LAND O' LAKES - Staring at snow for months on end can start to wear on your psyche. Add a trip to the dentist and it can make even the heartiest Northwoodser shutter. But Painless Pete Schindelholz of Land O' Lakes wants to change that.
"It started from all of us wanting to get away this time of year that couldn't... instead we thought, 'Well, let's make believe,'" Schindelholz said.
Dr. Schindelholz came up with the idea for Cabin Fever week about 20 years ago. He cranks of the heat, throws on a pair of shorts and sandals and serves his patients tropical drinks.
"Some lady just told me, 'You know, you made my day,'" Schindelholz said. "And I think she just saw the waves out on the road and thought that was kind of nice."
Patient Barbara Nehring thinks so too. She looks forward to this week every year.
"The colors and shapes just really, really make me happy," Nehring said. "To come into this office in the middle of the winter, or end of the winter and to find all of this joy... it really is a joy."
After about three months of staring at white snow turn into dirty, filthy snow it certainly is refreshing seeing bright blue waves crash into Painless Pete's County B sign. That's the point he hopes you realize: you don't have to go to the tropics to get a taste of them.
"It's kind of fun," Schindelholz said. "I enjoy dressing scantily and just being a little more nuts than normal."
Barbara wouldn't have it any other way.
"For the people who haven't experienced this, it's a bit of a surprise," Nehring said. "But it brings a smile to their face. Those of us that do know [Pete], it helps us realize spring is on its way."
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Just a few years ago, crumbling cement, steps, and seats filled Lac du Flambeau's Indian Bowl. Now, a major reconstruction project is halfway done. It will hopefully give people from all over a chance to learn about Native American culture and traditions once again.
"We increase that sense of pride in our community," said Director of Planning and Development Emerson Coy.
Coy still remembers how the old Indian Bowl used to look like.
"It was used in bad shape before that and it was sad," said Coy.
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.
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.
MADISON - A $3 billion tax break bill for Taiwan-based electronics giant Foxconn Technology Group is poised to pass the Wisconsin Assembly on a bipartisan vote.
Democratic state Rep. Cory Mason said during debate Thursday that he intends to vote for the bill. He is the first Democrat to publicly say he will back the measure that is being championed by Gov. Scott Walker and fellow Republicans.
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.
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