Hatchet Boys Swimming Team Defeats Medford Published on 01/13/2021 under Sports
On Tuesday night the Hatchet Boys Swim Team competed at home against the Medford Raider team. After a loss to the Raiders at their pool back in December, when they were not at full strength as a team, the tables were turned when Medford could only swim 5 out of 8 of their swimmers.

With that, the Hatchets were able to take top honors in all but one of the events we swam in, with the exception of the 200 yard Medley Relay.

Overall the Hatchet times were a bit flat tonight with the exception of a few events:

Senior Noah Buckwalter continues to improve each meet, again dropping a cumulative 2.23 additional seconds from his 50 and 100 yard freestyle events, for a pair of 4th place finishes.

Senior Cullen Flynn was able to drop 1.86 seconds from his 100 yard Backstroke, setting a career best time of 1:15.98 and claiming 2nd place for the effort. His old time of 1:17.84 was set at the very end of last season at the WIAA Sectional meet.

Sophomore Zach Hanse swam the pair of distance freestyle events and showed marked improvement in both. In the 200 yard Freestyle he took 1st place with a 2:00.63, a time 10.71 seconds faster than when he swam the event last. In the 500 yard Freestyle he also took a first, and swam 4.31 seconds faster than his time from last season with a 5:37.94.

Senior Ethan Liebnitz broke the 25 mark for the first time in the 50 yard Freestyle event and took 1st place in the event with a :24.56, a .85 second personal record.

And finally, Senior Alex Norman swam his heart out in the 100 yard Breaststroke event, finishing just .85 seconds behind Medford's Nathan Sislo in a close finish. Alex's time of 1:22.58 was 2.36 seconds faster than his last time out in the event.


The Hatchet Boys Swimmers will be back in the water at Shawano, on Thursday, January 14 with the opening event at 5:30 pm.

