ANTIGO - The first graduating class from a Northwoods forestry program will receive their diplomas this May, and most of them have job offers.
It's a program that's taking the forest industry to another level.
But it’s not just about the trees.
It’s about jobs.
“We’re just trying to develop the best possible people for this industry that we can," said Brown.
Northcentral Technical College’s Wood Tech program is teaching future forest industry employees, right in Antigo.
“The equipment that we have here on the floor, the curriculum that we teach here at NTC is very unique, and it is cutting edge. It’s what employers are looking for when they’re hiring new employees," said instructor Travis Allen.
The forestry industry job market looks good too.
With almost 60 thousand jobs in Wisconsin in 2011, compared to 52 thousand in 2010, according to the DNR.
Oradei sees it as a sustainable job market too.
“It’s a very desirable industry to be involved with; you’re always working with a renewable resource," said Oradei.
Brown is happy to see business growing.
“Business has picked up in the united states and worldwide, so it’s getting a lot more fun," said Brown.
Sixteen students in Travis Allen’s class are hearing from employers too.
“A week ago I had three different employers contact us for skilled employees, and the nice thing is our curriculum is covering exactly what they want to hire on," said Allen.
MADISON - Wisconsin police could not track cellphone locations without a warrant under a bill Gov. Scott Walker has signed into law.
The measure Walker signed Wednesday passed the Legislature in February with no opposition.
Under the new law, police would have to present details about their investigation when seeking a warrant to track a cellphone. That includes the phone's owners or whoever is possessing it, the subject of the investigation, a statement of the crime and a statement of probable cause about how tracking the cellphone is related to criminal activity.
The bill was among 55 bills Walker signed privately.
NORTHWOODS - Home sales fell in the state of Wisconsin, but they're on the rise in the Northwoods.
Real Estate experts say home sales are up 5% in Oneida County. Home sales for the Northwoods are up 4%. Experts say right now it's a buyers market.
“If you're a seller right now you are probably going to be seeing some low ball offers,” says Ashlei Highfill, Century 21 Sales Associate. “We just encourage people to respond to any offer that they get not to just reject it or be offended but these days we are seeing a lot of buyers coming in and offering a lot less than what sellers are asking for.”
Experts say fewer homes are being foreclosed. This allows more families to make first time home purchases.
“It’s great to see that people are obviously getting back to work so they can afford to take that opportunity to put their family in their first home it's exciting for all of us,” says Highfill. “We're always happy to see somebody get that first house for their kids we're seeing some people that are making more money now so they're buying a move up house.”
Overall home sales in Wisconsin fell 11% compared to this time last year.
ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - 4.7 might seem like just a random number, but it gives us an idea of just how cold it was this year. 4.7 degrees was the average temperature for this winter. It's the coldest winter in more than a century.
It’s common to see these sights and hear these sounds in a typical winter. But this year, we heard them a bit more. The Northwoods fought through it’s snowiest and coldest winter on record. What made it so rare was the persistent cold.
MERRILL - Hospitals can sometimes scare kids and even many adults.
That's why one Northwoods hospital wants those kids to be comfortable with doctors if they ever need their help.
Merrill kindergarteners visited Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center on Wednesday.
The kids got to see an ambulance, physical therapy and x rays.
"We try to show them that you know what, the hospital isn't so scary. And we bring them through different areas that they may experience when they come in or they have a family member here. And a lot of times children, if they don't know, they're very afraid. A hospital can be very intimidating, says Jane Bentz, Director of Foundation and Community Outreach.
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