LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Stories about spear fishing and tribal rights generate a lot of feedback. Some of it is so negative and inflammatory we have to delete it from our Facebook page.
Lac du Flambeau leaders hope to avoid that reaction at an upcoming Musky Tournament.
Fishing tournaments are a way of life for many in the Northwoods. Sports anglers take millions of fish from the lakes each year. In comparison native spearers take a much smaller harvest, but they face extensive criticism for it.
It's likely native people have enjoyed a friendly competition since the invention of the spear thousands of years ago. They hold small tournaments often, and often their pictures end up on websites condemning them, like www.musky.com/2012Single/FisheryRape .
This weekend musky spearers will hold a tournament in Lac du Flambeau. Tribal Chairman Tom Maulson wants Native Spearers to feel the same pride as anglers who show off their catch.
"This is a time that our people can be proud of what they do. And they shouldn't have to be scrutinized by a newspaper or a musky group or any type of fishing group out there… We don't go out there and protest their tournaments," said Tom Maulson, President of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.
In the 6 to 7 hours of the tournament, Maulson thinks some spearers won't catch any fish. Some others he says might catch one or two.
There will be Tribal and Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission officials monitoring the tournament.
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.
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.
KNOWLTON - When you think of Wisconsin, you probably think of the Packers, dairy, and beer. One of the quintessential things that make this state great is its cheese, and you'll find no shortage of that in north central Wisconsin. The largest family-owned cheese factory is right in our own backyard, and it continues to push its limits in the industry
For Bill Mullins, the cheese business is all in the family.
"My other two brothers are in the business," said Bill, Co-Owner of Mullins Cheese. "My brother has four boys in the business full-time. My mom did accounting for us until she was 88."
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."
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.
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.
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