TOMAHAWK - Forty-eight years ago, hunters started getting together in Tomahawk for a pre-hunt venison feed. Today, they're still doing the same thing, but these days, the whole community gets involved.
"Just a bunch of local guys getting together and they wanted to say thank you to the community and to the hunters that come to the area," said Tamra Anderson, the executive director of the Tomahawk Regional Chamber of Commerce. "They roasted a deer behind the old chamber office downtown."
That was decades years ago. Today, the line for venison stretches a block each way. Community members grill up 1,600 burgers.
Donald Halverson moved to Tomahawk in 1970. He's been coming every year since, and even though he doesn't hunt anymore, he still shows up with his antler hat.
"It adds a lot to the tradition," Halverson says. "You can see that by looking at the people."
Bringing so many people together can be a big help to community organizations. St. Mary's school hopes to make $300 with their bake sale this year.
"The event is great for our school. It brings in grandparents, aunts and uncles, they all come down and they help support the school," said Shauna Bishop. " It brings in $100 to $500, and it's great for all of the community to touch base with our school with that."
Getting hunters into town also means more customers for businesses.
"If we can draw them into town, and bring them into town for this event, hopefully they'll stop at stores and buy their last-minute stuff before they head out to the deer shack," Anderson said.
This year, burgers sold out in an hour and a half.
NORTHWOODS - Lakes and nature bring people from all over the country to the Northwoods during the summer. Those same attractions get some people to stay here. Home sales and home prices in the Northwoods went up in 2017.
The Wisconsin Realtors Association reports about 1,300 more homes sold last year than in 2016 in Wisconsin. A local broker saw the increase firsthand.
"The markets that are going crazy right now are premium homes. The Minocqua chain is red hot, the Eagle River chain is pretty hot the Three Lakes chain is pretty hot and there are some chains of lakes that are less hot," said Coldwell Banker broker Jim Mulleady.
WAUSAU - Police arrested a Florence County man in connection to a Wausau homicide case this week. Online court records show Lee Franck, 56 doesn't face homicide charges, but instead domestic abuse counts.
According to the Wausau Pilot and Review paper, the criminal complaint shows Franck got into an argument with Lyle Leith a few days before the 77-year-old was found dead at his Wausau home on Kickbusch Street.
HAYWARD - Trail conditions for this year's American Birkebeiner race will be just about perfect.
Executive Director Ben Popp said there's about a six inch base, three inches of snow on top, and more snow on the way in the Hayward area.
"The energy right now is just unreal. You can feel it here in Hayward and Cable and certainly around the world. Now with a gold medal, Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall, brings more excitement to not only this event, but the sport. So it's a really great time to be a cross country skier," said Popp.
MINOCQUA - A Lakeland Union High School student could face punishment for putting a shooting threat in a bathroom last week.
According to a press release, the Minocqua Police Department believes the girl officers talked to today is likely the person who left graffiti referencing the Parkland, Florida school shooting in an LUHS girls' bathroom on Thursday.
MERRILL - Trinity Lutheran School in Merrill doesn't have room for any more kindergarten students next year.
Its class is already full, partly because some families can send their kids to Trinity for free.
For the third straight year, Trinity will participate in Wisconsin's private school choice program.
This year, the state pays tuition for about 30 of Trinity's 120 total students.
"Parents like the Christian base, obviously. That's the main reason people send [their kids] here," said School Administrator Kathy Yahr. "They're keeping them here more now because of the opportunities that we offer."
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