WAUSAU - We all love maple syrup on our pancakes and waffles, but here in Wisconsin it's more than a breakfast staple. It's a booming business.
Today Wisconsin maple producers gathered at the "Winter Maple Institute and Maple trade show" in Wausau.
The show gave producers a look at new technology and tips on maple tree health and climate change.
Wisconsin produced 50 thousand gallons of syrup in 2012.
Although that's down from 2011, producers like Steven Anderson say it's still sweet to be a maple syrup producer right now.
"Our industry is in a good time right now. Things are going well, there's syrup around, there's a lot of expansion going on. For some reason our industry hasn't been as affected as much as others as the recession goes," said Steven Anderson of Anderson's Maple Syrup.
The trade show continues into tomorrow, at the Plaza Hotel and Suites in Wausau, with breakout sessions and an auction of maple equipment and supplies.
RHINELANDER - Cancer survivors and supporters gathered at Ministry St. Mary's Hospital for the 10th annual Celebration of Life Thursday. The event honors those battling cancer or survivors of cancer and shows people what kinds of services the James Beck Cancer Center offers.
The center's namesake lost his life to cancer, but now others will be able to benefit from his gift to the hospital.
"With his vision and his dollars we were able to put this cancer center here in Rhinelander so patients don't have to travel to larger cities," said Director of Cancer Services Kimberly Hetland.
This year's speaker was Mike Regole, a survivor of tonsil cancer. He spoke about his experience at the center, how family and support affected his journey, and how he ran a business while having cancer.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - On a busy stretch of Highway 47 near Lac du Flambeau -- where hundreds of wheels spin at 55 miles-per-hour each day -- just one tire drags at a slower pace, pulled by one man: the Tire Man.
"I guess I'm the only one nutty enough to do it, I suppose," Frank Tarantino said with a laugh.
Tarantino lives in Mercer, but trains for marathons in Lac du Flambeau. He started pulling a tire on a chain a few years ago after reading about it in a fitness magazine. People often stop to take his picture.
"Little by little you run a little further, a little further," Tarantino said.
SAYNER - A needle and thread means more to Pat Andersen than just sewing.
"I started quilting when I was 19 so it's been a passion of mine for a long time," said Pat.
Quilting gives her a community of ladies in the Northwoods.
"Sayner needs something like this, it needs something for the women to do," said Pat.
After moving to Sayner with her husband Don last spring, the two decided to buy the building that now houses Plum Lake Quilts. Pat needed somewhere to put her long arm machine and that eventually turned into a little retail business.
"I mean little and then it grew a little bit and it grew a little bit more," said Don Andersen.
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