Furniture & Appliance Mart Bucks Black Friday Trend
Story By Lex Gray
RHINELANDER - Here in the Northwoods, some retail chains are resisting the urge to open on Thankgiving or before dawn on Black Friday.
Stevens Point-based Furniture and Appliance Mart has ten stores throughout Wisconsin.
They have Black Friday specials, but up until five years ago, they kept their normal store hours.
"We will never open earlier than 7 a.m. on Black Friday. The temptation is definitely there from a business standpoint. We'd be lying if we said it wasn't," said advertising and marketing director Jon Gadbois. "But our employees are far too important to us for us to take away their Thanksgiving."
The chain extended its hours from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. five years ago, but they don't plan on extending any further.
Gadbois said Black Friday is still their busiest day of the year.
"It's been something that's been coming up more and more, especially in the last four or five years, opening earlier and earlier," Gadbois said. "Our big-box competitors have continued to do that. Being a family operated company, we don't agree with that from a moral standpoint."
Rhinelander Furniture & Appliance Mart floor manager Butch Somers said he understands that employees need to be at the store when customers want to be there, but he appreciates the limited hours.
"Personally, I agree with those employees that aren't very happy as they're bucking tradition, taking away from family time," Somers said. "There's plenty of time that you can do for sales without getting into family time."
Wisconsin water supplies deal with two contaminants during 2013
WISCONSIN - Wisconsin keeps high standards for clean drinking water. On a yearly basis, they do a good job at meeting that standard, but during 2013, more water supplies were found with one of two contaminants.
One contaminant, nitrate was found in more than double the amount of water supplies during the year compared to 2012. The 56 public water supplies found with high nitrate levels is a small number out of the thousands of water supplies in the state, but it can still be a big problem.
RHINELANDER - Do you find yourself looking for new places to eat out? Well, Tula's Cafe recently added a brand new location in the Northwoods. We found out what makes them unique, in our latest helping of 'Morning Meals with Marisa.'
Tula's recently reopened in Rhinelander. This is their second location and the manager told us so far, so good.
Tula's manager Lana Knack explains, "They said it's great to have a new restaurant choice to go to up in the Northwoods. Tula's is very successful in Minocqua, so we model everything that they do and it's worked very well."
They have an extensive menu with items like pigs in a blanket, cinnamon rolls and much more.
"We've got a lot of really unique breakfast items. Especially featuring the Trigs Smokehouse. Our kielbasa omelettes have gone very well. We also have a wonderful eggs benedict," adds Knack.
And of course you're going to need something to wash it all down.
Knack says, "We have liquor service to enjoy a cocktail with any of your meals starting as early as 6 a.m. for those people that are shift workers."
The decor fits right in to the Northwoods and makes for a cozy dining experience.
"It's so unique with so many booths that people come in and sit for quite a while. So it's very comfortable for them," explains Knack.
Tula's grand opening runs through Labor Day and they'll have five dollar deals all throughout. If you want to check out Tula's, they open at 6 a.m., seven days a week.
MANITOWISH WATERS - Cranberry growers in Wisconsin work hard every year to produce the fruit. But they may not be able to harvest as many berries this season.
Cranberry growers don't expect an overly large crop this year. This comes after several years of great harvests in the state.
The numbers might not be as high, but farmers say they won't be disappointed with this year's cranberry results.
"Overall I think it will be a decent crop," says Bob Winter, owner and manager of Vilas Cranberry Company. "There's been some hail in the southern part of the state and even in western Wisconsin, so that takes its toll, but cumulatively how much that really is remains to be seen. You never know until you get it all in the barn at the end of October."
RHINELANDER - Some students in the School District of Rhinelander will get Chromebooks starting this school year.
Freshman and sophomores at Rhinelander High School will get the computers to use at school and at home.
Some elementary and middle school students will also get to use them in the classroom.
Leaders think this will benefit students.
"They're not just learning about how to use the tool," says Instructional Technology Coordinator Heidi Catlin. "Digital literacy, digital citizenship, how to use it appropriately, when is it appropriate to use it, and the different resources that are out there."
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