Country News, News Around the World

New Pistol Annies Album Released

Country supertrio PISTOL ANNIES released their third album INTERSTATE GOSPEL last month via RCA Records Nashville. Since its first announcement early this fall, the album has garnered continuous critical acclaim and debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart.

Penned by the Pistol Annies, the 14-track album showcases the group’s stunning harmonies, such as the “classic country tearjerker” (Stereogum) “Masterpiece”; “sly take on gender roles” (Variety) “Sugar Daddy”; “saucy, high-spirited” (Rolling Stone) “Stop Drop and Roll One“; “more irreverent than earnest” (NPR) “Interstate Gospel”; and “confession of dead-end desperation” (New York Times) “Best Years of My Life.” Moving from celebratory anthems, classic country storytelling and vibey swagger, the Grammy-nominated trio are back and sounding Annie-er than ever.

The Pistol Annies’ very first single to go to Country Radio is “Got My Name Changed Back.” Fans should listen for it on their local radio stations. The fun-spirited music video for the single is out now. Watch it below.

Community Events, Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Two Weeks to Donate to Wisconsin Big Bundle Up

The Manitowoc Area Visitor & Convention Bureau is inviting residents to drop off new or gently used coats, sweaters, hats, mittens and other warm clothing items as part of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s Big Bundle Up campaign. The Big Bundle Up is a statewide collection program running through Jan. 2, 2019.

This is the eighth year of the Big Bundle Up. To date, the program has collected 134,441 warm winter items to help families in need. In addition to the MAVCB, other collection sites, including Travel Wisconsin Welcome Centers, are located throughout the state. Visit for a full listing of donation sites.

With the spirit of the holiday season upon us, donating winter items is the perfect way to give to families in need across the state. A box will be located at the MAVCB for donors to drop off warm clothing items. All items donated at this location will be given to the Two Rivers Ecumenical Pantry. For more information about why the MAVCB is participating in the Big Bundle Up, please contact Pat Dirkman. 

WHO:              Manitowoc Area Visitor & Convention Bureau

WHAT:           Collecting coats, sweaters, hats, mittens and other warm clothing items to donate to local charities this winter season.

WHEN:           Dec. 15, 2018 – Jan. 2, 2019, Mon – Fri – 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

WHERE:         4221 Calumet Ave, Manitowoc, WI 54220

News Around the World

Robot stabs factory worker in grisly “accident”

A Chinese man miraculously dodged death after a robotic co-worker ran his body through with foot-long metal spikes.

According the Daily Mail, the worker’s grisly injuries came from a malfunctioning arm on a factory floor, which swung a rod-studded plate right into him — driving 10 spikes through his shoulder, chest, and in multiple parts of his right arm.

Surgeons worked around the clock, noting that one of the nearly foot-long spikes missed an artery by just 0.1mm.

They say the patient is recovering, and can already move his injured arm.

News Around the World

Drunk driver claims parked cars hit hers

It likely didn’t take legal eagles to do so, but prosecutors in Knoxville, Tennessee managed to secure convictions against a woman who claimed her drunk driving accidents were caused by multiple parked cars striking her vehicle.

According to a press release from the Knox County D.A. office, 38-year-old Vanessa Elizabeth Helfant had claimed that the non-moving vehicles crashed into hers on the night of March 25, 2017 — though logic, and multiple eyewitnesses said otherwise. Helfant was reportedly pursed by the bystanders to her residence, knocking on the door to get her attention.

Instead, she called 911 to report strangers were knocking on her door, and a responding officer arrested her under suspicion of driving under the influence. Helfant reportedly copped to drinking a pint of vodka and smoking pot before striking a series of cars.

Helfant was convicted of DUI last week.

She will be sentenced in February, where it will be determined how much time she’ll spend behind bars. It was her first offense, so she faces nearly a year in jail — with a minimum of 48 hours in jail.

Helfant also faces a license suspension for a year, a $350 fine, and must complete DUI classes.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Will the Snow on My Trees Harm Them?

We all enjoy the appearance of freshly fallen snow on our landscape trees. It’s a seasonal decoration we can all appreciate.

On the other hand, “Snow is both friend and foe to trees and shrubs,” says Tchukki Andersen, BCMA, CTSP* and staff arborist with the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). “Snow loads can be very damaging, as we all know, but in many cases snow also protects plants and their roots from extreme fluctuations in temperature that could damage or even kill them.”

Let’s address this seeming contradiction in two parts.

Excess snow can damage trees and woody shrubs by bending, breaking and splitting them or causing them to fall or uproot.

Whether woody plants will be damaged in one of these ways depends upon several factors. Coniferous evergreens, for instance, can bear more snow weight than broadleaf evergreens. A tree’s form can also determine how well it will withstand heavy snow. For example, pine (low altitude), spruce and fir trees with spreading branches are more likely to be damaged by heavy snowfall than trees with more steeply angled branches.

Arborvitae – evergreen shrubs with tall, narrow growth habits planted in hedges or as foundation screens – are good examples of plants that don’t handle heavy snow well. They tend to grow tall, with multi-stemmed branches that separate under the weight of snow. Too often, they do not return to their upright form after the snow melts, and become permanently disfigured.

“Try to avoid planting arborvitae species in areas that get lots of heavy, wet snow,” Andersen advises. “Also, make sure not to plant them near buildings where snow accumulates on the roof, then falls in large piles. A better choice would be smaller, rounded, woody-stemmed plants, but be certain to give them enough space above and below ground to grow away from the building.”

A tree’s branch structure is also a factor in whether it will be damaged by ice storms. A tree with strong, right-angle branches will have less trouble than one with narrow, more vertical branch unions.

The type of snow is an important factor in potential damage to trees. Obviously, wet snow is more damaging because it is heavier. The time of season for snowfalls can also be a factor. With a wet snow in March, when there are no leaves on the branches, the tree may be able to withstand damage pretty well. That same snow in late spring or early fall, when the tree is filled with leaves, could add unbearable weight.

But, as mentioned above, not all snow on woody plants is a reason to panic. On the plus side of things, snow helps insulate the ground, moderating temperature changes for the soil below. This keeps the ground from heating and cooling as air temperatures fluctuate. Heating and cooling often cause the ground to heave, which can be damaging to roots. Keeping the ground temperature stable is more conducive to healthy roots.

“Finally, a little breakage isn’t always bad,” insists Andersen. “Nature prunes trees, too. Wet snow may break off small twigs and broken or dead branches. In that way, it can do a good job of pruning. Just follow up with some cleaning cuts.”


Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Christmas Light Recycling

christmastreelights.jpgThe Manitowoc County Recycling Center is accepting unwanted Christmas lights for FREE. Strings of lights are highly recyclable even with the bulbs in them. Bring them to the Recycling Center Main Office at 3000 Basswood Road Monday-Friday between 7am and 4pm.

Replacing old lights with new energy efficient LED lights can help you save on your electric bill.

All string lights will be accepted as well as extension cords. Garland, wreaths, trees and other lighted decorations will not be accepted. Normal light bulbs, including spot lights, compact fluorescents, fluorescent tubes, and incandescent bulbs can be recycled but normal fees apply.

Visit the Recycling Center at or call 920-683-4333 to learn more about Christmas Light Recycling and similar programs offered in Manitowoc County.