STEVENS POINT - NHL star Joe Pavelski feels at home on the ice... but he also enjoys hitting the links. The combination of the two sports led to his annual charity event.
Marisa Silvas caught up with the former Badger in this week's Northwoods Spotlight.
Joe Pavelski returned home to many smiling faces. The Plover native reconnected with his roots for his 6th annual charity golf tournament.
"When I can come back to Plover and Stevens Point and see friends and everyone that traveled for the event it's always special," Pavelski explains.
The event's a great opportunity for the community to get to know the two-time Olympian off the ice.
"Joe is a fellow that's easy to meet, easy to talk to," golfer Richard Wnek adds.
"I was a hockey player as a child and played in the same conference as Joe," Joe Flanders from Rhinelander explains. "It's a good time to get out and play some golf and see some old friends. It's for a good cause and it's hockey related so that's cool."
The money raised will stay right here, where Joe grew up. It's funneled back into the Stevens Point Youth Hockey Association.
"We do have a long term goal of putting a second sheet of ice in," Nicki Gulan - the tournament coordinator said. "But for right now it goes to the general fund and helps purchase equipment for kinds just getting started in hockey and other costs associated with running the rink."
Pavelski's list of hockey accomplishments continues to grow. Last week he was named as a second team NHL All Star.
"You always look to get better in certain areas of your game," Pavelski points out. "You know it's nice to be able to score goals the way you think you should be able to and hopefully that continues."
Joe's coming off his strongest season yet. He was the NHL's third-leading goal-scorer with 41. But the Sharks year ended in heartbreak, losing in the first round of the playoffs to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Kings.
"The disappointing end to the season is tough," Pavelski explains. "It's one of the hardest ones we've had to deal with. You see other teams win and you want to be that, so you're a little jealous. But that'll be one of the driving forces to push us farther."
Moving forward, it's clear Joe will always have support and fans back home.
"He's one of the top players in the NHL and he brings a lot to Stevens Point," golfer T. Gulan said. "He donates a lot here and we love him."
PRICE COUNTY - Vietnam War veterans didn't get the "welcome home" they deserved when coming home from the war. But now, more than 50 years after the conflict, in Price County they are receiving appreciation for their sacrifices.
The Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Trail was officially dedicated on July 17th at the VFW Post 8491 in Prentice. The idea came up at a Price County Commanders call, a meeting made up of all the post commanders and commissioners for Price County, and this monument is anything but 'little'.
GREEN BAY - The only publicly owned team in U.S. professional sports is holding its annual shareholders meeting.
The Green Bay Packers are expecting more than 12,000 shareholders Thursday for the meeting at Lambeau Field. The Packers have about 364,000 owners.
The meeting is held in the open bowl of Lambeau. Shareholders will vote for three nominees to the board of directors, Associated Banc-Corp CEO Philip Flynn, Schreiber Foods CEO Michael Haddad and University of Wisconsin-Madison's Dr. Elizabeth Trowbridge.
MERRILL - Instead of just dreaming of being a firefighter, some children in Merrill actually got to try it out.
The Boys and Girls Club of Wausau went to Northcentral Technical College's Public Safety Center of Excellence in Merrill on Wednesday to explore careers in emergency fields.
"They're going to do one scenario where they're actually going to get put up into fire gear. And they're going to hook up a hose line on a fire truck and they're going to put out a dumpster fire," says Bert Nitzke, the Executive Director of Northcentral Technical College's Public Safety Center of Excellence.
Student's putting out the fire's say it was more difficult than it looked.
"It's kinda hard cause like the hose is pushing back really hard," says Jordyn Schalow, one of the students that took part in the training.
Students also got to experience EMS and police scenarios.
LANGLADE COUNTY - Farmers in Central Wisconsin need to keep a close eye on their potatoes.
Agricultural leaders from UW-Extension received a report of late blight from a farm in Portage County. Late blight is a disease that can kill potato and tomato crops.
The blight was found last week near Stevens Point, and leaders are worried about it spreading into Langlade County. Late blight can spread out several miles though the wind and the water. Agriculture experts in Langlade say there are certain things that you can do to protect your crops.
"Go out and scout them, look at them, we would like you to also spray protectants," says UW-Extension Agriculture Agent Stephanie Plaster. "Home gardeners should be spraying a copper or chlorothalonil-based spray. There are also organic copper sprays available for folks that would like to remain organic."
MILWAUKEE - U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin has introduced legislation aimed at increasing the number of doctors at Veterans Affairs medical centers and reducing wait times.
The Wisconsin Democrat said in a statement Thursday that the bill would create 2,000 residency positions over five years at Veterans Affairs hospitals nationwide. Residency is the next step in doctors' training following medical school.
The bill also would require the VA to allocate the residency positions based on doctor shortages at its facilities and to prioritize training for specialists who are needed.
ONEIDA COUNTY - Leaders in Oneida County want to know what you think of boathouses and piers on lakes in the county. The online survey they've put together could give them better information on the issues.
Planning and zoning workers say the two topics have been debated for years. Oneida County Planning & Zoning's Karl Jennrich says the county started allowing boathouses and regulating piers in 2000 when it rewrote its comprehensive plan.
The board looked at both topics a year ago, but didn't take any action to change current rules.
NORTHWOODS - A warming climate could challenge many of the plants and animals that live in the Northwoods.
People in Boulder Junction learned about some of those risks at the Community Center Thursday night.
The speaker says even though we've had harsh winters these past two years, the lack of ice in the long term could impact fish, evaporation rate and skiing.
"Winter's kind of the limiting factor of the Northwoods. So when you reduce winter, those species that are adapted to being here in this kind of winter, they're going to move further north and actually follow where the winter is because, it's hard to believe, but a lot of species can't live in warmer temperatures," said Naturalist John Bates.
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