Deployed soldiers receive relaxing vacation in the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 07/09/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

Photos By Shardaa Gray

EAGLE RIVER - When soldiers get sent overseas, they normally don't get to go fishing.

But here in the Northwoods they're doing just that, for free.

"Fishing doesn't stay the same. Every year it's different." said fishing guide, Marve Elliott.

For the last seven summers, the USO has brought selected servicemen and their families to Camp R & R at the Appleton Lodge on Butternut Lake near Eagle River.

Part of the stress-free week is fishing with Yukon Jack and his guides.

"They volunteer their time to the USO for the service members and their families. And it happens to be every week we have it it's a Tuesday," said USO of Illinois Program Director, Wiley Norden.

"Like I said it's one of the highlights of the week."

Korean War veteran Marve Elliott volunteered his time to guide these soldiers in the water.

"We want to give back something to these guys to because we know what they've gone through with their families," Elliott said.

"We've been here several years now, all three of us. Al and Doc, we enjoy doing it."

But the real enjoyment is the reaction from the kids.

"What I really enjoy is taking sons or daughters or parents take their kids out on the lake and they'll watch a kid catch their first fish or something. That's great. That's great." said Elliott.

Senior Chief Michael Allen is thankful for the respect shown to military members.

"Hearing that people actually care about people going overseas and spending time with my family is a great opportunity to give back," Navy Senior Chief, Michael Allen said.

"It's awesome for us to actually see some of the benefits."

Catching a fish might be tough, but showing appreciation for our troops is all that matters.

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MERRILL - People know Helene's Hilltop Orchard in Merrill as the place to go to get your fall season fix.

The pie makers and apple peelers come in early to crank out caramel apple pies fresh throughout the day.

When people come to Helene's, they are usually greeted by the smell of the pies before they even see them.

"I love being out in the parking lot when people step out of their cars and smell the air. It doesn't smell like a lot of other farms. It's distinctly the cinnamon sugar you smell," said Helene' Hilltop Orchard baker Olivia Telschow.

Helene's is only open for six weeks from mid-September to late October; however, Telschow works alongside her mother Helene throughout the entire year.

Even in the winter, the apple orchard is checked on.

"February is pruning season. Think of me when it's minus ten and it's snowing and windy and snow drifts because I will be out there," said Telschow.

The orchard is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through October 30th.

Helene's will close Sunday for the season, but pies will be available to order for Thanksgiving.

Call (715) 536-1207 for more information.

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MADISON - Even with higher fees, plenty of people want to camp in state parks.

Wisconsin state park use this year is on track to be higher than average, despite fee increases that were imposed to offset the withdrawal of tax support.

The number of camping registrations and nights camped in 2016 through Friday was greater than in any year since 2008 except for last year's record.

This year, there have been nearly 160,000 camping registrations and more than 386,000 nights camped for state parks, recreation areas and southern forests.

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MADISON - The state Natural Resources' board will soon vote on selling another 3,500 acres of public land.

A measure included in the state budget ordered the DNR to sell 10,000 acres by the middle of next year.

Money raised will help pay down debt in the agency's land stewardship program.

The Natural Resources board approved putting about 1,400 acres up for sale in 2014.

Another 5,700 acres went up for sale this past February.

The board should vote Wednesday in Madison on whether to put a final 93 parcels totaling just over 3,500 acres up for sale.

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MILWAUKEE - The trade deal known as the Trans Pacific Partnership has taken a pounding on the presidential campaign trail. But, at least one group is holding out hope for the pact - Wisconsin dairy producers

They see nothing but advantages from a deal that could increase exports at a time when their cows are producing more milk than ever in an over-saturated domestic market.

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TOWN OF DEXTER - Two people died and two others were taken to the hospital after a head-on crash in Wood County Tuesday afternoon.

The Wood County Sheriff's Department says the cars crashed along Highway 80 in the Town of Dexter around 3:35 p.m.

Two of the three people in one car were pronounced dead at the scene.  The third was flown to Ministry St. Joseph's Hospital.  The driver of the other car was also flown to St. Jospeh's.

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STEVENS POINT - On Tuesday at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Chelsea Clinton, daughter of 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, spoke to more than 300 people. 

During her speech she emphasized the need to end the negativity that was brought by Republican nominee Donald Trump this election calling it the "Trump Effect." 

"I never thought I would see in my lifetime the almost normalization of hate speech from a major presidential candidate," said Clinton.

For some who attended the event, seeing Clinton was more than just a reminder to get out and vote; it was a reminder of where Clinton started.

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RHINELANDER - The finishing touches of Rhinelander's Downtown Streetscape project will include painting crosswalks, removing traffic gates, and completing sidewalks. Planting dozens of trees downtown will also help the city finish the major project.

Nationwide, "Arbor Day" falls in late April. But the city proclaimed Tuesday Arbor Day in Rhinelander.

It's a recognition of the importance trees play in finishing the streetscape project and in Rhinelander as a whole.

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