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NEWS STORIES

Local band to perform at Hodag Country FestSubmitted: 07/09/2013

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RHINELANDER - Big-name country bands travel to Rhinelander from far away for Hodag Country Fest.

But one local band doesn't have to travel far at all for their Hodag debut.

Take a little punk, some bluegrass, and a whole lot of country and you get the Ditchrunners.

"We like to call it 'Honkey-tonk Guttergrass.' But people say it's kind of punk-countryish, whatever it is. It's our own original thing. We're not trying to be like anybody else we're just doing what we do," says Douglas Bredlau, The Ditchrunners' lead singer.

The Stevens Point band came in first place at one of several Hodag Pick-Off competitions in Wisconsin.

Now they get to play on the main stage of Hodag Country Fest.

"It's a real trip because I know what a big deal it is. I know what a huge event it is in Rhinelander. And I'm going to have a bunch of friends that are going to be there that have been going to Hodag for years, and I'm just really excited to get the chance to play for the hometown crowd," adds Bob Weigandt, The Ditchrunners' mandolin player.

Weigandt grew up in Rhinelander.

Ditchrunner's founder Douglas "Buckshot" Bredlau grew up in Park Falls.

Their debut at Hodag Country Fest will also be a competition.

Bands that won regional Hodag Pick-Offs will compete for the title of Wisconsin State Country Band Champion.

"We are rooted in the tradition of country music and we're kind of trying to bring that back a little bit in the world of pop country I guess," says Bredlau.

When The Ditchrunners perform at Hodag Fest on Friday they'll also pre-release their new full-length album.

"Squirrel Lake up by Minocqua, we spent three days out on an island just recording all day, every day for three straight days," says Alex Dalnodar, The Ditchrunners' guitarist.

It's the band's first album with a record label.

You'll be able to buy it July 16th, the same day they perform at the Rhinelander Ice Arena with Buckcherry.

"It's actually a great family and I love these guys more than anybody. It's been a real good time and it's going to get a lot better. I know that," Bredlau says.

Story By: Lauren Stephenson

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Wisconsin named #1 in cranberry production; Northwoods farm contributes to keeping title Submitted: 07/25/2014

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WISCONSIN/THREE LAKES - Wisconsin continues to be the best state nationwide when it comes to producing cranberries. One Northwoods farm is preparing to make this year even better.

James Lake Farms in Three Lakes harvested close to 8,000 barrels last year. They hope to meet those expectations this year.

Right now they are in the growing season. The assistant manager believes Wisconsin is a natural environment for growing cranberries.

"It's fairly consistent as compared to somewhere out on the coast where most of the other cranberries are grown. I think a lot of those things combined help make it a good place to grow," said James Lake Farms Assistant Manager Benjamin Riker.

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Garden tour Saturday to raise money for hospiceSubmitted: 07/25/2014

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RHINELANDER - You can learn how to improve your garden while also supporting a Northwoods hospice provider.

The Master Gardeners of the North and Ministry Hospice will host a garden tour Saturday, July 26th. People will get to tour six gardens in Rhinelander's historic courthouse neighborhood.

Organizers hope the event will raise at least $2,000. That money will go to patients who are unable to pay for their services.

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Summer temperatures impact local toy salesSubmitted: 07/25/2014

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RHINELANDER AND MINOCQUA - Summer gets us outside playing games on the lake or in the yard, but with cooler temperatures this year, trips to the lake may not be as popular.

That impacts certain businesses in a good way. Imaginuity toys stores in Minocqua and Rhinelander have noticed a difference in the toys they've sold this summer.

"We're definitely getting a lot more traffic with the cooler temperatures. A lot more people in the door, which we're loving. We are seeing a lot more people buying more project based items. They're buying a lot of the active play but not so much the water active," said Jessica Hatch, Store Manager.

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Langlade County fish farm highlights Wisconsin aquacultureSubmitted: 07/25/2014

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ELTON - An afternoon of fishing might be your way of relaxing on a hot summer day.

But for brothers Terry and Tim Winkle, it's business, and their entire world revolves around fish.

Three generations of Winkel family have worked the ponds at Silver Moon Springs.

Brothers Tim and Terry took over the property in 1977.

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UPDATE: Man suffering from depression before killing himself after shootout & car chase Submitted: 07/25/2014

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MARINETTE COUNTY - The Marinette County Sheriff's Office believes the man who killed himself after a police chase Thursday was dealing with depression. He had also recently become agitated.

Robb DeGroot, 43, of Green Bay shot at Police during a car chase Tuesday.

Police lost sight of DeGroot's GMC Yukon in the Town of Goodman. Deputies later found him dead next to his car in the woods near Goodman.

Police had originally reported that the suspect was a 35-year-old man driving a Chevy Tahoe.

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Trapping convention in Upper Peninsula a congregation of nostalgic veterans, enthusiastic active trappersSubmitted: 07/25/2014

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ESCANABA - There's a certain nostalgia, to be sure, about trapping.

"A lot of us even kind of try to look like the old mountain men. Maybe you've noticed," says the grizzled and bearded Dave Linkhart, a trapper and officer of the National Trappers Association.

But it's more than just the old mountain men-types doing something that has been done for centuries in North America.

The trapping world is more expansive than you might expect, and more than setting some traps, waiting, and checking what animals you've caught.

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Burke releases rural jobs plan, focuses on schools, health & growthSubmitted: 07/25/2014

ACROSS WISCONSIN - A new job plan from Democratic candidate for Governor Mary Burke focuses on her economic objectives with rural Wisconsin.

Many parts of Wisconsin's rural areas, like the Northwoods, lags behind the rest of the state economically; for example, five of the ten Wisconsin counties with the worst unemployment rate in the state are in the rural portions of the Northwoods, according to June unemployment numbers from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Her focus is on growing the rural economy, boosting healthcare and improving schools.

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