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."
People gathered in the Wausau area today to remember four people who died in a shooting at three different places one year ago today. Tonight we look back at the shooting, and we take you live to the Wausau area and discuss the mental health of the officers following the shooting.
A new bill in Wisconsin would require dispatchers to know how to explain CPR over the phone. We talk to an operator and a paramedic in Oneida County where the dispatch center has already been following that procedure for decades.
And we'll bring you a preview of this weekend's ice golf tournament fundraiser for a local snowmobile club.
We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.
MADISON - The Wisconsin State Patrol says it saw more drugged drivers on the roads and had a significant increase in drug arrests from 2016 to 2017.
Wisconsin Public Radio reports that the State Patrol saw a 20 percent increase in drug arrests during that time period, with fewer than 2,900 arrests in 2016 to more than 3,400 last year. A drug arrest involves the possession of illegal narcotics or paraphernalia.
EAGLE RIVER - You typically find cotton or denim running through her sewing machine, but Chris Gaffron has been sewing a lot of plastic lately.
"It's just straight stitching, so anyone can do it," Gaffron said.
The "StitchIt" custom embroidery store owner worked on sewing old plastic feed bags from a friend's horse barn, which don't biodegrade. Gaffron and her friend talked about ways to make better use of the trash and came up with an idea to help the homeless.
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