RHINELANDER - If you enjoy the outdoors during the winter, ice fishing might rank near the top of your list of favorite activities.
When you can enter a tournament that supports a good cause - that makes it even cooler.
Lake Nokomis looked like a small town last weekend. It was busy with trucks, shacks and people sprawled across its ice. The American Veterans and NCO Club hosted their 6th annual Ice Fishing Tournament.
"I can't believe there's so many people out here," Ricky Myre a Veteran from Tomahawk explains. "Everything it stands for is a great thing, so I'm happy about that."
Dan Keck - the Rhinelander NCO Club Chairman adds, "It's just about getting out, having a good time with your friends and family, seeing your flag go up and catching some fish."
In addition to enjoying the fishing and the chance to win prizes, all the money raised goes to support local veterans groups.
"A lot of our money goes back to the 951st based out of Rhinelander and Tomahawk," Keck says. "It goes toward their families whenever they need money. Another part is we donate back to the community and Wounded Warriors."
Several vets joined nearly 400 anglers on the lake. A war injury took Dale Cherney's right leg. The Mosinee man doesn't let that stop him from fishing, but says it presents some problems.
"Trudging through snow makes it a little tougher," Cherney explains. "So thank God they drove me out here. It's basically a reset. It's a nice thing to do to get away from the business of stuff."
People enjoyed the friendly competition whether or not the fish were biting.
"We still haven't registered fish yet, but we're still out here having fun," Tomahawk angler James Kinnally said.
"Those guys are out there serving in the worst parts of the world and doing things we need them to do to keep our freedom," Myre adds. "I really appreciate everything those guys do for us."
Several Republican senators, including Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), have said they're not ready to vote.
Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) says he supports Johnson on this.
"We've given Senator Johnson some suggestions," Walker said. "I think he wants to vote for it, he made the promise when he ran in '10 and then last year in 2016 that he would vote to repeal it, he wants to do that, he just wants to make sure that the repeal ultimately ends up serving the people of Wisconsin well."
Both Democratic and Republican senators say they have issues with the bill.
Some Republicans say the bill doesn't get rid of enough of the Affordable Care Act.
Democrats worry about Medicaid cuts.
Walker says he wants Wisconsin to continue to do what it does well in healthcare.
"What I've asked Senator Johnson is help us do the things we've been successful at," Walker said. "We're a top ten state when it comes to access for healthcare for citizens, we're a top ten state with the quality of our healthcare systems. We want to maintain that going forward."
On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office said the new bill would cause 22 million Americans to be uninsured.
Johnson put out a statement Tuesday saying he was glad there won't be a vote this week.
WAUSAU - Many of us try to honor our veterans whenever we can.
Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) added one more way.
The Governor visited several veteran-owned businesses across the state Tuesday for Veteran-Owned Business Day.
Tuesday afternoon he stopped at Prosthetic Orthotic Center in Wausau.
He says veteran-owned businesses are good for other veterans and the economy.
"We found statistically that veterans are about 30 percent more likely to hire fellow veterans as employees," Walker said. "So it's good all the way around."
If you are a veteran-owned business, you can register with the state at WisVets.com
That way you can get a decal that says Wisconsin Veteran-Owned for your business window or door.
You also get listed in a state veteran-owned business directory.
"We're branding it, letting the public know that businesses that are owned by veterans, letting them know whether it's in a sign in their window or whether it's on the website, or other ways that we can draw attention," Walker said.
About 390,000 veterans live in Wisconsin, and about 11 percent of the state's businesses are veteran-owned.
RHINELANDER - Three decades-old signs greet people coming into Rhinelander from various sides. But if you drive past them every day, you likely don't even notice them. Rhinelander wants to make sure those old signs stand out.
WAUSAU - Drugs led to four arrests and one death in north-central Wisconsin on Monday.
The Marathon County Sheriff's Office reports a 37-year-old Shawano man died after apparently overdosing on methamphetamine.
Witnesses say 37-year-old Lucas Groshek and his wife, Carolyn, were shaking and convulsing in a car in the eastern Marathon County town of Norrie. Mr. Groshek died before getting to the hospital. Mrs. Groshek, 33, is in stable condition as of Tuesday afternoon.
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