ARBOR VITAE - Brandy Lake Disc Golf Course in Arbor Vitae has only been around for 2 years. But Disc Golf players from throughout the Northwoods have played at the facility. Next week, some of the best players from not only the state, but nationwide will be playing there.
The inaugural Brandy Lake Shootout runs May 10-12. Some of the best pro and amatuer players will be competing.
"This will be the third year of operation," says Bill Stolpa the course organizer. "In our league program we averaged almost 50 players per week. The next logical step was to showcase the property and host a PDGA (Professional Disc Golf Association) event."
Disc Golf is played just like regular golf. Only instead of hitting a little white ball, you use discs. It's become very popular because of low costs.
Adam Hemmes is one of the early favorites in the Advanced Men's Division. The Arbor Vitae competitor is just 14-years old.
"I just like the challenge of getting the disc into the basket," says Hemmes. "If you hit a tree, you can't blow up. It's just part of it."
Success for the weekend isn't strictly about Disc Golf. With up to 220 players competing, the tourney is on target to make an economic impact in the Lakeland Community.
Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kim Baltus estimates "every visitor roughly spends $150 a day outside of accomidations... So you can figure that's about $300 dollars a day (including hotel). That's a significant impact."
The tournament will be on Mother's Day weekend. Plenty of openings still available for the historic event. The event is free for the people to check out the action.
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.
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.
MADISON - New state regulations designed to retain teachers are going into effect.
The package was published Tuesday. The provisions allow retired teachers or teachers nearing retirement to apply for a nonrenewable five-year license without submitting a professional development plan. They also increase the time that short-term substitute teachers can serve in the same assignment from 20 days to 45 days.
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."
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.
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.
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