Recent Nicolet Graduate Earns Gold Medal at National Skills Competition
Published on 07/23/2024 under News A recent Nicolet graduate and future barber is bringing a gold medal back to the Northwoods. Axel Jacobs recently took part in the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference where he earned top marks in the barbering competition. Skills USA is an event that allows students to showcase their abilities across a wide range of professional skills. In all there are more than 115 events from architecture to welding. As for Jacobs, the Mercer native graduated from Nicolet this summer, earning a technical diploma in Cosmetology. He scored a 96.4 out of 100 in the competition to earn gold. He called it "an incredible experience competing at the national level" He was also quick to praise the support of his family, instructors and his classmates at Nicolet. Jacobs earned a spot at nationals by winning the state competition. He was among 6,000 state champions who traveled to Atlanta to compete across the various categories. Instructor Marie Stott says, "We are proud of Axel and all our students who competed at SkillsUSA. Their dedication and hard work truly shine through in their accomplishments." By earning a top spot at Nationals, Jacobs is also eligible to compete in the 2026 WorldSkills Competition. That will be held in Shanghai, China. -Photo provided by Nicolet College-
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Fire at Arbor Vitae Storage Building Causes ~$400,000 in Damages
Published on 07/23/2024 under News A storage building in Vilas County went up in flames over the weekend causing nearly a half million dollars in damages. According to Arbor Vitae Fire and Rescue, crews were initially paged to a structure fire on Kern Lane at shortly before 7pm Sunday evening. They found an approximately 40' by 80', steel storage building, fully involved, along with several vehicles near the building. Responders also reported hearing several small explosions. Crews were eventually able to get the fire under control. Initial damage is estimated about $400,000. Fortunately, there were no injuries reported. An immediate cause of fire was not provided, and the State Fire Marshall is assisting local officials in their investigation. Traffic on Highway 51 was reduced for approximately 4 hours during and following the response. Due to the nature of the fire, nine additional departments provided mutual aid. Assistant chief Mike Sipin also thanked Bad Bones BBQ which provided food for the responders on the scene.
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Howard Young Foundation Purchases New LEEP Machine for Aspirus Woodruff Clinic
Published on 07/23/2024 under News Aspirus Woodruff Clinic recently introduced a state-of-the-art machine that is expected to improve women's health care. That equipment is known as LEEP, which stands for Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure. Dr. Joelle Wennlund is a gynecologist at Aspirus Woodruff Clinic. She called the new LEEP machine a valuable technology to have at their facility in Woodruff, and a key tool in helping prevent cervical cancer. The new LEEP machine was purchased via the Howard Young Foundation. It's primarily used to diagnose and treat precancerous changes in the cervix. They described the benefits including: precision, effectiveness, minimal discomfort, and a quick recovery. Wennlund explained that prior to having the LEEP machine on campus, they had to arrange an appointment with another facility, and attempt to fit in into schedules. That typically meant the patient had to travel south, and some northern patients had to travel several hours to get the procedure done. Wennlund noted that the new machine actually takes longer to set up than to complete the procedure.-Photo provided by Aspirus-
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Minocqua Man Facing Multiple Charges after OWI Stop in Lincoln County
Published on 07/23/2024 under News A Minocqua man is facing multiple charges following an OWI stop in Lincoln County this past week. According to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Report, deputies were initially notified of a possible disturbance on Highway 86. The driver, a 44 year old man, allegedly left the location, while his daughter remained behind. A short time later, dispatch received another call about a vehicle matching the description enter the ditch and then continue back on Highway 86. They were able to locate the vehicle and take the man into custody. According to the report, the man became aggressive and made several threats towards the deputy during transport. The report also indicates the man attempted to grab a deputy while she was adjusting the man's handcuffs. The man was medically cleared and then booked into the jail on multiple offenses including OWI with a passenger under 16, resisting or battery to law enforcement and criminal damage to property. The man's name was not immediately released in the report.
