TOMAHAWK - Tim Iding went to the Philippines expecting to spend time with his fiance Loneta's family, and do some diving. Instead he found tragedy.
Iding, who prefers to go by Shortcut, hadn't been to the Philippines since his final days during the Vietnam War. He was a diver for a salvaging boat during the war.
He decided to visit his fiance's family in the Philippines when Typhoon Yolanda hit.
"You hear tornadoes where people say it sounds like a train," Shortcut said. "It didn't sound like that, but the wind you could hear."
They had a 72-hour warning before the typhoon hit. They stayed in a sturdy, cement room during the storm. Shortcut said the back of the building took the brunt of the storm. Winds reached nearly 230 miles per hour
"Everything was getting kinda blown from the mountains over the top of me and towards the ocean," Shortcut said.
Shortcut and his fiance Loneta, who goes by Loni, made it through the storm untouched. They found out a few days later that her entire family made it too.
But people around them weren't so lucky.
"These people the next morning, still everybody is in shock," Shortcut said. "You've got families sitting around, with their house gone."
According to the government, the death toll has passed 5,200 people. Filipinos look to their government and aid organizations for help. They're getting food and water in the hardest hit cities like Tacloban. But Shortcut worries about remote areas, like where his fiance's family lives.
"But to try to get these people relief efforts, to these small villages and up into the mountain," Shortcut said. "I don't know how something like that is going to get done."
He used all of his vacation and diving money to buy people food and supplies. But then he had to come home.
"I had to come back," Shortcut said. "If I'd of had more money I would of stayed there and I wouldn't be back here right now."
Even through all of the turmoil from the typhoon, Shortcut says the scariest part of the adventure was the ferry he had to take to get to his plane. He couldn't go to the Tacloban Airport because it had been hit hard by a storm surge.
So he had to take a ferry on a 12-hour ride to Cebu City to get a flight home. He says the ferry had at least 500 people on board, and was overloaded. Based on experience at sea during Vietnam, Shortcut believes the boat would have capsized in rougher seas.
"This is really happening and if there would have been a swell out at sea that night that thing would have went down, guaranteed," Shortcut said.
But he made it back to Tomahawk. His fiance is staying with her family until they get back up on their feet. They'll get married sometime when she gets back.
After all of this he knows they can weather any storm.
RHINELANDER - Do you find yourself looking for new places to eat out? Well, Tula's Cafe recently added a brand new location in the Northwoods. We found out what makes them unique, in our latest helping of 'Morning Meals with Marisa.'
Tula's recently reopened in Rhinelander. This is their second location and the manager told us so far, so good.
Tula's manager Lana Knack explains, "They said it's great to have a new restaurant choice to go to up in the Northwoods. Tula's is very successful in Minocqua, so we model everything that they do and it's worked very well."
They have an extensive menu with items like pigs in a blanket, cinnamon rolls and much more.
"We've got a lot of really unique breakfast items. Especially featuring the Trigs Smokehouse. Our kielbasa omelettes have gone very well. We also have a wonderful eggs benedict," adds Knack.
And of course you're going to need something to wash it all down.
Knack says, "We have liquor service to enjoy a cocktail with any of your meals starting as early as 6 a.m. for those people that are shift workers."
The decor fits right in to the Northwoods and makes for a cozy dining experience.
"It's so unique with so many booths that people come in and sit for quite a while. So it's very comfortable for them," explains Knack.
Tula's grand opening runs through Labor Day and they'll have five dollar deals all throughout. If you want to check out Tula's, they open at 6 a.m., seven days a week.
Wisconsin water supplies deal with two contaminants during 2013
WISCONSIN - Wisconsin keeps high standards for clean drinking water. On a yearly basis, they do a good job at meeting that standard, but during 2013, more water supplies were found with one of two contaminants.
One contaminant, nitrate was found in more than double the amount of water supplies during the year compared to 2012. The 56 public water supplies found with high nitrate levels is a small number out of the thousands of water supplies in the state, but it can still be a big problem.
RHINELANDER - Some students in the School District of Rhinelander will get Chromebooks starting this school year.
Freshman and sophomores at Rhinelander High School will get the computers to use at school and at home.
Some elementary and middle school students will also get to use them in the classroom.
Leaders think this will benefit students.
"They're not just learning about how to use the tool," says Instructional Technology Coordinator Heidi Catlin. "Digital literacy, digital citizenship, how to use it appropriately, when is it appropriate to use it, and the different resources that are out there."
FOREST COUNTY - Forest and timber leaders in Northern Wisconsin hosted Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) in Forest County Tuesday. The group of timber experts was touring areas of the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest (CNNF).
Both of Wisconsin's senators toured forests and forest industries in the north over the last two days.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) toured wood products businesses in Laona on Monday.
Foresters and timber experts were urging, to both senators, for more harvesting in the more than one million acres of national forest that covers Northern Wisconsin. The harvest this decade has been far below what it was in the 90s.
STEVENS POINT - The Spudmobile is Wisconsin's newest addition in potato education.
The Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association unveiled the Spudmobile at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in Stevens Point last week.
"It was a big project, 4 years of planning and development. It cost a lot of money and we don't want it to sit parked. We want to get it out there and get people touring through it and seeing it on the road," said Tamas Houlihan.
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