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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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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/21/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

The nice weather we've been having will get some people in the mood for a bonfire or a BBQ, but the fire danger is still very high for much of the Northwoods. We talk to a local paramedic and a meat market employee about the dangers and how to stay safe while grilling.

Black bear sightings become more common in the area this time of year. We'll give you tips on how to keep those hungry bears out of your neighborhood.

And we'll show you how the city of Rhinelander is letting residents "Walk with the Mayor."

We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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EAGLE RIVER - City water customers in Eagle River will see the effects of a brutally cold winter in 2014 four years later.

Starting this month, water bills will increase by an average of 50 percent. Cold weather in 2014 forced the city to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair water main freezes and breaks.

Low water bill revenues couldn't keep up.

"That winter of 2014 was probably the straw that kind of broke the camel's back that finally said, hey, you guys need to look at a rate increase," said city utility manager Pat Weber.

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RHINELANDER - With sunny skies and warm temperatures people might want to get outside and start grilling or barbecuing.

But many counties in the Northwoods still face a very high risk for fire danger.

"It can start out as a little fire on the side of the garage and you turn away to call your dog from across the street and look back and your whole house is on fire," said Rhinelander firefighter paramedic Nicholas Heise.

Heise said the department has been busy this spring responding to more fires than usual.

"This year has been a pretty dry (season) as far as seasons go," said Heise.

That means fires will burn more rapidly and aggressively in high risk areas.

"I expect these fires to be very rapid and quickly escalate," said Heise.

Heise said some of the calls have been people grilling or barbecuing in their backyard.

"If you are grilling outside just make sure to keep a close eye on the charcoal grill," said Oneida County Deputy Sheriff Michael Baran.

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WOODRUFF - Black bear sightings become more common this time of year.

As bears come out of hibernation, they tend to be pretty hungry.

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RHINELANDER - The new "central hub" of Associated Bank in the Northwoods opened its doors Monday. 
 
Back in late-October, the bank broke ground on its new facility on the corner of Lincoln Street and Oneida Avenue. The new building brings employees from the other two buildings in downtown together. 

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS - A man robbed a store in Wisconsin Rapids at gunpoint Sunday night.

The police were called around 9:00 p.m. to Jimmy Johns on 8th street.

A man came in, showed his gun, and demanded money. The employee handed over the cash.

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WATERSMEET - With every species of insect Rachel Hovel finds, she gets a better picture of the water quality at Wildcat Falls near Watersmeet. 

"We're actually finding really good representation of the mayflies, the stone flies, caddisfly which are the three most sensitive, which is a great indication of good water quality," said Hovel. 

Hovel was one of about a dozen people that spent their Saturday searching, identifying, and cataloging all the different species of plant and animal life on the property.

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