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Solar powered tent helps keep fishermen warmSubmitted: 01/05/2014
Story By Shardaa Gray


RHINELANDER - Ice fishing probably sounds like the last thing some people would want to do in these frigid temperatures.

But some professional fishermen braved the cold with the help of some green technology.

Bone chilling temperatures didn't stop fishermen from trying to get the best catch of the day.

"You're nose and hands get a little chilly once in a while, but usually you stay pretty warm overall." said Solar Sportsman representative, Jim Davis.

11 teams competed on an icy Boom Lake in Rhinelander.

This was the first Team Extreme Ice Fishing Tournament in Wisconsin.

Fishermen from as far as Minnesota and Maryland traveled to Rhinelander to qualify for the Team Extreme Championship.

"You have to be able to go above and beyond and be able to take what mother nature gives you because we're not only out here competing against each other, we're competing against mother nature." said Wisconsin Team Extreme Ice Fishing director, Raymond Tiffany.

The tournaments director figured out a way to use Mother Nature to their advantage.

It's all thanks to a solar powered tent.

"This tent is heated. It's lighted. We run our scales off the power. We run our PA System off the power," Tiffany said.

"We're not even touching the power output that this tent is capable of."

The Wisconsin based company, Solar Sportsman, made a solar ice tent last year just for this tournament.

It's powered by a 400 watt solar module that feeds into a battery inside the tent.

"We wanted to be able to run a PA System. We wanted to be able to run a monitor. We want to have the option to run an AC Scale," said Davis.

"So we needed power out here. The one thing we didn't want to have running out on the lake is a generator to keep everything going."

"We have to move green to save our planet. We want to show that we can be… we as ice fishermen can be responsible," Tiffany said.

"We want to show we care about the outdoors and the environment."

Staying warm and keeping the air free of pollution keeps both fishermen and Mother Nature happy.

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Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





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RHINELANDER - Celebrating our nation's birthday with family and friends can be a great time. But it's good to keep safety in mind this weekend too.

The Rhinelander Fire Department responds to a few injuries every year from fireworks. That's far better than the national average of more than 10,000 fireworks-related injuries. But the most common injury actually comes from a firework many parents consider safe.

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PLUM LAKE - St. Germain ATV riders will need to find a new route that avoids Plum Lake.

That's because the Plum Lake Town Board voted against opening up parts of two roads: Kurtzweil Road and Birch Spring Road. Both are on the border of Sayner and St. Germain and are shared between the two towns.

A few months ago, St. Germain asked Plum Lake to open parts of those roads as part of an ATV route. At first, the Plum Lake Town Board approved them. That was before they found out a section of Kurtzweil Road was completely in Plum Lake.

"At that time the Plum Lake Town Board by a 2 to 1 vote approved letting them use that, assuming at the time the two roads were boundary roads equally shared by Sayner and St. Germain," said Will Maines, the Plum Lake Town Chairman.

So when St. Germain came back to the next town meeting with an ordinance for the roads ready to go, the Plum Lake town board then voted no.

Maines said most of the people in Plum Lake don't want ATVs on their town roads. The board found this out from a survey of residents and taxpayers they sent out in 2015, where he said about two-thirds of non-resident property owners and about two-thirds of Plum Lake resident voters voted against allowing ATVs on town roads.

"We'd like to cooperate with the town of St. Germain, but we represent the people of Plum Lake, and they have given us the message loud and clear: they don't want us to allow them on any section of our roads," Maines said.

The St. Germain Town Chairman Tom Christensen said the decision is "disappointing," but, "it is what it is."

About 6 towns in the eastern part of Vilas County allow ATVs on town roads, but the towns in the western part of the county don't allow them on town roads.

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WAUSAU - Police officers in Wausau will now wear body cameras, according to a department release Wednesday.

The department also released video from one of the department's first traffic stops using the body camera on its Facebook page.

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