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 - Thursday Rhinelander turned into the city of lights. The Light of the Northwoods kicked off its drive-through light show at Hodag Park today. "We never got to do anything like this when I was a kid," said volunteer Corey Passmore. However, Passmore's son will get the chance to experience a Christmas in a way his father was never able to. "As far as I can think back we've never had anything like this in Rhinelander," said Passmore. Months of preparation, hundreds of hours setting up, and more than a dozen creative minds helped create magic in Rhinelander. "Symbolizes an opportunity for community to come together," said YMCA of the Northwoods CEO Ryan Zietlow.
IRMA - Until Thursday, we never got an inside look at Lincoln Hills School and Youth Prison. We have heard from Lincoln Hills line staff and the Department of Corrections, but never were able to see the facility.
Thursday the DOC held a guided media tour of the school and living units. Newswatch12's Rose McBride has been following the stories that come out of Lincoln Hills for months now, and she went on that media tour.
RHINELANDER - It costs nearly $240,000 to run Rhinelander's homeless shelter every year.
Frederick Place got an extra boost this month to help cover those costs with two grants totaling $8,000.
"With our just shy of $240,000 annual operating budget, we typically only get $40,000 from the state and federal government. So we are raising that $200,000 every single year," said NATH Executive Director Tammy Modic.
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