RHINELANDER - If you enjoy the outdoors during the winter, ice fishing might rank near the top of your list of favorite activities.
When you can enter a tournament that supports a good cause - that makes it even cooler.
Lake Nokomis looked like a small town last weekend. It was busy with trucks, shacks and people sprawled across its ice. The American Veterans and NCO Club hosted their 6th annual Ice Fishing Tournament.
"I can't believe there's so many people out here," Ricky Myre a Veteran from Tomahawk explains. "Everything it stands for is a great thing, so I'm happy about that."
Dan Keck - the Rhinelander NCO Club Chairman adds, "It's just about getting out, having a good time with your friends and family, seeing your flag go up and catching some fish."
In addition to enjoying the fishing and the chance to win prizes, all the money raised goes to support local veterans groups.
"A lot of our money goes back to the 951st based out of Rhinelander and Tomahawk," Keck says. "It goes toward their families whenever they need money. Another part is we donate back to the community and Wounded Warriors."
Several vets joined nearly 400 anglers on the lake. A war injury took Dale Cherney's right leg. The Mosinee man doesn't let that stop him from fishing, but says it presents some problems.
"Trudging through snow makes it a little tougher," Cherney explains. "So thank God they drove me out here. It's basically a reset. It's a nice thing to do to get away from the business of stuff."
People enjoyed the friendly competition whether or not the fish were biting.
"We still haven't registered fish yet, but we're still out here having fun," Tomahawk angler James Kinnally said.
"Those guys are out there serving in the worst parts of the world and doing things we need them to do to keep our freedom," Myre adds. "I really appreciate everything those guys do for us."
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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