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Northwoods town receives JEM grantSubmitted: 06/20/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson

Northwoods town receives JEM grant
THREE LAKES - One Northwoods town just received a large check.

The Wisconsin Department of Tourism recently gave Three Lakes more than $27,000 for its Heritage Festival.

Last year, the Three Lakes Chamber of Commerce received $30,000 for the first Heritage Festival.

Skip Brunswick, Executive Director of the Three Lakes Chamber of Commerce, says, "It's quite an honor to be considered one. I think last year we were one out of sixteen that got it and there must have been thirty-some that applied so [we're] pretty proud of it."

The money comes from the Joint Effort Marketing or "JEM" Grant program.

JEM gives out $1.1 million a year to non-profits for promoting Wisconsin tourism.

Only three other Northwoods groups have received grants from the JEM program over the last year.

Brunswick says the grant money is not just beneficial to Three Lakes.

"We like to bring attention to the entire Northwoods, just not Three Lakes. So if I do my part to bring people up to the Northwoods, they're going to be able to see some of the other areas that we have up here," he says.

This year's festival celebrates Ireland, Italy, Germany, Poland, and of course, Wisconsin.

There will be food from those countries, live entertainment, lumberjack shows and games for kids.

They expect about 2,500 people to attend.

The festival will be held on June 29th and 30th.

Related Weblinks:
Three Lakes Heritage Fest Information

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 IN OTHER NEWS

THREE LAKES - One teenager decided to spend a day giving back to the Three Lakes community 18-year-old Maxwell Blanchard lives in L.A but always makes it back to Three Lakes during the summer. 

Blanchard learned how to water ski and wakeboard in Three Lakes at five years old. 

On Sunday he spent the day giving free water skiing and wakeboarding lessons.

"[To] get someone new out there to ski or at least get them attempting. It's always fun when you get the kids who are a little nervous out there and a little shaky, then they get out there and they love it," said Blanchard. 

Blanchard said every year the water sports community chooses a day to give back and participate in "International Pass the Handle Day."

 Kylee Swendson decided to help Blanchard this year with the lessons. 

"It's great for everybody to get a chance to learn especially people who don't get the opportunity every day," said Swendson. 

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EAGLE RIVER - During the summer Northland Pines High School is being used as the home base for a foreign exchange program. 

The Northwoods Adventure Quest Program brings students from China and America together.

 Last year travel rules stopped the program from happening, but this year the students and organizers are more driven than ever to keep their mission going. 

"You get to form relationships with people from around the world," said 10- year- old Chase Neubauer. 

This is Neubauer's first time joining the two week Adventure Quest Program. 

The goal of the program is to do more than just keep kids busy during the summer. 

"[It] promotes connections with Wisconsin especially the Northern part [of Wisconsin with] all of China," said WISP Executive Director Xiaodong Kuang.

Kuang is one the organizers of the quest program. He couldn't think of a better way of promoting his goal than starting with young students. 

"[So that] the young generation, who will be the future leaders of the world, [can] appreciate cultures and know more about each other," said Kuang. 

This is Power Liu's first time coming to America with the program. 

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MANITOWISH WATERS - "When you have something like this everybody turns a little bit Irish," said Irish Fest volunteer Ron Troller.

Ye Olde Shillelagh in Manitowish Waters hosted its Second Annual Irish Festival this weekend. The big draw for the volunteers and attendees is the music.

"Who doesn't like professional Irish music," said Troller.

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RHINELANDER - In June, the Rhinelander City Council approved a fenced-in dog park at Shepard Park. It's something Tina Werres has been working towards for the last 10 years.

On Saturday, about 30 volunteers gathered at Shepard Park to clean up the south end of the park.

The fence is scheduled to be put up in about three weeks so Werres wanted to get the area cleaned up as soon as possible.

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RHINELANDDER - Most people who kayak will go out for a few hours and cover several miles. But one southwestern Wisconsin man is trying to cover more than 400 miles as fast as possible.

Ben Sasse is from Muscoda and is trying to break the speed record for paddling the Wisconsin River.

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EAGLE RIVER - A woman went missing last night east of Eagle River, but searchers found her safe early Friday morning.

The Vilas County Sheriff's Department got the report of the missing woman just before 8:00 p.m. Thursday.

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TOWN OF CLOVERLAND - Ed Renk hopes to sell his home on a quiet road near Eagle River soon.  But Renk worries his home won't sell as soon as buyers learn who'll be living a few doors down.

"Our feelings are not good about this deal," Renk said.

That "deal" is more of an order. Violent sex offender Steven Burgess, 41, will be placed on Chickaree Lake Road in Cloverland August 1.  It's the second time Burgess will be placed in the exact same home in four years.

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