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."
RHINELANDER - A snow storm caught Hanson's Garden Village in Rhinelander off guard last weekend and collapsed a greenhouse. Now that spring weather is here, Hanson's is ready to move forward by making some adjustments. "We got by for 25 years doing what we were doing," said Hanson's Garden Village Co-owner Brent Hanson. Last weekend's spring snow storm set back Hanson's. "We thought we were ahead of schedule having that greenhouse nice and filled," said Hanson's Manager Beth Hanson.
"One bad storm and there you go. Things happen," said Brent. The storm collapsed a greenhouse holding thousands of plants. "For years we've gotten by with these lighter cheaper green houses," said Brent. "We'll be down a greenhouse for a little bit here," said Beth. Now Hanson's will only use sturdier and solid greenhouses so that collapses don't become a pattern.
RHINELANDER - Oneida County needs more foster care homes. Right now, there are nine licensed foster homes in the area, most of which are full according to the county's social services department.
Foster Care Coordinator Rachel Nelson says that in Oneida County there are 24 children currently living in foster homes. The department participated in a statewide foster care recruitment project last fall, and discovered just how great the need is.
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