In Other News

Let's Minocqua Increasing Grants from Room Tax
Published on 01/15/2021 under News Amid the pandemic, the Minocqua area saw a boost in room tax revenue, resulting in additional grants being made available this year. The Let's Minocqua Visitors Bureau and Chamber of Commerce announced that $20,000 is being made available to community groups and organizations for tourism development and promotion in the Minocqua area. That's an increase from previous cycles. Chamber Executive Director Krystal Westfahl says, "We have been heavily marketing the communities of Minocqua, Arbor Vitae, and Woodruff as year-round outdoor recreation areas for the past five years. We saw increased traffic to the area as people flocked to the Northwoods to social distance and get back to family and nature." A portion of the room tax generated in Minocqua, Arbor Vitae and Woodruff is reinvested through the room tax grant program for groups focused on bringing people to the area or those offering events and activities that will encourage people to stay longer. Board president, Jim Hartwig, "We are very pleased to have the opportunity to support tourism in diverse ways and we look forward to assisting our nonprofits from across the area in this common goal." The application period runs through the end of the month.
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Snowmobile Racers Return to Eagle River for Derby World Championships
Published on 01/15/2021 under News Some of the fastest snowmobiles in the world are converging in the Northwoods this weekend for the World Championship Snowmobile Derby. This is the 58th year for the event held each January in Eagle River. In a typical year, tens of thousands of sledheads travel to the Northwoods bringing a much needed boost to the local economy and plenty of speed on the ice oval. With the pandemic still affecting events across the country, organizers have taken some additional precautions to protect fans and racers alike. They got a trial run last weekend with the vintage derby. Opening ceremonies are set to begin this evening with weekend racing leading up to Sunday's World Championship race. Blaine Stephenson will seek to win his third consecutive title in the 25 lap shootout. Many local fans will have to find a new racer to pull for, as Tomahawk-native and two-time world champion Nick Van Strydonk retired following last season. The World Championship will be followed by the inaugural 100 lap enduro race.
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DNR Offers Free Fishing Weekend
Published on 01/15/2021 under News Whether tip-ups, jigging, or casting a line; Wisconsin anglers can hit the ice for some fishing this weekend without a license. The DNR has brought back their winter free fishing weekend. These free activity weekends are a way to introduce new participants to Wisconsin's many outdoor sports, while also providing former participants to renew their interest. It's part of the DNR R3 program which stands for recruitment, retention and reactivation. In a typical year, the DNR would offer organized events such as clinics or equipment loans. With Covid-19 still spreading, they are calling it "a do-it-yourself adventure." R3 Coordinator Theresa Stabo says, "Although this is not a time to share your shanty with people from outside your household, you and a family member or roommate can still venture out for a brisk walk and drop a line (this) weekend." While you don't need a license, anglers must still follow all other fishing regulations including size and bag limits. As always when venturing onto the ice, consider its safety and remember that no ice is 100% safe. Mild temperatures throughout the winter have led to variable ice conditions across much of the state.
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City of Merrill Extends Limited Access to City Facilities
Published on 01/15/2021 under News The City of Merrill will extend the limited access to city buildings through the end of the month. The temporary restrictions were put in place due the increase in Covid-19 cases in Lincoln County over the past two months. The biggest effect on the public is at City Hall where they are encouraging business via phone or email. They are also available by appointment. The temporary closure was initially set to expire this weekend. In announcing the extension, Mayor Derek Woellner cited Lincoln County's current Covid activity level in the "Very High" category along, with the "no significant change" in the trajectory based on state statistics. The new declaration has been extended to February 1.
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Oneida County Correction's Officer Resigns Amid Charges
Published on 01/15/2021 under News An Oneida County corrections officer charged with solicitation of prostitution and misconduct in public office is no longer with the agency. According to the Oneida County Sheriff's Office, Jacob Petitt submitted his resignation on Wednesday. The 26 year old was arrested earlier this week. Investigators says he used his position to exchange sexual favors with female inmates for information on drug investigations. He was formally charged with two felonies on Wednesday. The investigation is ongoing. Another court appearance has been scheduled for January 20.
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Hatchet Hockey Teams Loses to Mosinee
Published on 01/15/2021 under Sports On Thursday night, the Hatchet Hockey Team hosted Mosinee in Great Northern Conference action, and the Indians defeated Tomahawk 6-1. Mosinee led 5-0 after the first period and 6-0 after the second period.  Tomahawk's lone goal came in the third period, with Mitch Jimenez scoring on assists from Patrick Samundsen and John Mark Hawley.  Andrew Samundsen had 36 saves for the Hatchets. Tomahawk will travel to Antigo on Saturday, with the opening faceoff at 2:00 pm.
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Hatchet Boys Swimming Team Defeats Shawano
