PLOVER - Three ladies who grew up in Eagle River spend most of their summers in Central Wisconsin. The reason, it's where the rubber meets the concrete.
Paige Decker a race car driver from Eagle River says, "Getting in the car and putting my helmet on, that's my comfort zone and that's where I like to be."
Her cousin Natalie Decker adds, "When I'm here with my family it's awesome because we're all bonding and stuff."
And Paige's sister Claire Decker explains, "It's actually really thrilling when someone's door to door with you. It's like you can reach out and touch their car."
The Decker name and speed go hand in hand. But a family of snowmobile racers has given way to the new generation in stock cars.
"Racing has always been in my blood," Paige explains. "So I guess it just kind of stuck. Now I'm used to it, spending the week days at the shop and the weekends at the race track."
Claire adds, "A lot of guys will come over and help us because they knew our dads from racing before."
Allen Decker is Paige and Claire's Dad. "My job is to just like my father gave to me, the opportunity to go racing," Allen says.
Sisters Paige and Claire race with their cousin Natalie. All three started in go carts but moved up the ranks in a flash.
The youngest, Natalie just turned 16 and got her drivers license this summer... but she says it wasn't easy.
"(The driving instructor) said the major thing is you have to look in your mirrors," Natalie explains. "Well it's kind of hard because I've never looked in my mirrors before. I always had a spotter telling me where people are at."
The Decker girls are very competitive, but they enjoy having each other to count on, especially in such a male dominated sport.
Next year these talented ladies will be racing in the same class, but the ultimate goal is NASCAR.
WOODRUFF - Americans will eat about 7 billion hot dogs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Wednesday, millions of Americans celebrated National Hot Dog day. That was the case in the Northwoods.
Hoggie Doggies Snack Shack is a staple in Woodruff. Their All-American favorite is the Chicago Style Dog.
The owner Judy Rossi has been there for 12 years and says they go through a lot of dogs.
"Last season we went through almost 17,000 hot dogs. This year we're on track for about 18,000," says Rossi. "Statistically we go through about 8 tons of potatoes in a season, which is close to 16,000 pounds for our homemade french fries. Those are some big numbers for this little place."
Gardens need some help with large temperature swings in summer
RHINELANDER - Northwoods heat the past few days forced plants to endure different weather, but you don't need to do extra gardening just because it's hot.
Experts at Hanson's Garden Village in Rhinelander say plants can manage the heat just fine. On hot, sunny days, many plants will wilt, but that doesn't mean they need more water.
"If the soil is moist on a hot day, I wouldn't water more. That's probably more harm. The plant can only take up so much moisture at a time, so I would just hold off on watering," says Sue Hanson, Hanson's Garden Village Co-Owner.
MADISON - Unemployment is up in all of Wisconsin's largest cities and most counties.
The state Department of Workforce Development reported Wednesday that unemployment rates in June increased in all of the state's 32 largest cities. Unemployment rates went up in 61 of 72 counties and remained unchanged in the other 11.
Wisconsin's monthly unemployment rate in June was 5.7 percent, unchanged from May.
MILWAUKEE - Authorities are looking for a fourth suspect in a shooting on an interstate in Milwaukee County.
Sheriff David Clarke says people in a minivan and another vehicle were shooting at each other in a ``running gun battle'' on Interstate 43 Tuesday afternoon. One vehicle struck the other and the minivan spun into the ditch near Fox Point. Three people in the van were arrested. Authorities say a fourth person left the scene.
47-year-old Karen Wessell of Star Lake died in yesterday's swimming accident in Vilas County. A boater pulled 2 people out of the water after they started drowning on Star Lake. We now know Wessell died shortly after.
Wessell went under water during a rescue attempt.
The Vilas County Sheriff says 3 women and 4 kids were along Trampers Trail. 3 boys swam across the channel and were told to come back. They got tired swimming back to shore so the women had to help. Wessell used herself to push one of the boys above the water to keep him from going under. A boater saw them, pulled them out, and started doing CPR.
MERRILL - Members of a Northwoods union chapter gathered unique inspiration for a fundraiser â€" The Beatles.
Merrill-area Local 6 members gathered Wednesday on the Wisconsin flowage to raise money for groups in need of assistance. The union leaders organized boat rides, raffles, barbecues, and contests. The inspiration for the fundraiser came, in part, from the 1965 Beatles single Help!
"I found out it was the anniversary of the "Help!" release from The Beatles record, and I decided, let's help our community," said Local 6 Vice President Valerie Nelson. "Our membership is very passionate about certain organizations within our community. One being the Lincoln County Humane Society, the local food pantry, and the American Cancer Society."
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