EAGLE RIVER - More than 2,300 pond hockey players made their way to Dollar Lake - just outside of Eagle River. The annual Pond Hockey Championships featured 336 teams playing on 31 rinks.
"This is our ninth year playing in Eagle River," tournament manager Scott Albrich of USA Hockey explains. "It's the best weather we've had."
Many teams were from the Northwoods. Including "Range Beverage" out of Hurley. They finished second in the 30+ silver division. Cory and Ryan Moderson are brothers on the team. Cory's family enjoys watching him play. 5-year old Devin is watching dad play for the first time.
"Cool," Devin said. "I never saw him play before."
"This is his first time," Cory Moderson - Devin's dad adds. "He's probably going to want to go out there after seeing dad play."
Cory's wife Mae says it's amaizing watching the change in her husband when he steps on the ice.
"He's a completely different person," Mae explains. "Not the guys who is sitting on the couch. He's out there like an animal or a teenager playing hockey with his brother."
It's not just the men getting in on the fun. "Up Yours" is one of the 40 women's teams. They're from Houghton, MI. All of these players are older than 50.
"We can't take the down side of life," Shelley Farrey points out. "We figured we've got to make the best of everyday. Last year we decided to form a team. Played against kids we could have given birth to. It was tough. If they had a 38 and over division, we would be the only ones out there."
"Very exciting to see hockey being played in it's purest form," Albrich adds. "Chance for players to go back to when they were kids. Going outside and just playing."
BOULDER JUNCTION - Pilots find very little room for error when they make a landing. Wings, flaps, and landing gear all need to work properly. Then there's the runway itself, which needs to be flat and smooth.
So, when pilots found ruts and divots torn into the grass runway at Boulder Junction's airport, folks were more than upset, they were worried about safe landings. Airfield president Jeff Long thinks someone used a pickup truck to do the damage. It happened right before the airfield's busiest weekend of the year, the Musky Day fly-in.
"To see somebody disregard that, disrespect that, and then again the safety, where somebody could get hurt that we're inviting up here for summer fun, doesn't make you feel very good," Long said.
RHINELANDER - The City of Rhinelander and Oneida County will consider borrowing $15 million to help develop a manufacturer in Rhinelander, according to an Oneida County Economic Development Corporation release Tuesday.
The money would help Rhinelander Coated Products start work inside the former Printpack building on Kemp Street.
MADISON - New state regulations designed to retain teachers are going into effect.
The package was published Tuesday. The provisions allow retired teachers or teachers nearing retirement to apply for a nonrenewable five-year license without submitting a professional development plan. They also increase the time that short-term substitute teachers can serve in the same assignment from 20 days to 45 days.
THREE LAKES - Pollinators play an essential role in the growth of plants, and it's not just bees that help pollinate.
Butterflies, bats, and even mosquitoes are pollinators, but those populations have been in decline in recent years.
"Across the U.S., pollinators have been seeing big declines," said Oneida County Conservationist Michele Sadauskas. "We've been hearing more and more about our honeybee pollinations. The monarch populations have had dramatic decreases. So we're seeing it across the board."
EAGLE RIVER - Cities across the Northwoods drop tens of thousands of dollars every winter on crack sealing roads. The Eagle River Airport is no different. The airport spent about $25,000 in 2016 patching up its main runway.
Arguably, that runway is even older than most roads people drive on. The runway was last redone in 1971. On a busy day, the 5,000-foot runway hosts upwards of 80 takeoffs and landings. Airport manager Rob Hom showed Newswatch 12 a number of places where the pavement is buckling and cracked. That can lead to dangerous landings for small planes.
"Relative to a car or a truck [a prop-powered airplane is] pretty light relatively speaking, so having a smooth runway is imperative," Hom said.
CRANDON - For some Northwoods families, it can be hard to find the money to pay for their kids' school supplies every year, but a back-to-school program in Forest County is giving children the supplies they need to succeed.
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