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WJJQ Sports Talk Now on 97.7FM and 810AM
Published on 07/23/2024 under News A quick update for listeners of our sports talk radio channel on our sister station. As of Monday, the frequency has changed on our FM signal.  Listeners can now tune in to 97.7FM for sports talk. The change will not affect our AM station which remains at 810AM. The change was needed due to a nearby frequency being utilized. We continue to carry Infinity Sports Network, formerly CBS Sports; Bill Michaels for Wisconsin-focused discussions, and occasionally some local sports. So once again, as of Monday evening WJJQ Sports Talk can be found on 97.7FM and remains on 810AM.
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12 Tomahawk Area Non-Profits Share ~$24,860 in Grants from Tomahawk Thrift Shop
Published on 07/22/2024 under News In just five short years, the Tomahawk Community Thrift shop has become a key contributor to local organizations. They recently announced another round of recipients. We were recently joined by two Tomahawk Community Thrift Shop board members Bonnie Trapp and Cindy Wescott to talk a bit about the store and also announce which organizations will receive summer grants. For those unfamiliar, the Tomahawk Community Thrift Shop was founded back in July of 2019, making this the five year anniversary. It's run like a traditional thrift shop, but with a goal of returning proceeds to local non-profits. In the latest cycle, they contributed just shy of $25,000 to twelve community groups and projects. With the latest round of grants, the Thrift Shop has now distributed more than $140,000 to community organizations. They've also settled into their new location along North 4th Street after outgrowing their original space within a few years. Taking a quick look at the recipients and how they'll spend their grants:•Tomahawk Main Street-To bring a Wisconsin State Historical Marker to the boulevard on South Tomahawk Ave. •Tomahawk Historical Society-A new museum area to display antique print shop/Tomahawk Boat exhibits •Kinship-Back to School Backpack supplies; continuing their tutoring program •American Legion-Fixing up the meeting space for the local Boy Scouts •Legion Auxiliary-Kitchen renovations •Lincoln County 4-H-Renovating the 'dairyland stand' at the Merrill Festival Grounds which they'll use to sell ice cream during events •Tomahawk Together-Their 'Dream Park/Splash Pad' project in Washington Square •Tomahawk Lions Club-Their annual Powwow Days celebration •Tomahawk Dog Park-Installing a privacy screen for the fencing near the campground •Loon Rescue, Inc.-Upgrading equipment for bird rescue efforts •Tomahawk Public Library-Additional children's library programming and materials •Hometown Christmas-Banners for the light poles in the community That conversation is available in the WJJQ Audio Center.
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Kwahamots Finish Fourth at D3 State Championships; Plum Ski-ters Crowned Champs
Published on 07/22/2024 under News The Kwahamots finished just off the podium in the Wisconsin State Show Ski Championships over the weekend. Wisconsin Rapids once again played host to the 4-day competition on the shores of Lake Wazeecha. Two dozen teams participated across the three divisions. Our local Kwahamots finished in fourth place in the tightly contested D-3 competition. The Kwahamots hit the waters bright and early Friday morning. Across the dozen judging categories, the Kwahamots actually claimed the top score in three:barefooting, tow boat, and pick-up boat. After pausing their shows for the competition, they'll be back on their regular schedule this week. For the top team in D3, you'll have to look to Vilas County and the Plum Lake Ski-ters. They finished first in seven categories while Dan Emerson and Kate Draeger were names D3 Most Valuable Skiers.
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Air Venture Cup Race Brings Planes Over Northwoods
Published on 07/22/2024 under News If you noticed a little more airplane traffic across the Northwoods Sunday morning, you are not alone. While hundreds of thousands of aviation enthusiasts will be in the Fox Valley this week for the EAA AirVenture, around 100 pilots first participated in an air race around the Northwoods. It's all part of the AirVenture Cup, now in its 26th year. The race in the skies traditionally serves as a kick-off event for the week-long festivities in Oshkosh about all things aviation. The race is based out of the Wausau Airport and takes pilots on a route through Northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. This year's approximately 400 mile circuit sent pilots out from Wausau as far east as Manistique, Mich. After a couple more checkpoints in the UP, they return to the Northwoods with Land O Lakes, Tomahawk and Merrill serving as the final check points. Upon returning to the Wausau airport, pilots were greeted with a small luncheon. Most participants will make their way to Oshkosh where the EAA Air Venture officially kicks off this morning.
