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Tradition continues for one Northwoods fire departmentSubmitted: 10/10/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson

Tradition continues for one Northwoods fire department
THREE LAKES - Volunteer firefighters sacrifice their time and lives to keep us safe.

They also need the right equipment to keep them safe.

The Three Lakes Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary Board makes sure its firefighters have new and safe equipment.

The board started 21 years ago.

"It's a small group of us that gathered together to start this organization after two major fires on Main Street: The Chalet and the Loonary," says Three Lakes Fire Department Auxiliary Board member Del Gries.

Its first major event, Pumpkin Fest, outgrew its location the first year.

A craft sale, games, raffles, and the largest bake sale in the Northwoods draws thousands of people to the event each year.

Members of the board say it's easy to get people to help with the event once they hear it benefits the fire department.

"They will come from visiting family up here and call up and say, 'Can I help?' And so it's not just Three Lakes. It's people all over. We have 80 to 100 volunteers helping with selling the products."

The event raises more than $10,000 for the fire department.

The board bought a water tank to fight fires at lake homes and an ATV.

It also pays for new firefighters' training.

The board also supports local families that have lost their homes to fire.

If you want to help give back to the community, you can go to Pumpkin Fest this Saturday at Three Lakes High School.

It runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/18/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:


We take our Long Summer Weekend to Vilas County where we show you a garden in Land O'Lakes overflowing with produce - and a strong sense of community.

We talk to participants and organizers of the National Championship Musky Open in Eagle River.

And Friday Night Blitz kicks off another season tonight at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10 with football scores from high school games all across North Central Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following games:

Superior at Merrill

Berlin at Antigo

Hayward at Lakeland

Abbotsford at Crandon


That will be tonight on Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.

We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County prides itself on its miles of trails. Whether it's cross country skiing, walking or biking, there are plenty of options. But one of the longest is the Heart of Vilas County bike system.

"We have 47 miles of paved bike trails. I don't think that any place in the state can match that, it's awesome," said Mary Vangrinsven.

Those nearly 50 miles make up the Heart of Vilas County Bike Trail.

"It's like being on vacation every day of my life," said Vangrinsven.

When the trail started nearly 20 years ago, bikers, walkers and runners were very excited.
"I was pretty amazed by how much use it was getting. I wondered if this was just a fad or whether it was something real," said Vangrinsven.

But it was real. The finished trail goes through four different communities.

"It's been a great addition to what you can do in Vilas County," said Ken Wiesner.

Bikers can go from St. Germain to Manitowish Waters and hit up Sayner and Boulder Junction along the way.

"In my opinion, it's really changed the local economy for the better," said Wiesner.

Every Wednesday, a group of nearly 50 people bike along a part of the Heart of Vilas County Bike trail.

"I think we're really finding, especially in the areas up here, that we have very active adults," said Vangrinsven.

Wiesner and his wife Barb joined the group because they have a cabin in Vilas County.

"We've made a lot of new friends over the past 10 years, primarily in the biking," said Wiesner.

Whether you do it with a group of friends, or by yourself, there's also something to enjoy along the trail.

There are shops along the trail to rent bikes if you don't have one. If you would like more information on the trail, click on the link below.

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RHINELANDER - Paul Osterman can't rest for too long on a congratulations from Governor Scott Walker.

"It's a busy time, absolutely," Osterman said.  "Now the real work begins."

The Northwoods Connect CEO joined Walker at the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport on Friday morning to celebrate about $110,000 for his broadband towers in Oneida and Florence Counties.

"We're growing pretty rapidly, which is exciting and hard at times too," Osterman said.

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MANITOWISH WATERS - Manitowish Waters would certainly look different today without its cranberry marshes.

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MANITOWISH WATERS - Northwoods tourism thrives off of fishing, hunting, and lake life.

Sometimes, people want to take a piece of that Northwoods culture home with them.

You might not recognize this sign in its beginning stages.

Mike Patek makes these handmade signs under the name "Vintage Cabin Signs" in Manitowish Waters. He controls everything from the cut to the paint.

His signs go all over the country. They're based off of Northwoods vacation images from the 30s and 40s; think old fishing magazines, travel posters, and postcards.

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MADISON - Update:  8/18/17,  5:10pm

The Wisconsin state Assembly has passed a $3 billion tax break package for Taiwan-based electronics giant Foxconn Technology Group.

The bipartisan vote Thursday now sends the bill to the Senate, where it must also pass in identical form before it goes to Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

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LAWRENCE, WI - A man accused of driving a vehicle that struck and killed a mother and daughter as they walked along a road in Lawrence has been charged in the case.

Authorities say 46-year-old David Meyer, of De Pere, is charged with two counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle. He is being held on $50,000 cash bond.

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