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NEWS STORIES

A Northwoods Tourism Department is Tackling Slow SeasonSubmitted: 04/12/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


EAGLE RIVER - As the snowmobile trails close and ice goes out, people in the Northwoods tend to lay low until spring is in full force. But people in charge of bringing visitors to the area aren't taking any time off.

"In the tourism business there is no such thing as taking a break. Our job is to bring people here year-round and we cherish that because Vilas County ranks third in tourism intensity in the state of Wisconsin. So we take our job seriously, and we have fun at it at the same time," says Cindy Burzinski.

Burzinski is the Director of Vilas County Tourism and Publicity. She enjoys the challenge of luring people to the Northwoods during the slow period.

Some of the activities still available require a little creativity, like touring thawing waterfalls.

Burzinski takes advantage of promoting the advantages of a non-crowded Northwoods.

"They can go to our website and see that there's quiet time packages, or packages for this off-season when maybe the rates are a little bit better. And what happens is, they can come up here and fall in love with Vilas County during this time of year and make that reservation to come back again," says Burzinski.

The department also gets events and activities on the Wisconsin Department of Tourism website to reach people further away.



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 IN OTHER NEWS

NORTHWOODS - Children went back to school across the Northwoods Tuesday. That's why it's important to make sure you're prepared for anything.

Emergency workers say it's important to have a plan in place for all possible emergency situations. That plan should include emergency contacts, safe meeting locations, and emergency kits in homes and cars. Officials say taking time to plan and practice is crucial.

"Look at things before it happens," says Dawn Robinson, Oneida County Emergency Management Program Assistant. "Make sure your family, your loved ones, your neighbors, make sure everyone has a plan and practice those plans. That way when something does happen, it becomes more, that you know what to do, so be prepared as much as possible, and practice."

Part of being prepared is communication and knowing who to contact. Officials encourage parents to make sure that schools have up-to-date emergency contact information, especially for small children.

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RHINELANDER - Anxious and excited kids will find more creative ways to learn this year at Crescent Elementary School in Rhinelander.

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HAZELHURST - You won't find any alligator-filled moats at an upcoming medieval festival in Hazelhurst. But you will get the chance to step back in time during the Northwoods Medieval Faire at Tommy O's Playhouse next weekend.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Drivers in Woodruff and Minocqua might want to avoid a popular shortcut soon. A several month long road project will start next week on County Highway J between Highways 51 and 47.

Last year, the intersection of County Highway J and Highway 51 was completely redone.

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RHINELANDER - September might not seem like the best time to plan your garden, but taking steps now can mean better results later.

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MERRILL - It can be a frustrating sight when your gas light comes on in the car.

One North Central Wisconsin fuel company may make it a little more pleasant going to the pump.

Riiser Engery and R-Stores will donate two cents for every gallon pumped on "Pride Pumps" to area schools districts.

The Wausau based company has pride pumps in five different locations across north central Wisconsin.

You can find them in Gillett, Schofield, Wausau, Edgar, and Merrill.

Riiser says each pride pump should raise between $4000 to $7000

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MERRILL - The school bells rang Tuesday morning for students across Wisconsin.

Another school year has begun with kids looking forward to a new year.

It also means that drivers should be on the lookout around schools.

In Merrill, police keep a close watch around school zones the first few weeks of class.

Speed limits drop dramatically as drivers enter school zones.

Merrill Police Chief Ken Neff says it's important to be especially observant this time of year.

"Especially the first week or two of school because kids are excited, and maybe not so excited, about getting back to school," Neff said. "They're thinking about their friends and maybe not paying attention to traffic."

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