Don’t forget Wisconsin

Grantsburg, Wis., has an evening filled with skis, snowshoes, hiking and light.
The one-mile trail behind Crex Meadows Wildlife Education and Visitors Center will have luminarias to light your way through the woods toward an opening with a campfire and s’mores. There’s rumored to be hot chocolate and donated baked goods.

This event is set to take place from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 1 and is free and open to the public. Snowshoes or skis will be available to borrow on a first-come, first-served basis, but guests always can bring their own. Flashlights might be a handy tool, as well.

For more information, or to volunteer for this event, call Kristi Pupak, at (715) 463-2739 or email Kristina.pupak@wisconsin.gov prior to the event.

Author-director talks supper clubs

Dreamland Supper Club will host writer and documentary filmmaker Ron Faiola from 6-8 p.m. Friday for a signing of his book, “Wisconsin Supper Clubs: An Old-Fashioned Experience.”

Faiola’s recent documentary of the same name aired nationwide on PBS stations, and Dreamland was one of the 14 establishments that were profiled in the film.

Faiola’s documentary garnered press from the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post, and its sister book has gained plaudits from WGN Radio and the Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel, among other publications.

The restaurant is at 4368 S. County Road E in South Range.

Fire fundraisers

Some fundraisers already have been announced for victims of the Germann Road fire in Douglas and Bayfield counties.

  • Superior Fuel Co. announced it will donate 5 cents a gallon for every gallon delivered for the next 30 days to all of the volunteer fire departments that were involved in the response to the wildfire.
  • Superior Fuel also has created an account at Republic Bank for donations from customers, businesses and anyone else who wants to help with the fire relief effort. Call (715) 392-3431 for information.
  • A benefit cookout will be held from noon to 7 p.m. June 4 at the Cedar Lodge Steakhouse in Barnes.

‘Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition’ coming to Wisconsin

“Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition” is looking for “super obese” contestants for Season 4 of the TV reality show and will be in Wisconsin next week. Producers are about to embark on a 13-city tour to find participants. Best bet for the “Makeover” curious is a stop near Milwaukee: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 6, Planet Fitness, 6529 S. 27th St., Franklin, Wis.

The show features specialist Chris Powell, who works with “super obese” people for a 365-day period of transformation that includes shedding hundreds of pounds and offering tips on nutrition and exercise.

Cold bracket busters

At least this cold weather could come in handy for something.

Duluth and other Midwest cities have a chance to go all the way this year in the Toughest Weather City Tournament on weather.com.

Minnesota boasts Duluth, International Falls and Minneapolis as its heavyweights. Green Bay, Wis., and Fargo, N.D., also are in the tournament. All of the aforementioned cities had healthy first-round leads as of Tuesday afternoon. Voting for the opening round ended at 3 a.m. today.

Smokey Bear missing

Smokey Bear warned against wildfires, but he never said anything about theft.

Wisconsin Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward to find Smokey Bear — or at least a 6-foot-tall reflective aluminum sign of the iconic “Only you can prevent wildfires” bruin.

The bear-nappers stole the sign in the Town of Caledonia in Columbia County (north of Madison) during the past two to three weeks. The landowner and the local emergency fire warden are hoping to get this valuable public information sign back in service.

Anyone with information on the missing sign is asked to contact the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office at (608) 742-4166, Crime Stoppers at (800) 293-8477 or their local Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources conservation warden. Callers are eligible for a reward for up to $1,000 for leading to the recovery of the stolen sign along with prosecution of the thief.

Wanted: Weather spotters in Superior

When a roundup of rain or snowfall totals is listed after a Northland storm, it’s rare to see a number from Superior.

Why’s that?

It’s because we hate Superior, right? No. We love our sister by the unsalted sea.

The National Weather Service relies on volunteer weather spotters for most of its snowfall reports from around the Northland. There are some spotters in Superior, but they happen not to be available to send reports for the early morning rain and snow roundups.

If you live in Superior or any other town and want to be a volunteer weather spotter, go to CoCoRaHS to sign up.

Afterhours skiing in Northwestern Wisconsin

The new blanket of snow we were forecast to receive overnight should set up some great conditions for Saturday’s free candlelight ski on the Afterhours Trail in Northwestern Wisconsin’s Brule Rive State Forest.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reports that the event, held from 5-9 p.m., will include a bonfire, hot apple cider, a gas grill for cooking and a warming shelter — and two miles of candle-lit ski trails, of course.

The Afterhours Trail is located off U.S. Highway 2 just west of Brule, or about 30 miles east of Superior.

Whether you hit the trails in Brule or get outdoors at some other spot in the Northland, this weekend should feel like a heat wave after our recent cold weather. Highs on Saturday are forecast to reach the teens — above zero — and on Sunday we may see highs in the mid- to upper 20s.

Free ice fishing in Wisconsin

Curious about ice fishing? Wisconsin’s first Free Fishing Weekend is Saturday and Sunday and is open to residents and nonresidents anywhere in Wisconsin. No fishing license is required.

The DNR also has spots where ice fishing tip-ups and jigging rods are available for the equipmentless to borrow (although you need to bring or borrow your own ice auger).

How do you say that?

Associated Press

Have a hard time pronouncing Oconomowoc?

How about Chequamegon (SHA-wah-mah-gahn)-Nicolet National Forest?

The State Cartographer’s Office is here to help.

It has released a new online map called Pronounce Wisconsin that allows users to click on a place name and hear how it is pronounced. More than 1,700 Wisconsin places are on the map, according to our connections at the Associated Press.

Pronounce Wisconsin was created jointly by the cartographer’s office as well as Wisconsin Radio Network reporter Jackie Johnson. She created MissPronouncer.com more than six years ago that lists hard-to-pronounce names of places, elected officials, parks and other Wisconsin-specific phenomena.

The new map allows users to run a computer mouse over a place name to hear how it sounds.