CRANDON - The Northwoods needs tourists to visit throughout the year and boost the local economy. People from nearby states often come to the area to enjoy seasonal events and attractions.
People from other countries are also starting to visit more and it's the history of native tribes they look forward to seeing most.
A group of Italian tourists visited the Northwoods to experience a culture they've only heard about. Some of those tourists are journalists who will share their experiences once they return home.
Another visitor Newswatch 12 spoke to works for the U.S. Consulate General in Italy. She says it's her job to educate people on what native communities have to offer.
"We are trying to teach the Italian visitors to experience this area and learn that Native American [sic] is not what we watch in the movies, it's completely different," said Luisa Salomoni, a commercial specialist with the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The tourists visited tribal museums and attended the Sokaogon Chippewa Strawberry Moon Powwow, among other attractions. They ate traditional foods like wild rice and toured historic landmarks like the Dinesen Log Cabin in Crandon. The house was originally built in the 1860s and fully restored in 2005 by the Mole Lake Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.
Trip organizers say they want people all over the world to know Native American communities are more than just casinos.
"Getting to tell our stories the way we know it should be told," said Cheyenne Landru, the vice chairwoman of Native American Tourism of Wisconsin.
The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association plans culture tourism trips in partnership with Brand USA.
They take people to native communities across the nation including those in the Southwest and Alaska, but they say the Northwoods is unique because there are different native tribes in such close proximity.
EAGLE RIVER - Professional snowmobilers took to the racetrack in Eagle River this weekend. However, they weren't the only ones riding on some top-of-the line sleds.
Arctic Cat was at the derby offering demo rides on their 2021 models. People got a chance to try out the different machines, and put money down on a model of their choice.
Sales director Joe Klosterman said it's important for people to try before they buy.
"We do it to give an experience to the consumer," said Klosterman. "You wouldn't buy a car without driving it. We've also got a new model this year that I think is going to bring a lot of new people into the industry."
Demo workers took guests out on a 10-mile loop to experience some of the best trails in the Northwoods. Those trails featured curbs, some fresh powder, and lots of bumps to test the machines' suspension.
Klosterman said Arctic Cat sold lots of sleds over the weekend thanks to the promotion.
OSHKOSH, WIS. (AP) - A Wisconsin teenager who was shot and wounded when he stabbed a school resource officer has been ordered to stand trial.
Grant Fuhrman, 17, is charged as an adult with attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the Dec. 3 attack at Oshkosh West High School.
Fuhrman is accused of stabbing Mike Wissink multiple times with a barbecue fork. Court documents say the officer was unable to reach his stun gun so he shot Fuhrman twice. Neither was seriously injured.
The school was evacuated and classes were cancelled for two days.
IRON COUNTY - One person died in a snowmobiling incident in Iron County early Sunday morning. The victim was identified as a 47-year-old female.
According to a press release by the Iron County Sheriff's Department, dispatch received a call at 1:52 a.m. reporting a snowmobile crashed on Trail 17 just outside Hurley and the operator was unresponsive.
First responders arrived at 2:04 a.m. and began taking life saving measures. The driver was then transported by rescue sled to Beacon ambulance and then to Aspirus GVH in Ironwood, MI.
After continued life-saving measures, the 47-year-old female was pronounced dead at Aspirus Hospital.
MADISON - Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced Sunday he wants state lawmakers to pass a package of bills aimed at curbing youth vaping and educating the public about vaping's potential dangers.
The bills Evers, a Democrat, is requesting would ban vaping and vapor products on K-12 campuses and expand the definition of public health emergencies. Another bill would fund a public health campaign to address youth vaping in the state and a fourth proposal would expand the enforcement capacity of the Departments of Revenue and Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection to prevent vaping products from being sold to minors.
The governor's office outlined his proposals in a press release Sunday.
"As a parent, grandparent, and lifelong educator, I am deeply concerned about the health and well-being of our kids," Evers said in a statement. "Vaping is a serious public health epidemic and it is time to take action."
The governor's office said vaping products pose serious health risks to young users because the nicotine contained in e-cigarettes can harm parts of the brain that control attention and learning.
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