have competed against that are still competing here since we were 13-years-old," Fleck said. "You know that's a lot of fun."

Anyone who knows how to ski can register to compete. That means national champions can go up against local skiers.

Crandon native Jacob Weber helped put this year's tournament together and also competed.

He says lake conditions even the playing field.

"Those national champions are used to skiing on very calm water," Weber said. "Us show skiiers are used to rough water,so it actually becomes even and it gives everybody a chance."

Pete Fleck won this years Open National Figure Eight Championship. The victory gives Fleck was his third consecutive open title and bumped his all-time victory total to a record setting seven.

Fleck beat Chad Mietz of Wisconsin. Jacob Weber took third.

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RHINELANDER - This time of year, winter activies start to wind down and the summer fun hasn't quite started yet.

That's why Fisher's Resort and Bar on Lake George in Rhinelander enjoys having it's annual ice golf tournament each year.

"In year's past, March is always kind of a slower season up here in the Northwoods so we figured we'd create an event and put efforts towards a local organization," said Fisher's Resort and Bar owner, Russ Fisher.

That local organization they raise money for is the Hodag Sno-trails snowmobile club.

This year, the tournament had it's biggest turn out.

30 teams came to play, including first timer Dennis Herrmann who lives right across the lake.

"This has nothing to do with golf, I can tell you that right now. But it's a challenge for all the obvious reasons. But you do it for the charity, you do it for the fun and it gives everybody the chance to get out," said Herrmann.

This year they cut it down from 18 holes to 13 so people could get inside faster to enjoy the chili and the raffle items after their round of golf.

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WAUSAU - When you think of Wisconsin, two things might come to mind - beer and snow. 

The Granite Peak Ski Area in Wausau decided to combine the two and host an annual brew fest. 

Andy Ledesma is the head brewer at Red Eye Brewing Company in Wausau. The Granite Peak Brew Fest is one of the many perks of his job.

"No other beer fest is like this, that's for sure," said Ledesma.

He definitely wasn't alone serving more than 40 beers on Saturday. 

Jeff Geurink works for South Shore Brewery in Ashland. They've been around for 20 years, but they wanted to make this brew fest a part of their line up.

"Get our name out there and make sure people are enjoying our beer and get as much information as possible out about our brewery so then when they go out and get a beer, they remember us," said Geurink.

Something everyone will remember from the brew fest was the set-up.

"Snow bar?! You can't get that in the summer time," said Roland Bruhnke.

He's right. Most beer festivals are in the summer. But when it's still feeling like winter in March, Granite Peak turns lemons into lemonade, or more appropriately, hops into beer.

"I think it definitely helped that when they get to the bottom of the hill, you see a bunch of beer," said beer salesman Jesse Bartnik.

So even though beer and physical activity isn't the best combination, dozens of people were loving it this weekend.

"The winter, the skiing, the beer, it's all one big package all rolled into one," said Bruhnke.

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The Forest County Sheriff's Officer said a man committed suicide Wednesday morning. 

An autopsy showed 44-year-old William Zastawniak died by hanging. 

He was facing three child sexual assault charges. 

The medical examiner is still waiting on toxicology results. 

The death is still under investigation.

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Bill Eastwood and Blake McMahon own Outboards Bar and Grill in Tomahawk.

The duo's combined restaurant and business experience helped them hit the ground running.

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EAGLE RIVER - Kids face bullying in schools all the time.

That's one reason why the Eagle River elementary school holds its annual Great Kindness Challenge Week.

It's part of a nationwide challenge involving nearly 10,000 schools.

This year's kindness week in Eagle River wrapped up Friday with a musical assembly with Dave Dall.

Throughout the week, students were challenged to do random acts of kindness.

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Gregory Loomis, 43, sexually assaulted two children in 1988 and 1992.

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