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Northwoods Spotlight - Pickleball Oct 30Submitted: 10/30/2013
Story By Marisa Silvas


RHINELANDER - We know winter is right around the corner. So now is the perfect time to find some indoor activities to keep busy.

Marisa Silvas introduces us to a unique sport gaining popularity.

Pickleball. It is a strange name.

It may sound funny, but the Pickleball craze, is gaining popularity in the Northwoods.

"It's a fun sport and easy to learn," Marilyn Duschl of the YMCA explains.


Bob Mielke and Sandy Anderson of Rhinelander really enjoy the game.

"If you like playing any sport with a paddle, this is a good sport," Mielke says.

Anderson adds, "I fell in love with it the first time I was here. I said, order me my paddle, I'm ready."

Pickleball was invented in the 1960's as a backyard pastime, but it's become an organized sport.

So where does it's unique name come from?

"The inventor of pickleball, his dogs name was Pickles," Marilyn explains. "So Pickles the dog was chasing the ball a lot, and so they decided to call it pickleball."

Pickleball is the fastest growing racket sport with people over the age of 55, and it's a great workout.

"To me it's a lot more fun than just working out on machines," says Dorothy Johnson of Rhinelander.

The YMCA in Rhinelander started offering Pickleball a year ago, and interest continues to grow.

"It's a nice bunch of people here," Anderson says. "You can just come out and observe it and if it's something you think you'd like, you're more than welcome to jump in and play with us."


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RHINELANDER - Trig's Smokehouse in Rhinelander hired 15 new employees to start a second shift. Supervisor Geremiah Young remembers the early days of Trig's Smokehouse. He's worked there since 2009 which was before the plant on Stevens Street was even built.

"We had one little stuffer and now we've got two lines going and looking to possibly get more," said Young.

That demand for more was enough to add a second shift and 15 new jobs at the Smokehouse.

"We're fairly excited about for this second shift. It means a lot more of our product is getting out to the world and we're very excited for that," said Young.

Getting out tons of new product may be more accurate.

"We're doing about 4,000 pounds of just bratwurst and with the first shift, they were doing about 3,000 pounds of sticks. Throughout both shifts I know we can do a maximum of that and right now we're going through quite a bit," said Young.

The day shift goes from 6am-2:30pm when the second shift comes in and takes over right away, making the shift change relatively smooth.

"We've got one person coming in and one person steps out. We exchange what we were doing for the day, what products were ran during the day and we continue on from there," said Young.

With the 15 new night time employees, training can be a challenge. 

"Training… it's going… it's like anybody else, you come off the street and this is a whole different ballgame from what they're used to," said Young.

In addition to the 15 hired employees, the Smokehouse is still looking for about six more.

"It's a fun, fast-paced environment. If you think you've got it, come on in. But be prepared for the cold."

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U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Weston) said earlier this week he wants two debates, one in Superior and one in Wausau.

But that's apparently not enough for his democratic challenger. Mary Hoeft said she wants six debates.
Originally Hoeft said she wanted a debate in all 26 counties in the district.

"But people said to me, Mary, when you make this request to the Duffy campaign, make it reasonable," Hoeft said. "So alright I went in my head from 26 down to six." 

Hoeft said more debates would help voters make a more informed decision when they go to the polls. 

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Hoeft hosted a meet and greet in Tomahawk Wednesday morning. She addressed a group of about 20 people. 

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"Right away we're getting them nice and muddy and dirty and then they continue their jaunt for four miles," chamber director Sarah Pischer said.

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"We wouldn't be able to do things like this, we're not carpenters and we really appreciate all the help we've had in past years from all our volunteers," Pischer said.

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