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Construction underway for water-bottling plant in MareniscoSubmitted: 09/28/2016
MARENISCO - The saga of a potential Northwoods water bottling plant may end in the Upper Peninsula.

Throughout the year, plans to build a water-bottling plant--first in Minocqua, then in Presque Isle--failed.
But the plant popped up again in Marenisco, Michigan.

"We're all just happy it's here," said Marenisco Township Chairman Richard Bouvette. "We're pretty excited Presque Isle turned it down."


Back in June, the Presque Isle Town Board voted against building a plant in town. Several business partners, including T. A. Solberg Company, Inc., proposed building the plant at the intersection of County Roads B and W. The water would have come from a non-high-capacity well on the Carlin Club property a few miles down the road. 

But many townspeople did not want a plant right in the heart of Presque Isle. 

"People come to Presque Isle because they want peace and serenity," said Carlin Lake Association Vice President Ramona Kubica after the June town board vote. "Certainly we want our town to survive, but it needs to be the right kind of business." 

But it seems to be the right kind of business for the town of Marenisco.

"We'll take it if they don't want it," Bouvette said. "We're badly in need of employment in the area. We have very few jobs."

The town has about 800 people, and it basically has one main employer: Ojibway Correctional 
Facility just south of town. 

A spokesperson for T. A. Solberg Company, Inc., said the plant will employ about eight to 10 people, at least at first, when they hope to start in December. 

The water will still come from Presque Isle--from the non-high-capacity well on the Carlin Club property, which is near Carlin Lake. The spokesperson said the water from the well does not come from Carlin Lake. It comes from an aquifer in the ground. 

Still, some people in Presque Isle are concerned about how taking water from the well will affect the155-acre lake. 

Stephen Ales, the deputy program director of the drinking water and ground water program with the state DNR, said the only way to determine the effect is by conducting a full hydro-geologic investigation. The owner of the well would have to contact a water specialist to get that done. 


Story By: Stephanie Haines

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 LOCAL NEWS

STATEWIDE - City, county, and town leaders hope you Turn Out for Transportation Thursday night.  Seventy-one of the state's 72 counties will hold public forums for people to learn more about the state's transportation budget.

The idea for the forums comes from the "Just Fix It" campaign, which many counties have supported to encourage state lawmakers to find a better way to pay for roadwork.

You can find the location and time for your county's meeting via the link below.

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EAGLE RIVER - Highway workers do a dangerous job, working alongside traffic with very little protection.  A new state law could make those jobs a little safer.

A hand-held cellphone ban for work zones starts statewide Saturday.  Drivers cannot make or answer phone calls while in work zones unless they use Bluetooth or some sort of earpiece.

Vilas County Highway Commissioner Nick Scholtes calls the law change a great thing for the state.

"The ones that are on their phones, they seem a little oblivious to what we are doing there at the time," Scholtes said.  "They're going through the motions coming through the work zone but it's actually very scary at the same time because if they needed to stop quickly don't know if they could."

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LINCOLN COUNTY - In the Northwoods, plenty of families sell organic eggs from their small farms. But a new chicken farm near Gleason takes production to a different level. 

Andrew Headings takes care of 25,000 chickens and all of their eggs. With that comes a lot of record keeping.

"Their body weight every day, how much they ate, I can figure that out," said Headings.

Headings started the Headings Family Farm in August. He says he is looking to make the birds even happier this week.

"I'm going to be free range humane certified. I have a big fence out here that fences in about 16 acres. On a nice day, my chickens are going to be allowed to go out and be able to scratch around in this grass and Pasteur," said Headings.

All of his eggs go to Heading's parent farm in Illinois before being sold around the country.

"He's a specialty egg company. We're into organic, non-GMO, omega eggs, double omega, cage free, all of his barns are cage free," said Headings.

There's a good reason you don't see many chicken farms in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

"I didn't look around the country and say 'let's put a barn here because it's ideal', the more ideal would be down south because the cold makes it to where we have to heat so we can't ventilate as much," said Headings.

Even with the cold temperatures, Headings has an eco-friendly plan for heating.

"We have a heater, an 800,000btu heater sitting by the center and we'll have a 10-ton bin sitting there and I'll buy conventional corn, put it in the bin and the stove will burn the corn," said Headings.

That's not the only thing that's eco-friendly on the farm. Headings has tried cutting down on the smell, too.
"The amount of smell we put off in this neighborhood is very minimal. If you get 300 feet away from here, you probably can't smell this thing," said Headings.

You might not smell it, but you sure can appreciate all the hard work.

"Compared to just driving by and saying, 'there's a chicken barn', there's a lot that's involved," said Headings.

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FLORENCE - In Florence County, more people work in forestry-related jobs than in any other industry.

"It's unbelievable, the way I put it," said logger Jaden Streu. "There are a lot, a lot of jobs and a lot of people that are retiring."

Streu graduated from Florence High School this spring and immediately went to work for his family's business, CTL Timber Harvesting.

Streu was among the presenters at Wednesday's Log-A-Load educational day at Florence.

"I think the big thing is, this industry is changing, from some of the equipment [the students] saw that was working here today. It's highly technical equipment," Florence District Administrator Ben Niehaus said.

"My favorite station was the sawmill," said Florence fourth grader Hannah Holdaway. "I didn't know that they cut it with a machine. I thought they just cut it with a saw."

"I think they leave here with a whole different perspective of, 'Wow, this isn't just a chainsaw and something that looks like a bulldozer that picks wood up and decks it on a log truck. There's a lot more to it,'" Niehaus said.

People like Streu would like to leave a positive impression of the forestry industry on students.

"We hope that they leave [saying], 'This ain't bad. This is a good thing,'" he said.

Hopefully, as Streu sees it, some of these learners will someday become his coworkers in the forest.

"We need the younger generation to come in, like me, to take it over and keep it going," Streu said. "It's a family business and I can have kids, hopefully, and be able to show them and bring them up in it and keep it going generations after generations."

Students from both Florence and Wabeno came to the Log-A-Load day.

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 REGIONAL NEWS

MADISON - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials have pushed back the release of updates to their chronic wasting disease plan to this spring.

The DNR has a 15-year plan that expires in 2025. It calls for reducing local herds in isolated areas of infection that appear far from known disease clusters but centers largely on monitoring. The DNR's board ordered a review of the plan by this December amid concerns the disease has been spreading.

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MADISON - Damage caused by flooding in Wisconsin already is getting close to $10 million dollars.

Wisconsin emergency management workers provided the estimate on damage to homes, businesses and public infrastructure.

In an update Tuesday night, the State Emergency Operations Center put the damage to homes and businesses at over $1.6 million dollars.

Damage to public infrastructure, including roads, bridges and trails, has reached over $8 million dollars.

The numbers should go higher, as some counties are still not reporting.

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APPLETON - Disability rights advocates say the death of a Wisconsin teenager who was allowed to end treatment of her incurable disease was an injustice.

The Post-Crescent reports that 14-year-old Jerika Bolen died last week after drawing national attention for her decision to end a lifelong fight against a progressive disease that left her mostly immobile and with severe, chronic pain.

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MANITOWOC - The U.S. Coast Guard says the body of a missing sailor may have been found on a beach in Manitowoc County.

The body was found Tuesday near private property near the town of Clover, south of Manitowoc. A medical examiner is at the beach, which is blocked off.

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