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NEWS STORIES

Northwoods dentist helps battle the winter blues with a 'trip' to HawaiiSubmitted: 03/26/2013
Story By Lane Kimble


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."

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 IN OTHER NEWS

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EAGLE RIVER - Many Northwoods cities need to make improvements to the roads now that it's spring.

Rhinelander wants to do it, enough to impose a new sales tax.

Another local city will make improvements to the road and the pipes under the road.

Eagle River will replace infrastructure on Division Street.

Eagle River's mayor Jeff Hyslop says it's about 70 years old.

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ANTIGO - Dealing with allergic reactions to bee stings can be one of the biggest health threats to students.

"If we were seeing a reaction, for example a tingling of the mouth, swelling of the throat, a visual that a student might give us if they are unable to breath at that time, we would immediately administer an EpiPen," Director of Pupil Services Unified School District of Antigo Karen Baker.

Teachers watch carefully for possible allergic reactions, especially at recess and on field trips.

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EAGLE RIVER - Many people enjoy freshly roasted coffee. But, the process to roast those coffee beans can be a science.

"We start with green coffee. It comes in 130 to 155 pound sacks of coffee," said owner of Eagle River Roasters Dan Beihoff.

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MERRILL - The Community Warming Center in Merrill finished up its first winter season a few weeks ago. The center provides a place to stay for people in need from November through April.

The guest's ages ranged from 22 to 45 years old. The center is run through the Merrill United Way. The Warming Center's director said its first year went much better than expected.

"It's kind of like building the field of dreams and not knowing if anyone will come to play, or to stay in our case," said Merrill United Way Executive Director Dee Olsen. "But what ended up happening was the community was responsive and we ended up with 11 guests throughout the season with 90 user nights."

The center is already preparing for the next season. They have new blankets and pillows ready for their next year.

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RHINELANDER - Fields of an invasive plant called phragmites stand all along Wisconsin's Lake Michigan shore. Invasive species workers hope most of the plants stay away from the Northwoods.

Workers chopped down a stand of phragmites on Monday. It stood on Highway 8 just west of Rhinelander. It had been chemically treated in the fall. Hopefully, that will help control the spread of the species.

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RHINELANDER - Last year, a valve malfunction in eastern Wisconsin sent natural gas leaking into the air. A similar situation in the Northwoods could cut off gas supply to a whole city and be dangerous to people in the nearby area.

Wisconsin Public Service wants to be ready in case something like that happens. A natural gas station near the intersection of Highways 8 and 47 provides natural gas to most of Rhinelander. Workers rushed there on Monday, simulating their response to a leak.

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Local kids help protect batsSubmitted: 04/27/2015

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RHINELANDER - Seventh graders in Rhinelander will help protect bats this summer. That's thanks to help from the U.S. Forest Service.

Kids in Rhinelander Monday learned about endangered bats across Wisconsin on Monday. A bat expert with Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest showed the importance of keeping bats healthy. The students helped local scientists by building new homes for the bats.

"Ms. Swaney showed us a presentation about the bats with a speaker and now we're building them," said 7th grader Jackie Wells.

"They have predators and it will kind of keep them safe in their little bat homes," said 7th Grader Connor Lund.

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