MINOCQUA - Plans for a new highway in Minocqua have been in affect for a while now.
The Department of transportation is hoping that highway 51 will have some new changes that will affect the community in a positive way.
"When we’re done we’ll have all new pavement. A lot safer. We’ll have bicycles facilities on the road and bicycle facilities off the road," said DOT Project Development Supevisor, Robin Stafford.
"We’ve put sidewalks on both sides so pedestrians will be easier getting up and down the highway. There will be a lot of benefits to the new project."
But Minocqua business owners don’t see it that way.
"Being as if there’s really only one main artery from south going through the Northwoods in this area and it’s right out here in our front door, it’s really going to have a negative impact." said Kurts Island Sports Shop Owner, Kurt Justice.
In fact some owners think the process and the finished product will take away some of their profits.
But the DOT seems to be locked in.
"Unfortunately with such a big project like this you can’t really appease to everyone," Stafford said.
"And so there is some people up there who aren’t happy, but again overall I think the community and the traveling public will be very happy with the product when it’s done."
Even though it has been set in stone for Minocqua, residents are hoping DOT will take their opinions into consideration.
"The Minocqua project is scheduled to start this spring and we’re hoping that the DOT still has room for modification and changes based on some of the discussions that we had at town hall last Friday." said 34th District Assembly Representative Rob Swearingen.
Now projects in other towns such as Arbor Vitae, Hazelhurst and Woodruff have not been finalized.
Swearingen suggests that if you want to voice your opinions on the project, you should contact your town board and chairman.
Future Wisconsin Project wants to bring more workers, manufacturers to Wisconsin
RHINELANDER - The Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce group held a seminar at Nicolet College in Rhinelander Tuesday, to plan how to make Wisconsin more attractive to skilled workers and manufacturing businesses.
WMC's president believes the shortage in younger people in the industry has to do with two big misconceptions about manufacturing.
"The younger kids, as do their parents, have a perception on what manufacturing looks like and it's about 40 years out of date. If you're in an advanced manufacturing facility now, it's clean, it's high-tech, the engineers and technicians are working together," said Jim Morgan."We have a perception problem. I think we still have a definition of success that's says unless you have a four-year degree, you're not successful."
Morgan says groups like WMC work to change that perception. He believes workers with a two-year degree are just as successful in the industry.
So far, WMC held seminars at nine other technical colleges. For Rhinelander, more manufacturers could mean more economic independence.
"The Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce is looking to see how it can help and partner with local manufacturers to make the Rhinelander area a more favorable place for them to locate their businesses, as well as to attract and retain skilled workers to make those businesses successful," said Dana DeMet, Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce director.
Over the next six months, WMC will continue to look for ways to attract more workers and businesses to the state.
In December, it hopes to have 1000 representatives for a meeting in Milwaukee focusing on how manufacturing will benefit the state.
WMC also works with the University of Wisconsin system and the Wisconsin Technical Colleges.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Ruby's pantry opened their doors Tuesday in Lac du Flambeau. This is the first time the Ruby's pantry has set up shop there. They decided to come to Lac du Flambeau because of the good turnout in Rhinelander. The food pantry asks that people give a $20 donation.
“It's not your typical food pantry,” says Gloria Cobb, Ruby's Pantry Lac du Flambeau Lead Coordinator. “This is an opportunity to give people dignity, to serve with dignity, and it's a donation base.”
“I mean look at the hustle and bustle going on we've got the community coming together not only Lac du Flambeau but the surrounding community coming together to meet a very basic need and that's to help with hunger,” says Cobb.
The pantry offered items like strawberries, cake mix, and toilet paper. More than 400 people were expected to show up.
“A participant will go through the line with a laundry basket and or box and they will be offered items,” says Cobb. “They can refuse them however we will encourage them to take the item because somebody else that they may know may have a need.”
“They get a certain amount of each item and they go through the line like an assembly line,” says Cobb.
The pantry had more than 21,000 pounds of food to give away.
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