RHINELANDER - Rosettes, Sandbakkels, and KrumKake may not sound like typical cookies you reach for, but for Chris Garness these treats bring back decades of memories.
The recipes for these traditional Scandinavian cookies originate from Chris' parents, who had a long history in the bakery business.
Chris Garness says, "My mother made sure that I could produce these cookies from her death bed in the hospital."
Now, Chris is recreating the flavors for the Northwoods by building his own business. But, the process hasn't been quite as sweet.
Throughout his life Chris has dealt with addiction struggles, jail time, and homelessness. Earlier this year he was living at Frederick Place in Rhinelander and found a recipe for success, "We made about 80 8-packs of cookies, 640 cookies, and brought them to the farmers' market, and they were well received."
Since then, Chris has made thousands of cookies, donating more than half.
Each cookie has a special meaning, "I've named each cookie after each of my three daughters."
There are handfuls of people he's thankful for - one is Mike Edlund. Mike owns the Dinky Diner in Rhinelander-and lends his kitchen to Chris' project.
Mike Edlund, owner of the Dinky Diner says, "He's dedicated to what he's doing and loves what he's doing and it's a perfect environment for him. It's done after we close so he has from 2 o'clock until 4:30 in the morning."
Chris literally burns the midnight oil, but it's not without a few helpers.
Kathy Alsteen helps make cookies, "It's always something fun to do during the season."
Chad Peek also helps, "It's an easy job, my days go by quick. Sometimes I'm working 12 hours and it feels likes four."
Chris' dream is about more than a business - it's about a tradition. Today's youth may not be as familiar with these types of cookies, but he gets a lot of reaction from the older generation, "They go gaga over them, so it's a lot of fun to see their response. When they see them they're like 'oh my Rosettes, Krumkake, my grandma used to make them' and that's the thing with them, everyone's grandma made them but they're not being made today."
And while Chris hopes to introduce some new faces to these old favorites, he's also discovering a few new tricks, "I ended up with some perfect Rosettes last night and the thought crossed my mind that my mother Lillian was smiling down from Heaven at me now saying Chris you finally got it, you figured it out."
A memory that keeps Chris in the kitchen, working toward his goal.
You can purchase his cookies at:
Betty Junes 421 main st. stillwater mn. 55082 (651)-351-3194
a' la Mode Ice Cream & Coffee Shop 2100 Lincoln St. Rhinelander Wi. 54501 (715)-362-3994
Northern Coffee Haus 34 S. Brown St. Rhinelander Wi. 54501 (715)-369-9390
Debby's North Country Farm Market 727 Hwy.51 North Woodruff Wi. 54568 (715)-356-4264
Hodag Mobil 2219 N. Stevens St. Rhinelander Wi. 54501 (715)-369-5038
West Side Shell 1999 River St. Rhinelander Wi. 54501 (715)-369-3132
Hodag BP 2141 Lincoln St. Rhinelander Wi. 54501 (715)-362-3363
Coffee beans etc... 1022 Lincoln St. Rhinelander Wi. 54501 (715)-365-7440
ST. GERMAIN - We all love our favorite sports teams. But what would happen if you had to dress up in your rival's gear? That's exactly what happened to Bears fan, Jerry Healy.
He's the janitor at St. Germain Elementary School. Healy challenged the students to raise over $700 for charity. If they did he'd wear the green and gold.
“Mr Healy you're unbelievable thank you for doing this,” says Jerry Healy, St. Germain Elementary School Janitor. “One kid said, "all this is disgusting Mr. Healy,” and another little kid who's a diehard Packers fan came up he came up and he's got an orange and blue pair of pants on and goes I'm a bears fan, today you're a packer fan, and that was pretty cool he's in second grade.”
As you can see the students surpassed the goal. The money went to pennies for patients. It’s an organization that supports people diagnosed with leukemia. The challenge brought the whole school together.
“Well I think they rose to the occasion they understood they're helping others in an easy but fun way. They came together as a class, as a whole school and just had a lot of fun with it,” says Jeff Waltz, a third grade teacher at St. Germain Elementary School.
This wasn't the first time Jerry got to dress up as a Packers fan. He did the same thing a few years ago when students accomplished a reading goal.
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.
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