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Wisconsin Public Service Announces Finalists for 'Spokesdog' in Safe Digging Campaign
Published on 07/22/2024 under News Earlier this month, we told you about a new Wisconsin Public Service safe digging campaign. Now the public has a chance to find the star of that message. The regional power utility put out a call for nominees for their first-ever safe-digging 'spokesdog.' The winning pup will be featured in an upcoming social media campaign with the crucial safety slogan: Doggone it! Always call 811. This references the use of Digger's Hotline before any projects that involve digging. People were encouraged to enter by snapping a photo of their dog digging in his or her favorite place. Their judges selected finalists, now the public gets a chance to select the top dog. There are a pair of local candidates: Arlo, an Aussiedoodle from here in Tomahawk and Clovis; a Weimaraner in Schofield. People have until next Monday to check out the pups and cast a vote. The winner will be announced ahead of August 11, or 8-11.
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Scammers Using Missing Person, Pet Posts to Trick Potential Victims
Published on 07/22/2024 under News A new social media scam is using a bait-and-switch approach to fool users into clicking on harmful links. Local law enforcement have been sharing details into how scammers pull it off. It all starts with what seems to be a well-intentioned post on Facebook about a missing person or missing animal. The scammers post typically appears in a community groups. The scammers are hoping that people begin to re-post the message on their own feeds. This allows their post to show up from what seems to be a trustworthy source. The real goal is to get people to click on harmful links or provide personal data. That may include the scammer going back and changing the original message after it's been re-posted numerous times. Lincoln County Crimestoppers shared a graphic with some common red flags...Be mindful of posts from brand new accounts or with relatively few local followers; posts where the comments have been turned off; and posts that don't include any contact information. As always, be mindful of sharing personal information, and clicking on links.
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Kwahamots Competing at State Show Ski Championships
Published on 07/19/2024 under News Around two dozen of top water ski teams in Wisconsin are competing for state championships this weekend, with several local favorites in the mix. Wisconsin Rapids is once again hosting all three divisions of the Wisconsin State Show Ski Championships on Lake Wazeecha. The competition actually got underway Thursday with individual events like freestyle jumping, swivel ski and doubles. That all leads into the team competition which kicks off bright and early Friday morning. Each team gets an hour to put on a show. Competitors are judged in twelve categories such as showmanship, difficulty, boat driving, announcing, and overall performance. The Northwoods will be well represented in Division 3. Call it bare-footing and breakfast, as the Tomahawk-based Kwahamots were actually the first on the water Friday morning, skiing in the 8am hour. Among the half dozen Division 3 competitors are the Plum Ski-ters of Sayner and the Chain Skimmers from Eagle River.  The competition will continue Saturday and Sunday. We'll share results once we receive them. *Due to this weekend's competition, the Kwahamots will not be holding their regular Saturday show. They will be back on their regular schedule on Tuesday
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Tomahawk Children's Theater Workshop Wrapping up with Friday Performance
Published on 07/19/2024 under News The curtains are set to rise on Tomahawk's newest group of youth actors. After a two week boot camp, the participants will offer up a public performance this evening. The Tomahawk Community Theater has been hosting a Children's Summer Theater Workshop for a second consecutive year. The goal was to offer an opportunity for local kids to get involved in the fine arts while young, and develop interest and experience. (That conversation is available in the WJJQ Audio Center) Earlier this week, we welcomed to of the participants, fifth grader Noah Bixby and eighth grader Morgan Maule. The pair talked about what inspired them to join and a little about their experience. It all wraps up Friday evening with a performance of 'Internet Disconnect'. Bixby talked a bit about the story about a group of kids are cut off from the internet and need to complete a school project with the vintage items found in their grandparent's attic. To make our listeners feel old, Bixby teased one of the items he was introduced to...a Polaroid camera. Terry Bucaro has been involved with the Theater group since it's founding. And she once again highlighted the community support...everything from sponsors to stage hands. They've also brought in some members of the Tomahawk High School Drama Department to serve as instructors and crew members. Tonight's performance will take place in the Tomahawk School District auditorium giving the kids an impressive venue. 'Internet Disconnect' gets underway at 6pm Friday evening. Admission is free.-Photo from Tomahawk Community Theater: The stage is set for Friday's performance of 'Internet Disconnect.'
