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Wisconsin's Free Ice Fishing WeekendSubmitted: 01/20/2013
Story By Ryan Abney

Wisconsin's Free Ice Fishing Weekend
RHINELANDER - If you weren't at the snowmobile derby, you might have taken advantage of the first ever free fishing weekend for the state of Wisconsin.

The state's Department of Natural Resources offered the January 19 and 20 promotion in response to a growing interest in ice fishing.

Richard Threlkeld brought his family out on Boom Lake this weekend.
He said he couldn't think of a better new tradition.

It's important to pass down fishing to future generations, and to bring

children out with you, even in this cold weather they really enjoy themselves.

A 2010 D-N-R survey said just over 100-thousand more fishermen hit the ice than in the previous decade.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

HAZELHURST -
You'll get the chance to catch a variety of theater shows this summer in Hazelhurst.

Tommy O's Playhouse kicks off its summer season Wednesday.

There is a wide mix of shows this year from an old-time country music show to plays written by locals.

"We try to revolve all of our shows within a week or so that if people are up here they can come see one show, then see another show," says Tommy Organiscak.

There are many new cast members this year.

One of them is Luke Funk all the way from New York City.

"Part of the reason why I wanted to come up here is because it's such a challenge to do the 'rep' theater, especially because I am doing four of the eight shows here," says Luke Funk.

Tommy O's Playhouse is one of just four revolving repertory theaters in the country.

For more info, click below.



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MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown is suing the city and its police department because officers used a stun gun on him during his arrest for a parking violation in January.

Brown's attorney Mark Thomsen filed the lawsuit in federal court Tuesday alleging excessive force and unlawful arrest.

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MADISON - The state Supreme Court says the city of Madison doesn't owe a billboard company anything because an overpass blocked the company's sign.

The city built an overpass in 2013 that blocks the view of one side of an Adams Outdoor Advertising sign. The company sued demanding compensation, alleging the overpass construction prevents the company from fully using its property and therefore amounts to a government taking.

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LAKE TOMAHAWK -
Heavy rain this weekend nearly delayed the start of Lake Tomahawk's snowshoe baseball season.

The Snowhawks will begin their 12 game schedule Monday night against Newswatch 12.

Early Monday, it looked like the field at Snowshoe Park might be too wet to play on.

Snowhawks Manager Jeff Smith said the sun Monday afternoon has helped prepare the wood chips on the field for the game.

"Once you get them ruffed up, it kind of pulls the moisture out. It's kind of nice to have the sun going, because it will dry some of that right up. It takes a little while, it takes a little wind, but with everything going on now it's going to make big improvements by game time," said Smith.

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NORTHWESTERN WI - Heavy rains have caused an earthen dam to fail in a rural area of northwestern Wisconsin.

Douglas County Emergency Management Director Keith Kesler says he's unaware of any evacuations from the damage Monday. Few people live in the area.

Kesler says water is overtopping the Radigan Flowage Dam west of Dairlyland after several days of rain.

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - Camp American Legion recently opened up for visitors this year, but campers will notice some big changes.

The entire top floor of the main building was redone with new flooring and new bathrooms. The camp also cleared the way to put in concrete outside the front entrance to be used as a future spot for music and other outdoor gatherings.

But those aren't the only projects underway. 

"The other one that we worked on was the front entrance and the sunroom entrance out here actually on the second floor, and that got a complete facelift on it also," said Camp Director Don Grundy. "We got stone work on the outside, all new windows, that we'll now be able to use these spaces in the winter." 

Grundy hopes to be able to have winter programming in the future. The camp will also have a grand opening for a new building for families of the fallen this coming Wednesday.


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MERCER -
People knew "Bike the Heart" as Vilas County's bike trail system.

Now that's changing as Mercer is now a part of "Bike the Heart."

That means the entire trail is more than 50 miles long!

But you'll have to wait until next month for Mercer's piece to be totally paved.

"It's been going for a long time. To be the last sort of Northern point of the trail for now, we are honored and excited about it," says Mercer Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Beth Wetzler.

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