EAGLE RIVER - People flock to Eagle River every winter to experience the iconic ice castle.
Strange weather patterns made that tradition impossible this year due to a lack of ice. However, there was plenty of snow.
Rather than count their losses, volunteers decided to get creative. Warehouse Community Art Center Director Donna Murray-Tiedge said it all started with a phone call.
"We got a call from the chamber, and they said, 'We're not going to be able to build the ice castle, do you think you could build a snow sculpture again?'" said Murray-Tiedge.
Volunteers started working on the sculpture at 8 a.m. Sunday morning. In the snowmobile capitol of the world, there was no question as to what shape the sculpture should take.
"We really felt it needed to be a snowmobile," said volunteer Julie Winter-Paez. "We're right on the snowmobile trail, we're going into derby weekend. It just seemed like the most appropriate thing to do."
Public workers started dumping loads of snow on Wednesday, and dedicated volunteers took it from there. Murray-Tiedge said she's proud of the Eagle River community for making this work of art possible.
RIB MOUNTAIN - Despite being called "Safer at Home," Governor Evers' order encourages people to get outside. And with Spring now here, many people have started to get out walking, running, and biking. But people wanting to drive, chip, and putt will have to wait.
Wisconsin is one of only four states to have shut down golf courses.
Rib Mountain Golf Course co-owner Tom Oliva says the greens have been ready for weeks, and points out disc golf courses are open in area parks.
"This would be the perfect opportunity for people to come out and golf," said Oliva. "And like I said, we would adhere to all the guidelines. It would be safe. I think we should be open."
Republican legislators sent a letter to Governor Evers, requesting that golf courses be re-opened. Assemblyman John Spiros (R-Marshfield) represents the Rib Mountain area. He says he's OK with restaurants and bars attached to the golf courses being closed, but people should be able to play golf.
"I think what we're saying with this letter that went out to the Governor was, look, you can continue to have these other items closed, we'll make sure there's social distancing, but allow these individuals to go out, hit the ball, get some exercise," said Spiros.
Governor Evers has not responded to the letter yet.
Oliva guesses he's lost more than $20,000 between his restaurant and golf course, during the Safer at Home Order.
MADISON - Thousands of Wisconsin voters waited hours in line to cast ballots and the National Guard staffed overcrowded polling stations on Tuesday, straining the state's ability to hold a presidential primary election under the lash of an escalating pandemic.
At the same time, many voters said they did not receive their requested absentee ballots and, unwilling to violate a stay-at-home order to vote in person, accepted their votes would not be counted.
WAUSAU - Justin Borger voted for the first time Tuesday. He wished it wasn't in the middle of a pandemic.
"I just turned 18 a couple months ago," said Borger. "So, I figured why not?"
He said he was worried for the health of his older relatives.
"For my grandparents and the older people I know, I'm a little bit worried," said Borger. "So, I try to stay away from them and social distance to try and keep them safe."
The hockey-rink-turned-polling place in Marathon Park accommodated Borger. This included routine sanitization, plastic screens, and clean pens. About half of the people inside wore masks.
Chief Inspector Jack Frederick said there were fewer people today than usual.
"We're making people stay six feet apart in the lines, which there haven't been much of today," said Frederick. "[There's been] a lot of absentee ballots, but not a lot of foot traffic. Not as much as normal that's for sure."
Borger successfully voted for the first time. He said he felt safe doing it.
"It was fun," said Borger. "I enjoyed it. I was a little bit confused wandering around in there, but I got the hang of it in the end and I'm glad I came out and voted today."
Results from Tuesday's election will not be available until Monday, April 13.
NORTHWOODS - Before voters could fill out a ballot, they had to disinfect.
"Earlier last week, every polling place received supplies from the Wisconsin Election Commission," Vilas County clerk Dave Alleman said. "This box of supplies included sanitizer, included wipes, included some masks."
Those supplies were put to good use at polls around the Northwoods, on the advice of public health departments.
"They put a lot of measures in place to help control the environment so that people can stay safe," said Judy Burrows, a public information officer with the Marathon County Health Department.
Officials across the state have been encouraging people to stay home for almost a month, but election day left them feeling conflicted.
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