MINOCQUA - Racers hit the water on Jet Skis for the Great Lakes Watercross Racing Series in Minocqua on Saturday. The event was sanctioned by the International Jet Sports Boating Association. The people who partake in watersports start because of their love for water. "It's just cause they like playing out on the water," said Scott Hyke, the event producer for the Great Lakes Watercross Racing Series. "You got that natural attraction to swimming and everything. I liked water and I liked motor cross. As I got older I could wipe out on a jet ski and I didn't get hurt so this was a big attraction to me." With all the lakes in this region of the country, to spend some time on a jet ski and enjoy the water is a great idea.
"There's nothing like being on the beach and in the water on a great sunny day, especially here in the Midwest," said Gary Burtka, a professional Jet Ski freestyler and racer. "We get so many cold days in the winter, you really look forward to these hot sunny days here in the summer time." It takes more than just cruising water to be an achieving athlete in water sports. "These guys are quite the athletes," Hyke said. "It's comparable to motorcross. I've done that in my life. It's a lot of work. You fight the waves and water conditions constantly." "It's harder than people think," said Steve King, a vintage Jet Ski racer. "People think you are just riding around in a jet ski, but actually it's pretty taxing" Everyone who entered Saturday's races qualified for the International Jet Sports Boating Association World Finals in Lake Havasu, Arizona in October. Some of the participants have already had success in the World Final. "I've raced at World Finals a couple times," King said. "That's the real deal. There's the best people in the whole world there. The best I've ever finished there is third." "We'll be representing the Midwest there," Burtka said. "Hopefully do well. Last year a little problem with the electrical. I was able to do a no-hander lander back flip for the first time, which was the world's no hander lander backhander." The Aqua Bowl Open displayed how exciting watersports can be.
STEVENS POINT - Stevens Point police want your help finding suspects in two possible stabbings. The stabbings happened early Friday morning and early Sunday morning near downtown Stevens Point.
Friday, four young men got into a fight on Main Street. One man said he was stabbed in the chest. Police say the suspect is a black man in his mid-20s, about 5' 9" tall, with a muscular build and short hair. The victim was treated at the hospital and released.
Sunday morning, police responded to an incident at 2nd Street and Crosby Avenue. Witnesses heard glass breaking and people yelling about a stabbing. Police don't have a victim or suspect description in that case, but they don't believe the two stabbings are connected.
If you have any information about the stabbings, call Detective Sgt. Gruber at 715-346-1518.
You can also call Portage County Crimestoppers to remain anonymous at 888-346-6600.
TOWN OF LITTLE RICE - Dennis Schoeneck's pickup truck sloshes through muddy logging roads these days. But he'd prefer it if a much larger truck could even make it down the path.
"Heck, I think you could spit and make mud here," the Enterprise Forest Products owner said Tuesday morning.
Foot-deep ruts make up most of the logging road leading back to 23 acres of private land the long-time logger harvests in the western Oneida County town of Little Rice. Schoeneck started logging professionally in 1979 and says 2016 has been "exceptionally wet" compared to any other year.
"The old adage, make hay while the sun shines, that's not just for farmers," Schoeneck said. "That's for us too."
RHINELANDER - People in Rhinelander will be able to cast their November election ballots starting on Friday. It's the earliest people in Wisconsin have ever been able to vote.
The absentee ballots are stacked and ready for Friday at the Rhinelander City Clerk's office. To make the early voting process go as smoothly as possible, you will need to come prepared.
"When you come in make sure that you're registered. That is important. Make sure you're registered in the city if you're coming into us," said Clerk Valerie Foley.
Registering is easy; all you need is a photo ID and proof of residence. The registration form takes a couple of minutes, and then you will be able to fill out an election ballot.
"I think it is going to be a very busy day. I think people are pretty interested in the issues. And I think a lot of them would like to get and make sure they can vote if they're not certain they're going to make it to the polls in November or not," said Foley.
The clerk's office has already sent out about 200 ballots to people who have requested them.
Now, it is preparing for the early voter in-person rush.
If you are unsure whether you are registered to vote or where to go for early voting, the clerk's office suggests voters visit myvote.wi.gov for more information.
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