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NEWS STORIES

Early snow increasing tourism in the Northwoods Submitted: 12/19/2013
Kalia Baker
Morning Anchor/Reporter
kbaker@wjfw.com


EAGLE RIVER - This year's early snow has made it easier for resorts to stay busy.

So far, the Wild Eagle Lodge in Eagle River has seen a 40 percent increase in visitors compared to this time last year.

Late snowfall last year hurt business.

Tammy Schmidt is the Wild Eagle Lodge Assistant Resort Manager.

"Without the snowfall last year it was extremely difficult. The trails were in poor condition, luckily this year, the snow mobile trails are in great condition and the Snow Eagles do a fantastic job of grooming the trails and keeping them in fantastic shape," said Schmidt.

Wild Eagle Lodge still has rooms available, but the increase is good for business.

The snow offers visitors a lot more to do.

"That's why people come up to the Northwoods. And with this kind of weather, everything is going really well," said Schmidt. "Ice fishing has been fantastic, snowshoeing, cross-country skiers are out there, and again the snow mobile trails are in great condition. So, we are very happy to have snow this year."

The Wild Eagle Lodge also has an ice skating rink for its guests.

Managers say the cold temperatures have kept visitors excited about being outdoors.




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 IN OTHER NEWS
Downtown Rhinelander debuts Holiday Open House SaturdaySubmitted: 11/21/2014

RHINELANDER - The opening of the gun deer season often leaves wives and girlfriends at home on their own.

Downtown Rhinelander hopes it can attract many of those women, and maybe even some men, to get started on holiday shopping.

The first-ever Holiday Open House on Saturday will feature sales, special events, and demonstrations at several businesses.

Its timing falls perfectly with the hunting season.

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Wisconsin faces $2.2 billion budget shortfall Submitted: 11/21/2014

MADISON - Governor Scott Walker's administration says Wisconsin faces a $2.2 billion budget shortfall by mid-2017, a problem that will have to be tackled by the Republican-controlled Legislature next year as Walker is building his resume for a potential presidential run.

The estimate released Thursday by the state Department of Administration is required under the law. It takes into account spending requests made by state agencies for the next two years.

The figures will be further refined by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau in January.

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Remember safety when gun deer season kicks off tomorrowSubmitted: 11/21/2014

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Many people in the Northwoods spent this Orange Friday shopping for their last minute hunting gear.

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Wisconsin Chippewa band joins effort to return reservation land to tribal ownershipSubmitted: 11/21/2014

ODANAH - An American Indian band in northern Wisconsin will join an effort to get land on reservations returned to tribal ownership.

The U.S. Interior Department says the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Tribe will join the program.

It's among 21 Indian communities in 12 states that will become part of the land buyback program by 2017.

That brings the number of locations in the program to 42.

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Drs. Foster and Smith founder thinks company will stay in Rhinelander after being sold to PetcoSubmitted: 11/20/2014

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RHINELANDER - The national pet supply company Petco will buy one of the Northwoods' largest employers.

About 530 people work at Drs. Foster and Smith in Rhinelander.

Drs. Foster and Smith sells pet supplies online.

One of the company's founders doesn't think the company will move.

"I have no reason to believe they're [going to] leave Rhinelander," says Drs. Foster and Smith founder Race Foster. "Marty Smith and I actually talked to many prospective buyers. The one condition we put was it cannot leave Rhinelander at least in the foreseeable future."

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DNR expect fewer donated deer this yearSubmitted: 11/20/2014

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NORTHWOODS - The Wisconsin Deer Donation program needs help from hunters this fall. The program lets hunters donate their deer to help feed those in need. Experts are concerned that the winter weather could cut into the number of deer kills this season. DNR managers think it will be difficult to find and hunt them.

"This year it's looking a little lean, especially in the north," said DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz. "With this deep snow, it's changed the deer behavior and it's going to change hunter behavior too. So I wouldn't be surprised if we saw that our donations were down this year under the circumstances."

Donating takes three simple steps: you register your kill, field dress the deer, and then you take it to a DNR approved processing center. The venison is then ground-up, frozen, and shipped to local pantries, as well as people in need. One meat market owner and program volunteer feels the impact of fewer deer.

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Log truck and compact car collideSubmitted: 11/20/2014

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NEAR RHINELANDER - A semi-truck carrying logs and a compact car collided this morning on highway 17 near Rhinelander.

The crash happened on Highway 17 at the intersection of Cross Country Road across from the Cross Country Bar and Grill in Rhinelander around 8 this morning. At this time, the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

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