- Virtually no sports happening in the Northwoods until at least Thursday.
Many athletes including the Packers enjoyed Christmas with family and friends. Several shared some of their favorites holiday memories and traditions.
"I have two favorite Christmas presents," Joe Piskula - a member of the Nashville Predators organization and an Antigo native explains. "One was a snowmobile. The other was when we got a chocolate lab with my siblings. That was probably the best."
Elcho girls basketball star Makayla Raith was seven years old when she received her favorite gift.
"It was an American Girl doll. It had blonde hair, kinda looked like me at the time. Her name was Kaylee."
Packers wide receiver James Jones' favorite tradition is "on Christmas Eve, we all get to open one present."
Nicholas Cirese of the Phelps boys basketball team enjoys, "watching "Home Alone" alot. That movie is pretty funny. Just the two guys trying to chase the kid - I think they're the two funniest characters."
For some folks, it's a chance to get together with family who is several miles away.
Lakeland boys swimming star Nick Garcia's family is making a trip.
"We like to go down to Milwaukee and visit with my brother. We don't get to see him as much as I like."
"My family lives far away," adds Jackie Samuelson of the Phelps girls basketball team. "So my favorite thing is going to see them. It's so happy and fun. I just love it."
Packers fullback John Kuhn is looking forward to, "probably getting to open one gift on Christmas Eve, I think that's neat."
Justin Berg is a pitcher with the Colorado Rockies organization and an Antigo native.
"Being a baseball player, as crazy as it sounds, my favorite gift was a snowmobile. Either that or when my dad built a hockey rink in the back yard. My family all loves to play hockey too. That and a snowmobile."
MERRILL - Members of a Northwoods union chapter gathered unique inspiration for a fundraiser - 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."
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.
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."
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.
EAGLE RIVER - A new type of foundation could give you a better way to build a home, and the idea for the improvement starts right here in the Northwoods.
Composite Panel Systems in Eagle River builds composite panels for home foundations. Composite means anything made of two or more materials, which includes fiberglass in this case. The company describes the EPITOME Quality Foundation Wall as a revolutionary composite building solution for residential foundations.
The company makes them off site, and then they put them together on location. Composite Panel Systems' Scott Weber says that means a shorter build time compared to concrete foundations.
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