Thriving in the Cold: Eagle River Elementary students learn fun and finance go hand-in-hand in their home townSubmitted: 01/18/2018
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
News Director

Thriving in the Cold: Eagle River Elementary students learn fun and finance go hand-in-hand in their home town
EAGLE RIVER - If you want to get an good understanding of what makes Eagle River tick in the winter time, the first stop should be the ice castle.

At a structure made of thousands of blocks of ice, about 55 Eagle River Elementary fourth-grade students learned how the decades-old idea comes together each year.

"They're actually a little warm because this is a heat wave for us," teacher Nicole Musial said of her students.  "These are the future members of our community. When they grow up, they re going to do something incredible."

Musial helped coordinate the tour, which started as a chance to send a picture to their pen pals in Florida, but grew into a day-long field trip.

Eagle River Assistant Fire Chief Steve Burr helped his department build the castle over five days earlier in January. Teachers asked him to incorporate history, math, and economics into his speech.

"All three of them fit in well with the ice castle," Burr said of the topics. "[Asked if he's an expert in those fields] Absolutely not. But i did brush up... [I just want them to learn] the sense of community pride and how the entire city of Eagle River and the surrounding townships, how they embrace this."

Beyond getting to see something cool - like the ice castle - close up, students got an understanding of how winter attractions keep restaurants, hotels, and stores rolling through what otherwise might be a down time. It's a season revved up thanks to another January attraction just across town.

The World Championship Snowmobile Derby should draw thousands of people in its 55th year this weekend. Thursday, those same Eagle River students got the chance to see how the track gets made, learn some of its history, and hear from track owner Chuck Decker just how important the races are to the snowmobile capital of the world.

"It's a big area for sports and so it's just great to introduce them at a young age to what's right next door to them," Decker said.

Getting to use the track's public address system and sipping on hot chocolate just added to the experience, but the kids hooked onto the idea that fun and finances go hand-in-hand here.

"You start understanding it and you realize that it s everywhere," 10-year-old Katie Swendson said. "Things are happening everywhere you go."

On this day, that was all across their city; a small community that swells in the winter, with an impact lasting longer than the snow and ice.

"They are part of something bigger," Musial said. "They are not just a student at Eagle River Elementary School. They are able to leave a lasting footprint here."

Teachers say the whole day was free aside from paying $20 total for the bus. The Eagle River Fire Department says this weekend s warm up shouldn't bring down the ice castle as long as they can patch the blocks overnight.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


FLORENCE COUNTY - Two high school students died in a car crash early Friday morning in Florence County. The wreck happened at around 6:20 a.m. according to the Florence County Sheriff's Office.

The vehicle was traveling north on County Highway N in the Commonwealth Township, when the driver lost control while making a turn. The vehicle crossed the center line, left the roadway, and hit a tree, bursting into flames upon impact.

The names and ages of the Florence High School students will be released after notifications are made.

+ Read More

Play Video

ARBOR VITAE - Last summer the Northwoods LBGT community and allies come together to celebrate love, diversity and acceptance.

After last year's successful festival, the Rainbow Hodags planned an even bigger one for this year.

More than 75 people celebrated gay pride at the second annual Pride Fest in Arbor Vitae.

Lots of laughter, live music, and dancing filled the park. 

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander group working to maintain recreational trails in the area got some help in their mission. The Rhinelander Area Silent Trails Association received grants to help fund its various projects.

The group got two DNR Recreational Trail Act Grants totaled at a little more than $13,000. The WPS Foundation also gave a total of $1,800 in grants. The grant money will be used to help with multiple projects. 

One project is to construct a boardwalk over the wetlands of the Cassian Cross County Ski Trail. RASTA is also going to construct a new ski trail at Washburn.

For more information on all of RASTA's projects, visit their Facebook page lined below.

+ Read More

Play Video

LAKE TOMAHAWK - Back in the early nineties, an event in Lake Tomahawk gave thanks to veterans. This year, a group of community members decided to bring it back.

The Vets and Guides event invites veterans from King, Tomah, and other areas to come to Lake Tomahawk for a day of fishing, food, and a good time.

+ Read More

Play Video

Ruffed grouse appear to be less active this spring compared to last year.

Recent surveys showed drumming activity was down 34 percent across the state.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - After a long night shift, DNR Conservation Warden Supervisor Dave Walz answered his phone with some anxiety early Wednesday morning.

"Oh, phone ringing at 1, 2 in the morning, this can't be good," Walz said.

That anxiety turned to excitement.

"They said they had a homeowner with a bear in a basement," Walz said.

+ Read More
Long winter might affect fishSubmitted: 06/22/2018

Play Video

The unusual weather this spring may affect fishing across the Northwoods.

Cold water due to late ice-out on lakes had a negative effect on fish this spring.

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here