TOMAHAWK - Forty-eight years ago, hunters started getting together in Tomahawk for a pre-hunt venison feed. Today, they're still doing the same thing, but these days, the whole community gets involved.
"Just a bunch of local guys getting together and they wanted to say thank you to the community and to the hunters that come to the area," said Tamra Anderson, the executive director of the Tomahawk Regional Chamber of Commerce. "They roasted a deer behind the old chamber office downtown."
That was decades years ago. Today, the line for venison stretches a block each way. Community members grill up 1,600 burgers.
Donald Halverson moved to Tomahawk in 1970. He's been coming every year since, and even though he doesn't hunt anymore, he still shows up with his antler hat.
"It adds a lot to the tradition," Halverson says. "You can see that by looking at the people."
Bringing so many people together can be a big help to community organizations. St. Mary's school hopes to make $300 with their bake sale this year.
"The event is great for our school. It brings in grandparents, aunts and uncles, they all come down and they help support the school," said Shauna Bishop. " It brings in $100 to $500, and it's great for all of the community to touch base with our school with that."
Getting hunters into town also means more customers for businesses.
"If we can draw them into town, and bring them into town for this event, hopefully they'll stop at stores and buy their last-minute stuff before they head out to the deer shack," Anderson said.
This year, burgers sold out in an hour and a half.
MADISON - The Wisconsin Elections Commission has agreed to lift overseas ballot restrictions to avoid a legal battle.
The U.S. Department of Justice warned earlier this month that it's preparing to sue because Wisconsin law doesn't let temporary overseas voters to obtain ballots electronically or to submit downloadable back-up ballots in case they don't have time to return an official ballot.
Federal law allows all overseas voters to obtain ballots electronically and submit back-up ballots. Assembly Republicans passed a bill that would have aligned Wisconsin's statutes with the federal law but the measure died in April after Senate Republicans added language limiting special legislative elections.
MADISON - Wisconsin Elections Commission staff plan to hire a half-dozen new employees and upgrade software to bolster election security.
The commission received a $7 million federal grant in March to upgrade security after Russian actors tried to access a state Department of Workforce Development system before the 2016 election.
Staff told the commission Thursday that the Department of Administration has approved hiring six new four-year security positions, including an information technology project manager, an elections security trainer and a voting systems specialist.
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