TOMAHAWK - You will soon be able to bike your way from Tomahawk to Minocqua using just a single trail.
The Bearskin and Hiawatha Trails in Tomahawk are merging.
The two long-standing trails are separated by a six mile stretch to help connect the two paths. Now, construction has started on that stretch to help connect the two paths.
The Tomahawk Chamber of Commerce says the completed trail will be a huge value to their local economy.
"This kind of trail development in other communities has worked really well," says Jim Wise with the Tomahawk Chamber of Commerce. "It's been a real boon to bed and breakfasts, lodging, recreation, rentals. So we're hoping that'll be the case when we connect the Bearskin and Hiawatha."
Chamber of Commerce officials also say the full trail will be a perfect destination all year long.
"The trail has a lot of advantages that can be used year-round," says Wise. "It's good for bicycling and hiking in the summer months, and snowmobiling in the winter months. So you have these two different economies working together on the same trail route, so it gets used a lot."
The Tomahawk Chamber of Commerce hopes to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the finished path on August 23rd.
"We'd like to involve all the local bike shops, all the local chambers, the runner groups or bicycle groups to all meet here that day, come from all the various communities, and we'll have a bit of a party and a ribbon-cutting," says Wise. The full trail will run an estimated 31 miles long when construction is completed.
LAKE TOMAHAWK - All around you witness goodwill gestures. It could be as simple as a smile and wave or opening a door for someone. In Lake Tomahawk, it's making a pie.
"I made a pretzel crust with butter and sugar, " explains Sheila Punches. Sharon Hilgendorf adds, "Flour, for the thickening."
Snowshoe baseball's been entertaining crowds since the 1960's. But over at the concession stand, the pie takes center stage.
Strawberry rhubarb, banana butterscotch pie, blueberry pie, rocky road and coconut cream are just a few of the creations. "I like making ones that I think will appeal to the crowd," says Linda Penno.
Each week a different service club's in charge of the snack shack and in turn, takes home the proceeds. Locals bakers, a lot of local bakers make their best pies and donate them to support the cause.
"You get involved with it over the years and it just becomes your way of life on Mondays," says Punches.
On an average night they sell 80 pies. Each one is cut into six pieces and are only two dollars a slice. That means making almost a thousand dollars is easy as pie.
Ken Lochte of Rhinelander exclaims, "This is the only place you get your dessert first, before you get your food." "It's a great honor and pleasure and I've been doing it for quite a few years now," adds Rebecca Morien.
No matter how you slice it, everyone benefits from this unique fundraiser.
"It is unique and different which makes Lake Tomahawk special," says Morien. "It's a very good fundraiser for the community who in turn give it all back. So, it's kind of a domino effect you know," adds Hilgendorf.
If you think this is a lot of pies, the team is requesting the bakers provide double this Friday. They're hoping to have more than 200 pies for the Snowhawks game against the Wounded Warriors.
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.
RHINELANDER - You can expect to see a major reconstruction in Downtown Rhinelander in 2016. The downtown area will improve its look and layout through a "streetscape" project. The new look could include wider sidewalks, outdoor restaurant seating and parking changes on Brown Street, but before any of that happens, city leaders need feedback from their community.
Downtown Rhinelander Incorporated already had surveys filled out b businesses in the area about parking on Brown Street.
The construction company came up with a compromised solution. The proposal keeps Brown Street as a two way street, but there will be parallel parking on the west side and angled parking on the east side.
47-year-old Karen Wessell of Star Lake died in yesterday's swimming accident in Vilas County. A boater pulled 2 people out of the water after they started drowning on Star Lake. We now know Wessell died shortly after.
Wessell went under water during a rescue attempt.
The Vilas County Sheriff says 3 women and 4 kids were along Trampers Trail. 3 boys swam across the channel and were told to come back. They got tired swimming back to shore so the women had to help. Wessell used herself to push one of the boys above the water to keep him from going under. A boater saw them, pulled them out, and started doing CPR.
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