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

Northwoods Spotlight - Fishing Opener - May 7
- 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

MERRILL -
It might be hard to imagine running a business with your mother or daughter-in-law, but for one pair, a shared hobby helped create their DIY studio.

Mother and daughter-in-law duo Diane and Alicia Kucirek opened The Painted Door in Merrill just one month ago.

They take old, worn out furniture and make it new again using chalk paint.

The pair decided to open the studio when both of their houses started to get jam-packed with finished chalk paint projects.

Diane says anyone can learn how to give new life to old furniture with some lessons.

"You just learn as you go. It's so easy to repair anything you don't like, fix it, or change direction with it," says Diane.

Alicia says the first month of business was insane, mainly because of the community's support.

Support comes from outside of Merrill, too.

"We've had people come from all over Wisconsin saying, 'Tell me about this chalk paint!'"says Alicia.

The Painted Door has workshops every Thursday.

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MADISON - Jurors have convicted a man accused of stealing an arsenal of firearms from a southern Wisconsin gun shop and sending an anti-government manifesto to President Donald Trump.

The jury in Madison deliberated for about two hours Tuesday before finding Joseph Jakubowski guilty of two federal weapons charges.

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HARSHAW - Oneida County sheriff's deputies found three runaway sisters, ages 14, 14, and 12, in the woods in Harshaw just after 1 p.m. on Monday.

The sisters had been reported missing by their parents Monday morning. The parents had gone to wake the girls up for school, but instead found a note saying they had gone on an "adventure."

The missing girls triggered a search from the Oneida County Sheriff's Office Special Response Unit, Newbold Fire Department Search and Rescue, Minocqua Fire Department, Lake Tomahawk Fire Department, and Little Rice Fire Department.

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker has selected a former legislator to run the state Department of Natural Resources.

Walker's office announced Monday that he has chosen former Republican state Rep. Dan Meyer to serve as DNR secretary. He replaces Cathy Stepp, who resigned in August to take a position in President Donald Trump's administration.

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RHINELANDER - With the push of a button and the whining of a winch, John Wendt singlehandedly symbolizes the end of a season.

"You see the changing of the leaves, I just love being out here every day," Wendt said.

Wednt hauls boats for Shoeder's RV & Marine in Rhinelander. Starting in September, he loads up fishing boats, pontoons, and jet skis and puts them away for the season.

"The weather's been nice, everybody doesn't want to put their boats away yet," Wendt said.  "But as soon as the weather starts turning, that's when it'll hit the fan."

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RHINELANDER - Caramel apples seem to be a go-to treat this time of year, but a tough growing season almost made them hard to find this Fall.

Fun Factory Sweet Shoppe in Rhinelander only uses Granny Smith apples for its caramel apples.

Throughout the last few weeks, manager Judy Fritz says she had trouble finding enough green apples in the Northwoods.

Stores said bad crops and little rainfall made the Granny Smith apples scarce this season.

She eventually found some sold in bulk in Milwaukee to bring up north.

Fun Factory is very particular about their apples, so in the meantime, Judy hand-picked from the produce aisles in local stores.

"We always make sure that there are no bumps or bruises. We want a nice, perfect apple," says Fritz.


Judy says you shouldn't worry about getting your hands on one of her caramel apples.

Shipments of granny smith apples from Washington State have started to come in to a local store she works with.

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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander factory that makes smoke flavoring caught fire early Monday morning.
 
Shortly before 6:00 a.m.,  Rhinelander, Crescent and Newbold Fire Departments responded to a fire at Red Arrow Products on Rhinelander's west side.

An employee says there were about eight workers inside at the time.

No one was injured.

"Flames were coming out of a conveyor area as high as the roof. We made an interior attack and knocked that flame down. Came in from the other side of the partition wall, then made another interior attack and knocked that down," says Chief Terry Williams.


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