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Northwoods Spotlight - Veterans Ice Fishing Tournament Jan 15Submitted: 01/15/2014
Story By Marisa Silvas

Northwoods Spotlight - Veterans Ice Fishing Tournament Jan 15
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."


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/16/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll update you on a fire at Dolhun Field in Lake Tomahawk last night that required eight different fire departments and destroyed a storage hangar.

We talk to a council member of a Merrill church about their pastor who was seriously injured in a semi-truck/pickup truck accident on Highway 8 near Rhinelander Friday afternoon, and we'll update you on the pastor's condition.

And the Town of Presque Isle is now grooming their cross country ski trails that they hope will bring more people into town.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - A fire in Lake Tomahawk's Dolhun Field Monday night left a storage hangar destroyed. About eight different fire departments worked for hours to put out the flames.

Lake Tomahawk Fire Chief Doug Rehm says the department was called to the fire just before 8 p.m.

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MADISON - Governor Scott Walker wants to close Wisconsin's youth prisons in Lincoln County earlier than first planned.

Walker is urging the Legislature to adopt his plan to close the Lincoln Hills-Copper Lake juvenile facility at Irma this spring, rather than 18 months from now.

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MILWAUKEE - Wisconsin farmers produced smaller corn and soybean crops last year than in 2016, while potato production was up slightly.

The Agriculture Department reports that the state's soybean production was down 6 percent and grain corn production was down 11 percent. Alfalfa hay production was down 19 percent.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Cars in ditches and fender benders littered Northwoods roads this weekend.

Icy conditions meant many drivers lost traction.

Tow truck operators have been working around the clock to help people who crashed or spun off the road.
 
"You eat dinner when you can, you don't know how long you're going to be out. I mean us guys can do 12, 18 hour days. It gets a little tough sometimes," said tow truck operator Sean Hobena. 

Hobena got six calls Monday, which he said is mild compared to previous days. He covers areas in Oneida, Vilas, and Price counties. 

He advises drivers to be careful when driving.

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VILAS COUNTY - The Vilas County Safe Ride program completed its first month at the beginning of January. The program started on December 4. 

Vilas County Safe Ride coordinator Dan Ullsperger said the first month went well. 

"Having 15 in the first month I think is very, very successful. We're looking forward to having more in January and February. I think it will just keep growing and growing," said Ullsperger. 

He hopes to have 30 to 40 rides per month in the future. 
 
The Safe Ride program is meant to eliminate drunk drivers from the roads. A bar has to join the Vilas County tavern league. Then it can buy vouchers for the rides to hand out to customers who need a way to get home. 

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ANTIGO - Usually people just throw out Christmas trees after the holiday season. But in Antigo, people burn some of them.

Dozens gathered at Antigo High School on Monday for the Christmas tree burn. It's hosted by the Antigo Optimist Club each year. Organizers say it's a great family event with years of history. 

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