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Aspirus, YMCA of the Northwoods Encourage Safe Swimming
Published on 07/19/2024 under News In the dog days of summer, a quick dip in the water is a great way to cool off. Aspirus and the YMCA of the Northwoods are teaming up to make sure people keep swimming safety in mind. Education, awareness, and sensible precautions are all part of that message. Kaylee Dasher is the aquatics director at the Y, where they offer classes such as learn to swim, CPR and life guard instruction. While she encouraged people sign up for a class, she notes there are resources for home instruction. One specific skill she highlighted is to learn how to float, an important skill in a water emergency. While pools are popular, here in the Northwoods many swimmers using natural waterways. Amy Larson with Aspirus MedEvac, noted these waters bring additional challenges for even experienced swimmers to be aware of. This includes uneven lake or river beds, waves and currents, and boat traffic. They offered up a few other quick reminders to stay safe while swimming: Wear a life jacket; swim with a buddy; check for any hazards; and obey safety warnings and lifeguards. For those on shore, it's a important to monitor swimming children by assigning a water watcher. And if a water emergency happens, Larson says, "If you are safely able to get them out of the water, please do so. But the first thing we would like you to do is call 911." This, she says, will allow responders to get to a patient quickly and provide needed care.
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Antigo Visual Arts, High Schoolers Team Up for Mural Project
Published on 07/19/2024 under News The Antigo Visual Arts organization continues to make the community look a bit better. Their latest project included a help from some student artists. AVA teamed up with the Antigo High School Art Club to paint a mural on an outside wall at Schroeder's Gift Barn. The design features a scenic Northwoods lake setting at sunset. The partners noted the project was a testament to community collaboration and creativity. Olivia Kraucyk is the AHS Art Club adviser while also serving on the AVA board. She says, "I hope anyone passing through Antigo, whether local or visitor, will feel a sense of joy and community when they see the mural. It truly embodies the spirit of our town." The idea came from the business, as they wanted to engage local students in creating and completing the mural. They thanked nine students who worked on the project. Even the cost of materials was covered through a grant from the City of Antigo and their Facade Improvement Program. Erin Schroeder was delighted with the results. She says, "We are so happy with how our mural turned out, it's the perfect addition to our boutique! She added, "We hope it brings as much joy & happiness to those driving past as it has us."
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Musky Enthusiasts Ready for 4th Annual Summer Musky Shop Bash
Published on 07/19/2024 under News The muskellunge is Wisconsin's State fish, and there's no better place than Northern Wisconsin to land a trophy fish. Coming up this weekend, a celebration of all thing's musky will take place right here in the Northwoods. Rollie and Helen's is bring back their annual Musky Shop Bash. This is the fourth year for the free community event in Minocqua and it continues to grow. As part of the festivities they've brought in some of the best in the business including Hall of Famer Joe Bucher. He'll be joined by other experts including local guides and even some lure designers. They'll be offering up their expertise in an interactive Q and A sessions. The Musky Shop is known for the huge selection of musky gear throughout the season. Tomorrow they'll have even more in the outdoor setup including some of the newest product lines. Shop manager Jay Esse says they've partnered with more than three dozen vendors. He called this year's Musky Shop Bash "the best yet." For those interested, the event is free and open to the public. It's Saturday afternoon from noon to 4pm at Rollie and Helen's.
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