WAUSAU - A gay pride parade planned for this weekend in Wausau raised some eyebrows and tense comments, but perhaps it was all for nothing?
No one seemed to know who the Gay Pride Parade planner was. He wasn't from Wausau, and he didn't reach out to any locals. That concerned the Wausau gay and lesbian community.
"We don't really know what he's planning. We don't know what kind of message the parade was going to send," said Shannon Thomas with Heart of Wisconsin Pride, "In bigger cities pride parades can be quite colorful, and that is fun, but I don't know if it exactly works for Wausau at this time."
So Thomas decided to host a march, at the exact same time. She wants to focus on equal rights.
"I wanted to be sure that the message of equality and equal rights for all was represented and so, at least for the March for Equality half of it, if they [the parade and the march] do come together I know for sure that there are over 300 people right now that will be peaceful protesters."
Then came another twist came to this story... We found out today, the original gay pride parade ISN'T happening.
The mysterious event planner Daxx Bouvier sent a letter to the city clerk two days ago saying he was cancelling the parade.
Thomas's March for Equality will still go on.
The original parade planner Bouvier never paid the fees he needed for the parade, or provided proof of insurance to the city. He's been unavailable for comment.
RHINELANDER - If you did a double take driving down county highways this week, it was for good reason. Oneida County posted its weight limit restriction signs Monday. That's the earliest those signs have gone up in more than 15 years.
Usually weight limits go into effect in mid-March. Counties put them on to protect roads as frost comes out of the ground. Oneida County Highway Commissioner Bruce Stefonek tried to wait as long as possible.
MCALLEN, TX - U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan is visiting the Rio Grande valley for a firsthand look at the U.S.-Mexico border as the Trump administration steps up immigration enforcement and prepares to ask Congress to pay for a border wall.
It's the first time the Wisconsin Republican has visited the border, and protests have been announced to meet his arrival in McAllen, Texas, on Wednesday.
ONEIDA COUNTY - If your truck cracks through the ice, your first thought might be, "get off ASAP."
There are workers who head the opposite way--onto the ice to help.
That describes one local team who carefully went to work on the Willow Flowage in Oneida County in Little Rice on Tuesday.
"This ain't no joke out here," said Tom Quandt, Jr., the owner of Bulldog Off-Road Recovery Service. "I do get nervous, and today's a day I'm nervous because of the ice conditions."
That nervous energy is what likely helps Quandt and his crew carefully cross the ice and get sunken vehicles back above water level.
It's not easy. Quandt and his crew set nerves aside, driving in a bombardier about two miles off the shore on Willow Dam Road to get to the truck, which was near an island.
"I was looking at the ice," Quandt says as he describes the drive out to the car. "I was looking for holes in the ice, I was looking for the color of the ice...There was water coming up out of spots as we were driving out here."
The crew tried a few times to get the truck back on safer ice, but the car fell through again. The crew then decided to drill a trench to a nearby island and pull the car out that way.
"We can sit and play that game all day and it's not going to get us anywhere without a lot of time and labor into this," Quandt said.
The team got the car out and onto the island around 1 a.m. Wednesday.
Quandt said the owner of the car may try to tow his truck back to shore later this week.
The DNR is aware of the situation. By state statute, you have 30 days to remove your car from the ice or get a fine.
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