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Northwoods Spotlight - Min-Aqua Bats July 24Submitted: 07/24/2013
Story By Marisa Silvas

Northwoods Spotlight - Min-Aqua Bats July 24
MINOCQUA - The Northwoods provides many summer activities to enjoy outdoors. But not all of them include free entertainment... Three nights a week, you can head to Lake Minocqua and take in a waterski show.

Andrew McFerrin "We're a 100% amateur waterski club," Andrew McFerrin explains. He's one of the members of the Min-Aqua Bats.

Another member, Elin Wahman adds, "It's been one of the best things I've done in my life."

Since 1950, the Min-Aqua Bats have been entertaining locals and tourists with a top notch ski show. The performers range from pre-teens to 25 years old and it's clear they love what they do.


"It's like acrobatics on waterskis and it's an incredible thing to watch," says Anna Tedstrom also from the Min-Aqua Bats.

Mary Beyer is a fan.

"It's nice enjoyment and it's wonderful to see what the kids do out there."

For many of the skiers, being a Min-aqua bat runs in the family.

Elin "My mom was a Min-Aqua Bat," Elin Wahman proudly proclaims.

Connor Tedstrom adds, "My grandma was a Min-Aqua Bat in the '50's."

Some just grew up liking the idea of performing.

Christian Wahman says, "I definitely thought that these people watersking were so cool and I wanted to be one of them when I was older."

Anna Tedstrom adds, "I used to watch the shows and be like, oh my god, that's the girl on top of the pyramid, I want to be her."

They're known as the world's oldest amateur waterski team... and they perform a wide variety of exciting acts.

The shows here attract quite a crowd and the skiers become local celebrities.

"It's fun to walk downtown with a bunch of our Min-Aqua Bat friends and they're like, oh those are the Min-Aqua Bats," Anna Tedstrom explains.

Christian Wahman says, "It's great to have all the little kids come down and ask for autographs after the show."

And this talented group shows no signs of slowing down.

Chris Coleman is a former Min-Aqua Bat.

"I'm hopeful that the club continues and that they can maintain the heritage that we've built."

Connor Tedstrom says, "There's a lot of traditions here and we've just got to keep it going for another 64 years."


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 IN OTHER NEWS

TOWN OF RINGLE - Emergency responders got a report of a garage fire around 12:43 a.m. Saturday morning in the Town of Ringle according to the Marathon County Sheriff's Office.

When firefighters arrived to the 11000 block of Oasis Drive, the unattached garage was engulfed in flames. The sheriff's office reports the garage, which was used as a workshop, is a total loss. 

Ringle Fire, along with Wausau Fire, Easton Fire, and SAFER Fire, were able to extinguish the fire before the home became totally involved. But the side of the home does have significant damage.

The fire department and sheriff's office are investigating the cause of the fire. 



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CRANDON - Crandon High School honored dozens of students on Thursday as part of its Student of the Year Awards.

For the eighth year, teachers at the school were asked to select a student who excelled in their class.

This year's winners include:

Math: Claudia Krueger, Drew Boney, Jacob Wilson, Jordan Kalata, Hallie Henrie, Lindsay Littleton, Kilie Kramer

Social Studies: Allyson Stepper, Jonathon Strzyz, Jordan Brooks, Elizabeth Conway, Devon Evans, Erika Kern, Mc Kenna Jensen, Maddi Stroik, Lindsay Littleton

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TOMAHAWK - The first thing you notice about Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins is his Southern drawl.

He lived in Georgia for years.

The second thing you notice is just as out of place in northern Wisconsin. It's the black and yellow. Everywhere.

In the land of the green and gold, Packers country, Elvins is a diehard Pittsburgh Steelers fan.

He'll take you outside the Tomahawk Police Department to show you the guard posts.

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TOMAHAWK - Football, basketball, and soccer make up a few of the more popular high school sports. But a sport that has recently been introduced in high schools is quickly gaining popularity. 

Trap Shooting isn't the most traditional high school sport, but teens are embracing it and the sport is soaring in popularity. 

"Since we joined our conference we're going from approximately 17 teams to about 42 teams in the northern half of the state," said Tomahawk Clay Busters Head Coach Dan Winter. 

The Tomahawk Clay Busters youth team started five years ago. Since then, more and more kids have wanted to be a part of it. 

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TOMAHAWK - Many race car and dirt track drivers will rev up their engines at the Tomahawk Speedway Saturday, which is when the dirt season starts.

The dirt track season starts Saturday.

"It's awesome, the adrenaline rush is great," said race car driver Shauna Cottrell when she was doing some practice runs at the speedway.

"I'm not going to lie; it can be scary at times. But it's the thrill of a life time," said Cottrell.

After doing a few practice runs around the track last week, Cottrell is ready for the dirt racing season to kick off Sunday at the Tomahawk Speedway.

"It feels great to know that I can get out and compete with the guys," said Cottrell.

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MERRILL - A Northwoods school pulled off a big surprise on Friday to honor a few veterans. After months of planning, students and staff at Kate Goodrich Elementary got to see the payoff of all their hard work.

"It was like kind of overwhelming," said Wolfgang Lenk. 

Lenk, Todd Annis, and Randy Perry had no idea they would be the guests of honor.

"To see all these kids and knowing how hard they worked selling all this, and now your name comes up that you're one of the three recipients, it was awesome," said Annis. 

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RHINELANDER - A scoop of frozen custard goes down pretty well on a humid day like the Northwoods saw Friday. Rhinelander's Associated Bank made grabbing a scoop an easy way to help others.

Culver's set up a mobile custard stand outside the new bank building on the corner of Lincoln Street and Oneida Avenue from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Fifty cents from every $2.50 cup sold went to Associated Bank's Children's Miracle Network fund.

The bank is hoping to raise $500 through its fundraisers for CMN this month.

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