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Northwoods Spotlight - Veterans Ice Fishing Tournament Jan 15Submitted: 01/15/2014
Story By Marisa Silvas


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."


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The call was made about 6:00 Thursday morning, after the girl was found not breathing and unresponsive.

She was determined to be dead, but there was no apparent cause.

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In fact, Saturday night's bad weather couldn't have picked a worse time for thousands of people to set up camp at the Crandon Race Track.

"We were holding onto the awning last night," said Keegan Kincaid, a racer from Crandon. ."It was pouring."

"Our canopy [got] rained [on] so much we had to keep pushing it up so it wouldn't collapse," said Paul Posbrig, a fan from Green Bay.

"It was coming in all over," said Jessie Braden, a fan from Richfield.

But for Crandon fans, the rain certainly didn't dampen the weekend.

"But we made the best of it," said Braden, who comes to Crandon every summer for the Brush Run.

"We had a canopy at one point and put up tarps on the walls as we got downpoured on and it was all windy," Braden said. "If we're going camping, it's going to rain!"

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"We just had to wait a little bit longer before we could put crews out on the track," said the raceway's announcer, Dave Mullins. "So needed it to dry off a little bit first. But really it was only about a half hour."

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"Most tracks we wouldn't be able to race on it the next day, but Crandon has a lot of clay," Kincaid said.

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Sunday's nice weather quickly brought the track's conditions back to normal.

"I thought we were going to be racing in the mud, but turns out because of the sun and wind we're actually going back to our setup we had yesterday," Luyendyk, Jr., said. 

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