ANTIGO - More people work in wood-related jobs in Wisconsin than in any other U.S. state.
Employers constantly need young, talented people with training in wood technology to complete their workforce.
Now, a local technical college is helping students as young as 15 years old think about their future in wood.
On Wednesday, Northcentral Tech College's Antigo campus showed off their Wood Tech Center to high schoolers in the Northwoods.
"Before students come here, they don't realize that there are job opportunities or career opportunities within the wood industry. When they come in here and see our facility and see our equipment, and they see what the program is all about, it really opens up their eyes," says Wood Tech Instructor Travis Allen.
NTC's Wood Tech Center is new - it was only completed in 2011.
Students from nearly a dozen school districts got to make something of their own on campus.
"They're going through the ripping, the chopping, the gluing, the sanding, the CNC routering of this cutting board, so they get this feel for mass production," Allen says.
Students at the Wood Tech Center choose from either a technical degree or a more advanced associates degree.
That puts them in a great position for landing a job right after getting their diploma.
"We're not training people to stack lumber. We're training people that can run optimizing equipment, that can ship wood to China, or Vietnam, or the East Coast or West Coast. We provide a lot of different career options for these students," says Allen.
Search "NTC Wood Technology" on Facebook for more information on the program.
RHINELANDER - The Oneida-Vilas Transit Commission will get its long-awaited federal funding installment by October 4.
The timing means no Northwoods Transit Connections drivers will have to voluntarily furlough their pay, but the requirement of 24-hour advance notice for rides will stay in place.
Transit Commission Chair Erv Teichmiller learned the news over the weekend.
The commission is waiting on an expected payment of $300,000 from the federal government. In 2016, that money came in early September. As of last Friday, the commission wasn't expecting the payment until as late as November.
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander factory that makes smoke flavoring caught fire early Monday morning.
Shortly before 6:00 a.m., Rhinelander, Crescent and Newbold Fire Departments responded to a fire at Red Arrow Products on Rhinelander's west side.
An employee says there were about eight workers inside at the time.
No one was injured.
"Flames were coming out of a conveyor area as high as the roof. We made an interior attack and knocked that flame down. Came in from the other side of the partition wall, then made another interior attack and knocked that down," says Chief Terry Williams.
As of 7:30 a.m. Monday morning, firefighters were still working to make sure the flames were out.
HARSHAW - Oneida County sheriff's deputies found three runaway sisters, ages 14, 14, and 12, in the woods in Harshaw just after 1 p.m. on Monday.
The sisters had been reported missing by their parents Monday morning. The parents had gone to wake the girls up for school, but instead found a note saying they had gone on an "adventure."
The missing girls triggered a search from the Oneida County Sheriff's Office Special Response Unit, Newbold Fire Department Search and Rescue, Minocqua Fire Department, Lake Tomahawk Fire Department, and Little Rice Fire Department.
MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker has selected a former legislator to run the state Department of Natural Resources.
Walker's office announced Monday that he has chosen former Republican state Rep. Dan Meyer to serve as DNR secretary. He replaces Cathy Stepp, who resigned in August to take a position in President Donald Trump's administration.
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