Granite Peak ski and snowboard season starts this weekendSubmitted: 11/14/2013
Story By Dan McKinney

RIB MOUNTAIN - Granite Peak Ski Area in Wausau started making snow two weeks ago. Starting saturday skiers and snowboarders can start using the hill.

It's 7 a.m. at the Granite Peak Ski Area and the day is just starting for Matt Howe.

"Love being out in the elements," says Matt Howe, snowmaker at Granite Peak.

He's a veteran snowmaker whose hand guides the snow cat like he's playing a videogame.

"You got to kind of shave it I guess is the way I like to do it," says Howe.

"We make piles, and then we push it around and that's how we make the corduroy," says Howe.

Rib Mountain has more than 70 runs.

Matt shapes and builds them throughout the season.

"We got a variety of terrain here so it kind of suits everybody," says Howe.

Before Matt shapes the snow, he has to make it.

"The cold weather it kind of gets the blood going, you know I mean work hard all summer trying to get everything ready and that's what we work for is this time of year," says Howe.

This time of year is busy for snowmakers at Granite Peak.

The season starts in 2 days.

"This is my favorite part of the job, this is what I live for all year round is to be in the cat and push snow and build runs," says Howe.

This ski and snowboard season Granite Peak is set to produce more than 40 inches of man-made snow but of course there always looking for a little help from Mother Nature.

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NEKOOSA - People in Nekoosa could go back in time this weekend.

Volunteers at Pointe Basse recreated a historical camp portraying lives of people from the 1700s and early 1800s.

Volunteers from all across the U.S. all had a piece of history to share.

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EAGLE RIVER - Eagle River hosted its 36th annual Cranberry Fest during October's first weekend.

Organizers say the weather this year brought in many more visitors.

"People come to this whether there's good weather of bad weather," said Executive Director of the Eagle River Chamber Kim Emerson. "And with this year being great weather, we had above-average crowds and it was just spectacular. We're so happy about that."

By 3 p.m. Saturday, the World's Largest Cranberry Cheesecake had already been devoured. Sales of slices go towards the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. 

Organizers said they also almost sold out of cranberries, but they said they would still have more to sell on Sunday. 

There were also dozens of craft vendors, food and wine and cranberry marsh tours.

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RHINELANDER - Harvest Hoedown started Saturday at noon at the Woodpecker Bar and Grill in Rhinelander.

The event had a hay maze, horse drawn carriage rides, food, and live music all afternoon.

"I think it's going great. We got a little sunshine right now. We got probably a couple hundred people here. People are buying food, spending money. It's what we're after," said Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Executive Director Guy Hanson.

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ACROSS WISCONSIN - Abbotsford 62, Thorp 6

Algoma 24, Sturgeon Bay 8

Almond-Bancroft 61, Tigerton/Marion 6

Amherst 56, Manawa 6

Antigo 42, Lakeland 28

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TOWN OF NEWBOLD - Dreams of a world-class disc golf course and recreation area could soon become reality.  On September 26, people in the Town of Newbold voted to buy about 18 acres of land currently owned by Oneida County.

The land, about a half mile off Highway 47 along Ole Lake Road, was the site of an old landfill that the DNR closed in July 1988. The site has been empty ever since.

Buying the land would essentially double the space Newbold already owns for its planned recreation area.

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VILAS COUNTY - In July, Karen Wessel gave her life to save a boy from drowning in Vilas County's Star Lake.  Now she is being recognized for her heroism.

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission announced Wessel as one of 22 recipients of the Carnegie medal.  It's presented to people who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while trying to save the life of another.

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MERRILL - Firefighters need to be prepared to rescue people from more than just fires.

People can get trapped in tree stands, water, or a tight spot. 

Local fire departments respond to those emergencies.

Merrill's first Citizen's Fire Academy learned about these specialized rescues Thursday night.

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