TOWN OF PELICAN - Riders will likely come across a lot of standing water and rough stretches on Oneida County's ATV/UTV trails when they open for the season on Wednesday at 8 a.m., but a club president says that's not terrible. In fact, he prefers the early-season riding.
Hodag 4-Wheelers Club President Paul Hagen went out Monday to put some finishing touches on his club's approximately 12 miles of trails it oversees around Enterprise. Crews put up new signs, took down trees, and tried to smooth things out.
Hagen says all the rain we got over the weekend will mean riders should take it slow, but the moisture should cut down on dust.
"Enjoy the woods and the scenery," Hagen said. "You never know when you're going to come across some deer or a bear or something, so just take it easy through the trails, especially that first part from Bowman Road in because it is pretty rough right now."
Hagen says a mid-to-late May opening is pretty typical for Oneida County trails. He expects them to stay open through November.
Hagen is most excited about five miles of gravel that will get put in on Bowman Road in June.
"[It'll be] really, really nice," Hagen said. "The other half of our trail has already been done. Beautiful, comfortable trail. Probably one of the better trails around."
The county will also open the Little RIce trail system on Wednesday, which includes 16 miles of wood trails, 23 miles of connecting ATV road routes, and 76 miles of town roads open to ATV/UTV use.
Meanwhile, Hagen looks forward to a potential vote in Rhinelander next month for the city to open its streets to the machines.
"I've talked to a lot of people and their business will go up 20, 30 percent, so I'm hoping that they'll all come to Rhinelander and people can just enjoy their machines a little bit more," Hagen said.
Rhinelander City Administrator Daniel Guild said the council could vote on opening city streets to ATVs and UTVs on June 10.
Vilas County will open most of its trails on Friday. Vilas Co. Parks and Recreation Administrator Dale Mayo said portions of the Landover Trails in Conover and Land O'Lakes will stay closed for now due to high water levels.
MERRILL - Strawberry farmers wait all year long for three weeks each summer when their crops will be ready to harvest. Bad weather across the Midwest this spring left those producers behind schedule.
Mike Matushak with Engelberry Farm in Merrill says the strawberry harvest in Southern Wisconsin usually come sooner than it does in the North. Producers a little further south in Waupaca already rang in their harvesting season with a strawberry festival Saturday.
MADISON - Madison police are investigating the death of a 60-year-old woman who fell into a pond.
Police Chief Mike Koval says the victim's boyfriend called around 8:30 Saturday night to report he was unable to pull her out of the pond. Rescuers arrived within minutes and gave the woman CPR, but could not revive her.
WAUSAU - You might see softball, live music, and a polka-themed church service driving down Bridge Street in Wausau this weekend. The award-winning St Anne Fest is back in town.
"It's a big three day event," said John Lang, one of the organizers. "We have great music, good food, softball games, dart tournaments going on. We have all kinds of events that bring in the community."
The annual festival is famous for its egg rolls and fresh deep-fried cheese curds. Ten thousand dollars in cash prizes well be raffled off on Sunday.
Michele Norrbom said the event is really a celebration of everything Wausau.
EAGLE RIVER - Families shower dads with gifts, love and maybe even a surprise breakfast on Father's Day.
The Rock Mission Center in Eagle River combined all three off those for families in their community this morning.
"Can't think of a better thing to sell fathers than that love that you would have with your father on father's day at breakfast," event organizer Joe Jovanovic said.
The pancake spread was inspired by Cory Meyer who brought a special meaning to the meal.
"Pancakes are a big thing in my family," Meyer said. "My grandpa passed away back in 2010 and his last dinner was pancakes. That led to a poem 'Pancakes In Heaven' which is in honor of him that turned into a magazine which now goes to nursing home shut-ins, veterans and prisoners."
Meyer's poem motivated the Rock Center to find their own message for Father's this year.
"Mothers are the love and nurture in the home. I think the Fathers are the hope portion because when a child really needs something that a dad can give, it's hope," Jovanovic said.
Jovanovic shared his own personal connection to the meaning of hope.
"This is superman's family crest and on the planet Krypton this stands for hope. That's the rock, love and hope," Jovanovic said.
And to all the fathers out there...
"Thank you for everything, because that's exactly where it all comes from."
The Rock Mission Center hosts dozens of events every month.
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