Published on 01/15/2021 under Sports The Tomahawk Hatchet Boys Swimming Team was on the road Thursday night at Shawano, and Tomahawk wins the GNC Dual 82-75. Thursday night the Hatchets turned in some of the great mid-season times that have eluded some of the guys up until now. This bodes well for their showing next week and into Conference and Sectionals in the next 2 weeks. Tomahawk went 1-2 in 3 of the 9 individual events, including:  200 yard freestyle showed Junior Caleb Kretzschmar in 1st at a personal record 2:12.04, and Senior Alex Norman not far behind at 2:16.18.  In the 100 yard freestyle, Seniors Ethan Liebnitz and again, Alex Norman went 1-2 with a pair of '57's - personal records for them both as well, and in the 100 yard Breaststroke, Sophomore Zach Hanse dropped down to a season best 1:04.78, only a bit off of his 1:03.21 school record in the event, and Senior Adam Hall was 2nd with a solid swim at 1:13.21 An additional four more first place finishes were turned in by our:  200 yard Medley Relay team of Hanse, Hall, Kretzschmar and Liebnitz Zach Hanse in the 100 yard Butterfly at a personal record :59.99 time.  Caleb Kretzschmar in the 500 yard freestyle with a season best 6:02.19, and the 400 yard Freestyle Relay team of Norman, Kretzschmar, Hall and Hanse with a season best 3:55.31 - 4 full seconds faster than their previous season best time of 3:59.69 Next Competitions: Tuesday, Jan. 19th - home vs. Lakeland - final dual meet/home meet of the season and also Seniors night and Parents night Friday, Jan. 22nd - GNC Conference Championship Meet at Shawano Saturday, Jan 30th - WIAA Sectional Meet at Rhinelander
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Hatchet Wrestlers Defeat Antigo
Published on 01/14/2021 under Sports On Thursday night, the Tomahawk Hatchet Wrestling Team hosted a GNC Quad at the Fieldhouse and in their opening match Tomahawk defeated Antigo 43-33. Action began at 285 and Tomahawk's Eric Decker won via pin at 1:22 in the first period.  Tomahawk then got a pin from Presley Gutbrod at 106 pounds with seven seconds left in first period.  Tomahawk led 12-0.  Antigo cut the lead to 12-9 with consecutive wins, and then Tomahawk got a forfeit win to gain an 18-9 lead.  Antigo won matches at 132 and 138 to gain a 21-18 lead, with Tomahawk then getting a forfeit win for Michah Arnott at 145, regaining the lead at 24-21.  Antigo won via pin at 152 and regained the lead 27-24.  Logan Bishop hit the mat at 160 and won 9-5 to tie the score at 27-27.  Antigo won by pin at 170 and led 33-27.  Tomahawk then got a 10-1 win by Isiah Scheffler at 182 and Antigo maintained the lead at 33-31.  The Hatchets would then get forfeit wins for Marcus Matti at 195 and Kade Wenninger at 220 and get they GNC Dual Meet win, 43-33. With the win, Tomahawk improves to 3-1 in the conference. Tomahawk also defeated Medford in their second dual of the night.
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Torch Run Kicks off Badger State Games/Snowmobile Derby
Published on 01/14/2021 under News Two iconic Northern Wisconsin sporting events, the Badger State Games and the World Snowmobile Derby Championships will join forces over the next two days. On Thursday morning, the teams of snowmobile enthusiasts left from the Wausau area on their"ride" throughout Northern Wisconsin with the Badger State Games torch. Unfortunately, with a relative lack of snow, the sleds are being trailered north behind trucks. After being re-established last year, the Torch run will feature 15 local snowmobile clubs across 4 counties. They've arranged for 10 stops along the 150+ mile tour. That includes a stop this afternoon at the Tomahawk Sports Center for a meet and greet and luncheon. Each stop features special guests, and State Senator Mary Felzkowski, Mayor Steve Taskay, and Chamber Director Jesica Witte are on the guest list. After stopping in the Lakeland area this evening, the ride will hit Sayner, St. Germain and Three Lakes Friday, before working back to Eagle River. The goal is to arrive at the derby grounds in time for tomorrow's opening ceremonies. Eagle River is playing host to some of the fastest snowmobiles in the world this weekend. Meanwhile, the Wausau-based Badger State Winter games are ongoing through the month of January.
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Covid Vaccine Roll-Out Continues in Lincoln County
Published on 01/14/2021 under News It's been a month since the first Northwoods healthcare workers began receiving covid vaccinations. Here in Lincoln County, health officials say that roll-out has gone smoothly. Yesterday we spoke with Lincoln County Health Director Shelley Hersil about the vaccination progress. She says, "We're getting darn close to having everyone vaccinated in1a." That references those frontline healthcare workers in Wisconsin's tiered roll-out system. Hersil says the next groups to get vaccinated will be those in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and emergency responders such as police and fire. For the general public, Hersil urged patience. She says, "Everyone wants the vaccine right away but there has to be some coordination and that's why we have our phases and tiers to reach priority areas first." While the vaccines aren't yet available to the general populations, the health department is continuing to work with partners on distribution plans. Hersil noted it will be a team effort involving pharmacies, healthcare providers, and public health agencies. She also anticipated community vaccination events similar to the community covid testing we've already seen during the pandemic. Hersil says it's important to pay attention to locations during the roll-out announcements as each state is creating their own models and may differ. You can hear that entire conversation with Shelley in the WJJQ audio center. Northwoods Covid Update Northwoods Health Departments confirmed four additional deaths in their Wednesday Covid update. Two of those deaths were in Oneida County. These are the 48th and 49th covid-related deaths in Oneida County since the pandemic began. Vilas County also reported two deaths in connection the coronavirus bringing the county total to 32. As for testing, Lincoln County added 6 new cases (2,664 overall), reporting 105 active cases. Oneida County reported 17 positives (2,910 overall) and 189 active cases. Vilas County added 27 cases dating back to Monday (1,842 overall). They report 151 active cases.
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