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Northwoods Spotlight - National Musky Open Aug 21Submitted: 08/21/2013
Story By Marisa Silvas


EAGLE RIVER - If you were out on a lake near the Eagle River area last weekend, you might have seen a lot of gray hats. Anglers spread out on seven lake families. They were all hoping to win the 28th National Championship Musky Open.

Anglers take part in many musky competitions in the Northwoods, but one continues to break records with participation.

Larry Slagowski is the president of the Musky Clubs Alliance (MCA) of WI. He says, "This year we had 1,222 people."

Charlie Pulchinski (Rudolph) "If we catch a fish, that's going to be great," adds Charlie Pulchinski of Rudolph. "But just to be out here is something special."


Dave Allen, the MCA's executive director explains, "Basically we're all fishing for trophies. There's no money involved. Everyone just comes here and has a good time and we give away a lot of prizes."

The largest amateur musky tournament in the U.S. prides itself on bringing fun to fishing.

Steven Tilque (Pound, WI) "There's more friendly people than any other tournament I've fished, ever," Steven Tilque of Pound, WI adds.

This tournament also stresses the importance of families bringing out the younger generations of fishermen, in order to grow the sport.

"It's a really great feeling when you catch a fish and then when you show it to your dad," 12-year old Joseph Pulchinski of Pound says. "and he says I wish I caught that one."

There were 219 muskies caught over the weekend. And for the first time in the open's history, a woman took home the top prize.

Michelle Peplinski of Bear Creek was all smiles after the tournament. "It was a great way to end the summer."


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 IN OTHER NEWS

STEVENS POINT - A baby in Portage County ended up in the hospital for seizures twice in three days last fall.  Police think the mother's live-in boyfriend may have shaken that baby.

Matthew Huettl, 25, pleaded not guilty to felony charges for first-degree reckless injury and child abuse in Portage County Court on Tuesday.

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RHINELANDER - When police arrested Alexander Durand for stealing a car, they found he had been stealing mail as well.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office arrested Durand, 21, Saturday for driving a car stolen from a house near Rhinelander. During that investigation, officers found a lot of other people's mail on Durand's property.

The mail was from all over Oneida County as well as other counties.  The Sheriff's Office will contact the people whose mail has been found.

Durand is due in court January 23.

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VILAS COUNTY - A 77-year-old man died in a crash near Boulder Junction late Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Vilas County Sheriff's Office and Wisconsin State Patrol, it happened around 3:30 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. Highway 51 and County Highway H.

Investigators think a van went through an intersection and hit a semi truck.

"There was injury," said Boulder Junction Fire Chief Matthew Reuss. "The two passengers in the van had to be extricated. One was taken to Howard Young Medical Center for further care. The driver of the semi was uninjured and the second passenger in the van was pronounced dead at the scene."

According to Wisconsin State Patrol, the driver of the van is a 68-year-old woman from Colby. Crews later took her to St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield for non-life threatening injuries. Her passenger, a 77-year-old male from Colby, died in the crash. They were both wearing seatbelts. 

The driver of the semi is 63 years old and from South Range. 

Traffic was rerouted through Boulder Junction for several hours and was reopened shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Several units responded to the scene.

"Because we had multiple patients, we dispatched multiple ambulance units," Reuss said. "We called in resources from Arbor Vitae for traffic control and we called Manitowish Waters for help in extrication and ambulance service as well as Medic 5 out of Howard Young."

State Patrol and the Vilas County Sheriff's Office will investigate the crash.

Police will not release the names until the families are notified. 

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The Rhinelander Area Silent Trails Association puts in a lot of work, in part to attract more people to its trails. 

The group works with the Oneida County Forest to improve trails.

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RHINELANDER - The streets of downtown Rhinelander changed quite a bit over the last year. The construction will pick up again this spring, but there is a possibility for some last-minute changes to those construction plans.

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"Streaming a movie on Netflix is a pipe dream," Hejtmanek said with a laugh. "That's impossible."

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