THREE LAKES - Volunteer firefighters sacrifice their time and lives to keep us safe.
They also need the right equipment to keep them safe.
The Three Lakes Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary Board makes sure its firefighters have new and safe equipment.
The board started 21 years ago.
"It's a small group of us that gathered together to start this organization after two major fires on Main Street: The Chalet and the Loonary," says Three Lakes Fire Department Auxiliary Board member Del Gries.
Its first major event, Pumpkin Fest, outgrew its location the first year.
A craft sale, games, raffles, and the largest bake sale in the Northwoods draws thousands of people to the event each year.
Members of the board say it's easy to get people to help with the event once they hear it benefits the fire department.
"They will come from visiting family up here and call up and say, 'Can I help?' And so it's not just Three Lakes. It's people all over. We have 80 to 100 volunteers helping with selling the products."
The event raises more than $10,000 for the fire department.
The board bought a water tank to fight fires at lake homes and an ATV.
It also pays for new firefighters' training.
The board also supports local families that have lost their homes to fire.
If you want to help give back to the community, you can go to Pumpkin Fest this Saturday at Three Lakes High School.
EAGLE RIVER - Soccer players may need to wait for the snow on their fields to melt. But they know cabin fever is starting to set in, and it's the perfect time to capitalize on it.
The 7th annual Cabin Fever Indoor Soccer Tournament kicked off today at Northland Pines High School. The event raises money for the school’s boy's and girl's soccer teams.
"This was an opportunity to have an indoor soccer program so the kids can do something in the winter," says tournament director Steve Gilbert. "There was a need for a fundraiser so we thought why not have a tournament. There are other tournaments in the region, why not have one here with this tremendous facility that we have here at Pines."
Nearly 100 5th through 8th graders played in the co-ed soccer matches. Their participation makes it possible for the team to buy new equipment.
"It allows us to buy things that maybe the school can't afford to buy for them, so different types of warm-ups, equipment out on the field," says Gilbert. "One time we bought a camera for them so we could film their games. So it's going to good causes."
RHINELANDER - Wisconsin will get a new state attorney general this election year.That could mean new changes for the department.
But many of the candidates agree that more needs to be done to deal with heroin in Wisconsin.
Police and prosecutors say the drug continues to spread throughout the state. Republican candidate Brad Schimel, Waukesha County district attorney, believes heroin and opiates are one of the state’s biggest challenge.
"We're seeing more people die from accidental drug overdoses than we're seeing in car crashes," Schimel said. "That is a dangerous statistic for us to be looking at."
According to a Gannet Wisconsin Investigative study, at least 199 people died in 2012 in Wisconsin from drug overdoses.
The legislature has passed several bills this session to fight heroin and help people who are addicted to the drug.
State Rep. Jon Richards-(D) Milwaukee, is one of three Democratic candidates running for attorney general. He believes the state needs to keep going after drug traffickers.
"Local prosecutors and law enforcement are already stretched to the max in terms of their man power," Richards said. "We have to be addressing these new problems of public safety in creative ways and effective ways."
Democratic candidates Susan Happ and Ismael Ozanne were not available before running this story.
Richards was touring the Northwoods Friday talking to media and district attorneys in the area.
The Democratic primary is set for August 12th. Election day is Nov. 4, 2014.
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