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NEWS STORIES

More specialty food stores in northcentral WisconsinSubmitted: 07/31/2014
Story By Lauren Stephenson


NORTHWOODS - It seems more all-natural and specialty food stores are popping up around the Northwoods. Antigo and Three Lakes welcomed new all-natural and specialty food stores this year. And last week, Eagle River welcomed one, as well.

"We were painstaking about finding things that you cannot find at other shops here in the Eagle River area," said Homeward Bound Specialty Foods owner Patti Katz Black. She and her husband, Dave, opened their Eagle River store last week.

"The foodie explosion's been around a long time but the market for people that are looking for health needs and a little broader choice in a specialty market, the time had come," Katz Black explained.

The time had come for the Blacks to open a store like the ones they enjoyed visiting during their travels. Homeward Bound offers ethnic and gluten-free foods, specialty sauces, imported waters and teas and Wisconsin cheese. They're also offering freshly made grab and go meals, sides, dressings and sauces by Dave who is a chef.

"We're trying to fill a niche that secretly lives everywhere," said Katz Black. "People get bored and are looking for something different."

That niche has become larger since The Country Seed opened its doors 29 years ago in Rhinelander. The store's manager, Cynde Goll, has seen interest grow since she started 7 years ago.

"The gluten-free products, the dairy-free, soy-free those type of things, there was not as many people shopping for it as I can tell that there are now," Goll said.

Stores like The Country Seed and Homeward Bound aren't alone. Two all-natural food stores, Wild Berry Market in Minocqua and Golden Harvest in Rhinelander, moved to larger locations this year to keep up with demand. There are about a dozen all-natural and specialty food stores in the area stretching from Merrill to Minocqua, over to Eagle River, down to Antigo.

The Country Seed's manager thinks people care more about what they eat than they did a few years ago.

"People are more aware of what they're putting in their bodies," explained Goll. "They're more conscious of the things that are in our foods nowadays and what they're consuming and it's easier to go to a specialty store and know you don't have to do as much label-reading and it's more convenient to find what you're looking for."

The Homeward Bound owners hope to provide that convenience to their customers. Katz Black says they're "trying to make eating enjoyable, healthy and easy, and affordable."

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 IN OTHER NEWS

KENNAN - When you hear the word "mush," you may think of huskies pulling sleds in the winter, but in the summer, sled dogs often are still hard at work practicing for races in the snow.

It's called dryland dog sledding.

The Baum Family of Price County is particularly passionate about it. So passionate that they will host its first dryland derby on their farm this October. They expect to have about 70 racers from all over the world.

It's an international sport, and it can be very physically demanding.

"You start when they're a puppy," said Ailena Baum, a dryland dog musher. "Some of it's sled dog culture, the older dogs teach it to the younger dogs."

The Baums have been sled dog racing for years and they practice on their farm near Catawba. For them, dog sledding is part of their family. They travel together for races, and they practice together.

Ailena Baum introduced her husband to the sport when they first met. Now he says he is just as passionate.

"I was impressed," said Dan Bocock, Ailena Baum's husband. "I was hooked."

They say it takes the whole family to raise the dogs, spending at least a few hours a day feeding them, giving them water and training them.

When the Baum girls were young, they started running dogs. About 10 years ago, they bred huskies for sledding. Now, they have 13 huskies.

"And we're going through about a couple tons of food every year, and it's got to be high quality food," Baum said. "When we buy food, I mean, I think it's costing us about $55 for a 45 lb. bag of food."

The dryland derby is open to the public and will take place at the Baum Farm on October 17-18. 

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What We're Working onSubmitted: 09/02/2015

- Every weekday morning, buses all across the Northwoods load up with children and take them to and from school.  Parents expect those buses to safely transport their kids, but who makes sure they are?  We'll introduce you to a state employee who helps keep the wheels spinning safely.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MARATHON COUNTY - The search for a man on the run ended with the suspect shooting himself.

Marathon County Deputies were looking for someone wanted in Clark County after a gun was fired.

The car that person was in was later spotted between Athens and Edgar.

While police were waiting for backup, the man stopped the car and ran into the woods.

Deputies and a police K9 tracked the man for close to an hour.

They eventually found him in the back of a semi-trailer.

The man was armed with a hand gun.

Deputies told him to drop the gun, but he shot himself instead.

Outside agencies will be brought in to handle the investigation.

The man's name has not yet been released.

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RHINELANDER - Resort owners in the Northwoods often collect stories from their guests, but rarely do guests teach owners about the history of their own resort.

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RHINELANDER - A Northwoods woman wants to make sure all children have something to read.

That was the inspiration behind Food for the Mind. 

Pauline Doucette started it ten years ago. 

The group gives out children's books at local food pantries, like Rhinelander, Tomahawk, and Antigo.

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FOX LAKE, IL - Even with 100 investigators on the ground for a second day, authorities in northern Illinois acknowledge they have no indication that three suspects wanted in the gun-slaying of an officer are still in the area.

Lake County Major Crimes Task Force Cmdr. George Filenko says the officer provided no concrete description of the men he was pursuing on foot before he was shot, except to tell dispatchers that two of them were white and one was black.

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MILWAUKEE - A survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago says the value of Wisconsin farmland in its district fell about 2 percent from April through June.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1PKWJwl ) reports the survey also showed the value of "good" farmland dropped 2 percent for the second quarter of 2015 from a year earlier. That's the first such decline in nine quarters.

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