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Northwoods Spotlight - Fishing Opener - May 7Submitted: 05/07/2014
Story By Joe Dufek


- After another very long winter, the prospects for last week's opening weekend of fishing were not very good for several area lakes.

However, just the idea of baiting a hook and enjoying the weather outside is part of what makes the opener special.

Opening weekend brings high expectations for everyone. For some, it's about spending time with family.

"Because it's fun and I get to spend time with my dad," 9-year old Garrett Tobias of Woodruff explains. "I caught a 15-pound muskie on the Rainbow Flowage earlier."


For others, it's about keeping up an annual tradition with friends. A group from Milwaukee made it to the Northwoods for the 26th straight year.

"It's a weekend away from the city," John Boggil of Milwaukee said. "It's a weekend from responsibility. It's a chance to hang out with friends you have been with your whole life."

But let's be honest, if you're able to reel one in, it's a great feeling.

Ian Fischer of Merrill caught an 18-inch walleye near Tomahawk.

"It's pretty good," Fischer admits with a chuckle. "It's good to get some food in the fridge. Fish is always good."

His cousin Chaz David reeled in a 16-inch walleye.

"We caught two walleye and four perch," David adds. "I could just feel the adrenalin flowing when I caught (the walleye)."

Ice and cold water temperatures affected many area lakes last weekend. Improved conditions - and hopefully more fish is expected this weekend.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

MINOCQUA - A Green Bay man died in a snowmobile crash in Minocqua Tuesday night.

The Minocqua Police Department says the crash happened at 7:13 p.m. on Lower Kaubashine Road near the intersection of Camp Nine Road and Cedar Falls Drive.

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VILAS COUNTY - A 77-year-old man died in a crash near Boulder Junction late Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Vilas County Sheriff's Office and Wisconsin State Patrol, it happened around 3:30 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. Highway 51 and County Highway H.

Investigators think a van went through an intersection and hit a semi truck.

"There was injury," said Boulder Junction Fire Chief Matthew Reuss. "The two passengers in the van had to be extricated. One was taken to Howard Young Medical Center for further care. The driver of the semi was uninjured and the second passenger in the van was pronounced dead at the scene."

According to Wisconsin State Patrol, the driver of the van is a 68-year-old woman from Colby. Crews later took her to St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield for non-life threatening injuries. Her passenger, a 77-year-old male from Colby, died in the crash. They were both wearing seatbelts. 

The driver of the semi is 63 years old and from South Range. 

Traffic was rerouted through Boulder Junction for several hours and was reopened shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Several units responded to the scene.

"Because we had multiple patients, we dispatched multiple ambulance units," Reuss said. "We called in resources from Arbor Vitae for traffic control and we called Manitowish Waters for help in extrication and ambulance service as well as Medic 5 out of Howard Young."

State Patrol and the Vilas County Sheriff's Office will investigate the crash.

Police will not release the names until the families are notified. 

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STEVENS POINT - A baby in Portage County ended up in the hospital for seizures twice in three days last fall.  Police think the mother's live-in boyfriend may have shaken that baby.

Matthew Huettl, 25, pleaded not guilty to felony charges for first-degree reckless injury and child abuse in Portage County Court on Tuesday.

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ANTIGO - Police started to look into former Langlade County Human Resources Director R.J. Weitz for misconduct before his suicide late last month.

We didn't know exactly why Weitz was being investigated. But documents released Tuesday by the Langlade County Sheriff's Office offer some explanation.

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MERRILL - Republicans planned to go after the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, quickly after taking control of Congress and the White House. Less than a month into session and the House of Representatives started picking apart the healthcare law. Many Americans are wondering what will happen to Obamacare. Congressman Sean Duffy held a town hall at Les & Jim's Lincoln Lanes in Merrill this afternoon to answer the public's questions. 

According to Duffy (R-Weston), the Affordable Care Act will be repealed because it is effective for 20 million people, but not for all of America. 

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EAGLE RIVER - The Vilas County Jail hopes to add two new corrections officers in 2017. But the jail needs more applicants by Friday.

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RHINELANDER - When police arrested Alexander Durand for stealing a car, they found he had been stealing mail as well.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office arrested Durand, 21, Saturday for driving a car stolen from a house near Rhinelander. During that investigation, officers found a lot of other people's mail on Durand's property.

The mail was from all over Oneida County as well as other counties.  The Sheriff's Office will contact the people whose mail has been found.

Durand is due in court January 23.

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