RHINELANDER - Ice fishing probably sounds like the last thing some people would want to do in these frigid temperatures.
But some professional fishermen braved the cold with the help of some green technology.
Bone chilling temperatures didn't stop fishermen from trying to get the best catch of the day.
"You're nose and hands get a little chilly once in a while, but usually you stay pretty warm overall." said Solar Sportsman representative, Jim Davis.
11 teams competed on an icy Boom Lake in Rhinelander.
This was the first Team Extreme Ice Fishing Tournament in Wisconsin.
Fishermen from as far as Minnesota and Maryland traveled to Rhinelander to qualify for the Team Extreme Championship.
"You have to be able to go above and beyond and be able to take what mother nature gives you because we're not only out here competing against each other, we're competing against mother nature." said Wisconsin Team Extreme Ice Fishing director, Raymond Tiffany.
The tournaments director figured out a way to use Mother Nature to their advantage.
It's all thanks to a solar powered tent.
"This tent is heated. It's lighted. We run our scales off the power. We run our PA System off the power," Tiffany said.
"We're not even touching the power output that this tent is capable of."
The Wisconsin based company, Solar Sportsman, made a solar ice tent last year just for this tournament.
It's powered by a 400 watt solar module that feeds into a battery inside the tent.
"We wanted to be able to run a PA System. We wanted to be able to run a monitor. We want to have the option to run an AC Scale," said Davis.
"So we needed power out here. The one thing we didn't want to have running out on the lake is a generator to keep everything going."
"We have to move green to save our planet. We want to show that we can be… we as ice fishermen can be responsible," Tiffany said.
"We want to show we care about the outdoors and the environment."
Staying warm and keeping the air free of pollution keeps both fishermen and Mother Nature happy.
MERRILL - For 32 years Battalion Chief Mike Drury walked into the Merrill Fire Department ready to save lives. Friday he walked out of the department for the last time to start the new phase of his life. "It goes fast it goes really fast," said Drury. Drury was about 18 -years -old when he walked into the Merrill Fire Department for the first time. "When you're 18, 19,20 years old and you're looking at 50 something years old you think you're never going to get there," said Drury.
Drury is one of 184 firefighters to ever work full time with the city of Merrill. "As a firefighter they spend a lot of time at the fire house so they miss a lot of things," said Drury's daughter Cassi. After 32 years of missing birthdays, holidays and family time Drury was ready for a change.
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander couple thought they were empty nesters. However, an experience volunteering made them open their doors back up to kids who need a temporary home. The Zoerb's adult children moved out years ago. But at any moment they could get a call from social services that make them bring out their parenting skills for another round. Rick and Danielle Zoerb work together as realtors putting people in homes that are the perfect fit. However, the husband and wife know their home can be a good fit for others too. "There's no reason for kids to have to fall through the cracks," said Dani. Rick met a child at a mentorship program a few years ago. It was a meeting that opened a new door for him and his wife. "There was no hesitation on our part when we felt the situation was deteriorating for this young boy," said Rick.
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