Foodies in Minocqua Get a Taste of the NorthSubmitted: 04/25/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

Foodies in Minocqua Get a Taste of the North
MINOCQUA - For six years now, some of the best chefs in the area give you the chance to try their masterpieces. A Taste of the North was cooking in Minocqua tonight.

Twenty five food vendors made mouths water with everything from biscuits and gravy, to sauteed muscles, to chocolate fudge.

Trig's and Save More foods sponsored the event. They say this is an event they wouldn't miss.

"The reactions from the people that come here are unbelievable. There's a lot of camaraderie here. All the restaurants get together and know everybody else. So it's a good time and something everybody gets together for," says Tom Chandler, Trig's Store Director.

"We really like to get behind the businesses in the community. And the restaurants are a good lifeblood of this community too, and we like to be able to help out as much as we can," says Jim Gauden, Save More President.

Diners said the $25 ticket for the best food the Northwoods has to offer-- was well worth it.

"It's awesome. It's a great opportunity for us to share with our family and friends when they come up to visit where they should go, because we get a chance to see what everybody has," says Rick Engels.

The Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors run the event. Tickets sold out weeks ago... all 350.

The Ambassadors will choose a number of local organizations and people to donate the money to. Past recipients have been the Oneida County Dive Team and scholarships for Lakeland Union Students.

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ARBOR VITAE - An Arbor Vitae restaurant may be relatively new to the area, but regulars quickly started packing the place every Friday for fish fry.

Ron and Marlena Schisel opened Outback 51 about a year ago.

They say it was tough being the "newbies" at first, but their fish fry got people in the door from the start.

Bluegill is the favorite plate at this fish fry.

" Surprisingly we sell more bluegill more than any other fish. It is a Northwood's native fish, people want to see if it takes the fish that they have when they clean fish," says Ron.

Outback 51 serves fish fry Fridays starting at 11 a.m.

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RHINELANDER - The ground won't thaw for another month or so, but you can start planning your garden now.

You'll have to wait until mid-May to plant flowers, but you can get away with some vegetable seeds.

Bare root plants are also a good option for early-spring. Those include apple trees, blueberry and raspberry bushes.

"We can help out here when you come out and make sure you get everything you need to get started."

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ASHLAND COUNTY - The Ashland County Board has rejected a $9.5 million wrongful death claim from the family of a 14-year-old boy who was fatally shot by a sheriff's deputy.

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EAGLE RIVER - You typically find cotton or denim running through her sewing machine, but Chris Gaffron has been sewing a lot of plastic lately.

"It's just straight stitching, so anyone can do it," Gaffron said.

The "StitchIt" custom embroidery store owner worked on sewing old plastic feed bags from a friend's horse barn, which don't biodegrade.  Gaffron and her friend talked about ways to make better use of the trash and came up with an idea to help the homeless.

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EAGLE RIVER - Now that spring has sprung, many of us will be looking forward to warmer temperatures.

But these cool temperatures are keeping sap harvesters in business.

For the last 23 years, Yukon Jack has made his own maple syrup from trees in his own yard in Eagle River.

"Normally, I make 30 to 40 gallons," said Jack.

This year, things are looking good for Jack and his syrup.

"This is going to be a good year," said Jack.

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WOODRUFF - The state will no longer use county-by-county rules to attempt to slow the spread of deadly emerald ash borer (EAB).

Next Friday, all of Wisconsin will be under an EAB quarantine. That means ash wood can now move freely around the state.

In the current system, individual counties are quarantined only if the tree pest was found there. The state restricted the movement of ash wood between infected counties and those free from EAB, trying to keep more areas "clean."

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CRANDON - An inmate in the Forest County Jail committed suicide Wednesday morning. 

According to a press release from the Forest County Sheriff's Office, jail staff found the man shortly after 6:30 a.m.

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