RHINELANDER - Northwoods students got a taste of heavy metal Wednesday, but not of the long hair, loud music sort.
Three hundred fifty eighth graders came to Nicolet College to tour labs and classrooms, hear presentations from area companies, and each school toured a local manufacturer.
"We went to NorthStar." What kind of stuff did you see there? "We saw the cabs of many things. We saw cabs of skidders," says Jesse Hanson, from Crandon Middle School.
"And instead of using machines they do everything hands on," says Brennan Livermore, from Elcho Middle School.
It's all in an effort to introduce kids to the local manufacturing sector.
"To expose today's students to today's manufacturing. To give the manufacturers an opportunity to tell students what it's like to get a job in manufacturing. And to also tell the students they can make a very family sustaining wage in manufacturing," says Bruce Tremble, from the North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board.
Organizers say they picked eighth graders for this fieldtrip because it's an early enough age to plant the idea that maybe they'd like to get into manufacturing.
"You know what eighth graders really are at a great opportunity to say, 'What direction do I want to go and what are some of the opportunities as I'm going forward in my educational career?'" says Teri Phalin, the Nicolet College PK-16 Admissions Coordinator.
Since about half of the manufacturing workforce is over 50, the industry will be ready for these students by the time they're ready to enter it.
"I heard that most of the time jobs are looking for welding people. I've tried welding; it's fun," says Livermore.
A reaction that could turn into a profession.
Nicolet College, the North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board, and Grow North Regional picked up the tab so it's free for the schools to attend.
RHINELANDER - Wisconsin will get a new state attorney general this election year.That could mean new changes for the department.
But many of the candidates agree that more needs to be done to deal with heroin in Wisconsin.
Police and prosecutors say the drug continues to spread throughout the state. Republican candidate Brad Schimel, Waukesha County district attorney, believes heroin and opiates are one of the state’s biggest challenge.
"We're seeing more people die from accidental drug overdoses than we're seeing in car crashes," Schimel said. "That is a dangerous statistic for us to be looking at."
According to a Gannet Wisconsin Investigative study, at least 199 people died in 2012 in Wisconsin from drug overdoses.
The legislature has passed several bills this session to fight heroin and help people who are addicted to the drug.
State Rep. Jon Richards-(D) Milwaukee, is one of three Democratic candidates running for attorney general. He believes the state needs to keep going after drug traffickers.
"Local prosecutors and law enforcement are already stretched to the max in terms of their man power," Richards said. "We have to be addressing these new problems of public safety in creative ways and effective ways."
Democratic candidates Susan Happ and Ismael Ozanne were not available before running this story.
Richards was touring the Northwoods Friday talking to media and district attorneys in the area.
The Democratic primary is set for August 12th. Election day is Nov. 4, 2014.
VILAS COUNTY - More people today use maps on their phones when traveling, but some people still like those paper maps.
The Vilas County GIS just made 15 maps of the area. They give people the option to download and print them at home. A map of Boulder Junction even won an award at the 27th annual Wisconsin land Information Association conference in Middleton.
“There was a lot of interest in creating a portable, easy to use map atlas that responders, town crew, delivery entities, could take out in the field with them and find any address point any road name any water body,” says Rebecca Nordine, Vilas County GIS Specialist. “Something that they could bring out along out in the field with them.”
The atlases will give people an easier way of looking up addresses across Vilas County.
“We do offer up online mapping and that's great but if you get into an area where there's no cell phone or no internet service you'll need something a map or paper map to fall back on,” says Nordine.
Each atlas will be updated at the beginning of the year.
To download a copy of the atlases for FREE you can visit: http://vcgis.co.vilas.wi.us/vcom/.
WOODRUFF - The Olympics might be over, but the Paralympics are underway in Sochi. Teachers at one local school are using the Olympic spirit to teach students about other countries.
Students at North Country Montessori celebrated International Day Friday morning. The students learn about different countries throughout the school year.
"The children at Montessori do a huge unit on geography and world culture, and we used today as a way to express the information that we found and things that we've learned," says North Country Montessori director Candice Henderson.
This year's theme was the Sochi Olympics.
Each student dressed up as a different country and sang songs in Russian.
This was the school's 30th annual International Day celebration. It ended with a potluck meal featuring ethnic food from different countries.
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