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.
ST. GERMAIN - A school bus doesn't feature a lot of amenities. Seats, windows, and that's about it. But a company out of St. Germain thinks buses, and other big vehicles, make the perfect kitchens.
Caged Crow Fabrication is owned by Josh Romaker. He moved to the Northwoods about three years ago. Around the same time a woman in Madison approached him to help refurbish an old camper. He decided to make it into a food truck instead.
"We took on the challenge and that first build was featured on US Today and some magazines and our phone just started ringing. We've got them in Denver, Salt Lake City, New Jersey," said Romaker.
That was just the beginning for Romaker's company, Caged Crow Fabrication in St. Germain. They now specialize in food trucks of all kinds.
"If a customer wants a food truck that looks like a barn or a steam train or a school bus conversion, we really stick to the unique food truck builds," said Romaker.
The 1982 bus that Caged Crow Fabrication is working on now will be complete in a little over a month. The team made up of just a few workers has one rule- they never build the same thing twice. And they take their time.
"We have a sign on the wall here that says 'quality over quantity'. I think our reputation right now is really based on the attention to detail and I think we want to keep that up," said Romaker.
If you're interested in checking out more work from Caged Crow Fabrication, follow the link below.
WASHINGTON - UPDATE: 3-24-17, 4:00pm: Ryan bemoans collapse of health care bill:
Speaker Paul Ryan says the collapse of the House Republican health care bill means former President Barack Obama's health care law will be around for the foreseeable future.
The Wisconsin Republican addressed reporters minutes after GOP leaders abruptly shelved the legislation, averted likely defeat for the bill. But it still dealt a damaging setback to President Donald Trump, Ryan and an entire party that has long said it wants to annul Obama's statute.
MARATHON COUNTY - The suspect in a Wisconsin shooting spree that left four people dead has been identified, and court records show one of the victims was his wife's divorce lawyer.
A person close to the investigation identified the suspect Friday as 45-year old Nengmy Vang. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the person wasn't authorized to speak ahead of authorities officially identifying Vang.
WAUSAU AREA - Organizations in the greater Wausau area set up funds remembering and honoring the victims of Wednesday's shootings.
A Marathon Savings Bank fund will support the families of the two bank employees shot. Dianne Look had worked at Marathon Savings Bank for almost 19 years, and Karen Barclay had been there for more than six years.
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