CRANDON - They call it the Big House and there really isn't anything else like it. Talented off road drivers are kicking up the dirt in Crandon this weekend for the annual Brush Run.
The weather cooperated for a full slate of racing action. Thousands of fans enjoyed the the thrill of being up close to the track. They were able to watch many different classes of racing, a few spills and lots of excitement.
Something new this year is an exhibition of UTV's, or Utility Terrain Vehicles. They're trying to gain more popularity in the Mid-West.
A couple of results from local drivers today include in the 1600 Buggy Class, Rhinelander's Mark Steinhardt continued his success at Crandon. Steiny got out to a good lead and took the checkerd flag with ease.
In the Super Stock Trucks Argonne's Jeff Fannin was near the front the majority of the race. Fannin finished strong in second place. This weekend he's racing for a special cause.
"Our race winnings this weekend we're donating back to the Ronald McDonald House charity in Marshfield today. Then tomorrow our winnings will go to the Wounded Warriors project," explains Fannin. "The Ronald McDonald House charities was a big deal because last year I became a father for the first time. My son came seven weeks early and we spent three weeks there. It opened my eyes to what a great charity that place is."
During the summer, Nick Baumgartner trades in his snowboard for off road racing.
The last time we caught up with the Iron River native, he'd just returned from his second Olympic games.
Now he's back behind the wheel of a truck and excited to have the chance to race close to home.
"When I'm traveling for snowboarding not everyone can come out and see me. Here I have a huge fan base," says Baumgartner. "I've talked to the school here a couple times in Crandon so it's cool to see all these people come out, especially the kids. They get so hyped on it. It's cool having that support and just coming out here and having fun. The adrenaline coming into turn one in Crandon is better than anything I've ever felt. This is what we're chasing for in life (this adrenaline) and we've found it here in Crandon."
You can still catch a full day of racing at Crandon on Sunday. Qualifying begins at 9am.
MERRILL - Members of a Northwoods union chapter gathered unique inspiration for a fundraiser - The Beatles.
Merrill-area Local 6 members gathered Wednesday on the Wisconsin flowage to raise money for groups in need of assistance. The union leaders organized boat rides, raffles, barbecues, and contests. The inspiration for the fundraiser came, in part, from the 1965 Beatles single Help!
"I found out it was the anniversary of the 'Help!' release from The Beatles record, and I decided, let's help our community," said Local 6 Vice President Valerie Nelson. "Our membership is very passionate about certain organizations within our community. One being the Lincoln County Humane Society, the local food pantry, and the American Cancer Society."
Gardens need some help with large temperature swings in summer
RHINELANDER - Northwoods heat the past few days forced plants to endure different weather, but you don't need to do extra gardening just because it's hot.
Experts at Hanson's Garden Village in Rhinelander say plants can manage the heat just fine. On hot, sunny days, many plants will wilt, but that doesn't mean they need more water.
"If the soil is moist on a hot day, I wouldn't water more. That's probably more harm. The plant can only take up so much moisture at a time, so I would just hold off on watering," says Sue Hanson, Hanson's Garden Village Co-Owner.
WOODRUFF - Americans will eat about 7 billion hot dogs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Wednesday, millions of Americans celebrated National Hot Dog day. That was the case in the Northwoods.
Hoggie Doggies Snack Shack is a staple in Woodruff. Their All-American favorite is the Chicago Style Dog.
The owner Judy Rossi has been there for 12 years and says they go through a lot of dogs.
"Last season we went through almost 17,000 hot dogs. This year we're on track for about 18,000," says Rossi. "Statistically we go through about 8 tons of potatoes in a season, which is close to 16,000 pounds for our homemade french fries. Those are some big numbers for this little place."
MADISON - Unemployment is up in all of Wisconsin's largest cities and most counties.
The state Department of Workforce Development reported Wednesday that unemployment rates in June increased in all of the state's 32 largest cities. Unemployment rates went up in 61 of 72 counties and remained unchanged in the other 11.
Wisconsin's monthly unemployment rate in June was 5.7 percent, unchanged from May.
EAGLE RIVER - A new type of foundation could give you a better way to build a home, and the idea for the improvement starts right here in the Northwoods.
Composite Panel Systems in Eagle River builds composite panels for home foundations. Composite means anything made of two or more materials, which includes fiberglass in this case. The company describes the EPITOME Quality Foundation Wall as a revolutionary composite building solution for residential foundations.
The company makes them off site, and then they put them together on location. Composite Panel Systems' Scott Weber says that means a shorter build time compared to concrete foundations.
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