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NEWS STORIES

Northwoods Spotlight: Outdoor CurlingSubmitted: 01/30/2013
Story By Joe Dufek


EAGLE RIVER - Several Northwoods folks decided to compete in an outdoor curling tournament last year near Sugar Camp.

They had so much fun, they decided to try and form a league.

4 teams, 16 players, and 2 frozen lakes. Joe Dufek has more in today's "Northwoods Spotlight."

Action on a pair of frozen lakes just south of Eagle River has really picked up this winter. But these guys are not ice fishing. Curling is the name of the game. But at Johnny Nick's and Kathan Inn, the sport is played outside.


"We realized, 'Let's try to build a rink outside and keep this thing going,'" Justin Pitlik of Johnny Nick's "A" team said. "In the winter months, we have something to do and have a lot of fun."

It's called the Northwoods Pond Curling League. 4 teams playing on either Kathan Lake or Dam Lake. Most of these players have never curled before.

This grass-roots league, or should I say ice-roots league had to be creative with their equipment. The rinks are spray-painted. Event he stones are home made.

Mike Warwick of Kathan Inn "A" team explains the stones are, "stainless steel dog dishes to keep the cost down. I know that sounds funny, but we want to keep the cost down. There is concrete inside - weights 40 pounds. That's the weight of a curling stone."

Most of players will likely not be seen on an Olympic stage, everyone has tried to keep the rules in tact. Although some rules were adjusted to keep the activity fun. Only two women are playing this year. They throw from the Hogline.

They hope the league will have more teams next year, and attract both curlers and rookies to the fun.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MEDFORD - 28 middle aged and elderly people will need to find housing after an apartment fire in Medford Saturday.

It happened a little before 1 p.m. The Medford Police Department says the fire happened in Riverview Village Apartments on the third floor.

Medford Police Chief Ken Coyer says a neighbor smelled and saw smoke.

The 28 people who lived there were displaced due to smoke, fire and water damage throughout the building. Red Cross helped them at Medford Area Senior High School to make arrangments for housing.

The chief says this was an accidental fire.

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KENOSHA - The Kenosha mayor says he's very disappointed Gov. Scott Walker decided against a request to build a casino there.

Gov. Scott Walker on Friday denied the Menominee Nation's request for permission to build an off-reservation casino in Kenosha, saying it could leave the state owing a rival tribe millions of dollars.

Kenosha Mayor Keith Bosman says he's frustrated with Walker's denial of the tribal casino at the former Dairyland Greyhound Park.

He said the loss of $800 million in investment and the expected thousands of construction and permanent jobs is a blow to the city.

Bosman said the process has been very frustrating.

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MILWAUKEE - A driver who entered Interstate 94 the wrong way is dead and five others are injured after a six-vehicle crash in Milwaukee County.

According to the county sheriff's department, 32-year-old Marcos Cortez, of Wauwatosa, entered the freeway at about 8 p.m. Friday travelling westbound in the eastbound lanes without headlights on when he crashed into another car.

Cortez died on the scene. The three people in the car he struck were not seriously injured.

Four other vehicles were involved in secondary crashes, with two people taken to hospitals for minor injuries.

The eastbound freeway was shut down for nearly 5 hours while deputies investigated.

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MINOCQUA - A large crowd had the chance to try a wide variety of tasty chilli Saturday.

The Minocqua Brewing Company hosted their fourth annual Chilly Chili Challenge. People had the chance to try 10 different chili's.

Minocqua Brewing Company Manager Doug Etten says the warm weather might have played a roll in how many people came out Saturday.

"It's so nice out this weekend that we've got a lot of people in the area, but they'll be out doing some stuff," said Etten. "We understand that and they should be because that's why they come to the Northwoods."

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THREE LAKES - Many people get their tax forms at Northwoods libraries. But they might not get everything they need to file their taxes at the library this year.

The IRS won't be able to send local libraries every free tax form and instruction booklets because of budget cuts.

At the Demmer Memorial Library in Three Lakes, the free tax forms are usually a popular service. The library's director think many people will be let down. But the library will still offer some of the tax forms people will need.

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WAKEFIELD - Close to 3,000 people in Gogebic County experienced a widespread power outage Friday.

The Gogebic County Sheriff's Office aren't sure how it happened, but power is being restored.

They say the outage affected much of the county, but it was narrowed down to the city of Wakefield. About 50 percent of the city was without power.

Deputies say the city of Wakefield maintains its own power grid. They say Wakefield Electric Department and Xcel Energy worked all day Saturday to restore power.

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ATLANTA - Police who searched two airplanes in Atlanta found no bombs following online threats made against the aircraft.

FBI spokesman Stephen Emmett said law enforcement officials finished their search Saturday night at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

The threats targeted Southwest Airlines Flight 2492, which arrived from Milwaukee, and Delta Air Lines Flight 1156, which arrived from Portland, Oregon.

Both flights arrived safely.
NORAD spokesman Preston Schlachter said the threats were made through Twitter, an online social media network. The military dispatched two F-16 fighter jets to shadow the planes until they reached the airport.

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