MERRILL - You probably know how about how much a can of your favorite beer costs.
But do you know how much the problem of excessive drinking costs your community?
A University of Wisconsin group put a dollar figure on the economic cost of excessive alcohol use in each county in the state.
The number factors in health care costs, lost productivity, court costs, and car crashes.
For example, Lincoln County's number is troubling.
Tanya Simonis, a Licensed Family and Marriage Therapist, often deals with alcohol problems at the North Central Health Care Merrill Center.
"$35.3 million. That was the cost of alcoholism within the community. When you average that out, it comes to about $1,200 per Lincoln County resident. That's what they pay, indirectly, for the problem of alcoholism," she says.
The economic cost of excessive drinking in each Northwoods county was estimated in the millions.
But the pain alcoholism puts on families often can't be measured with a number.
"That's an immense, immense effect. It effects their families both directly and indirectly," Simonis says. "They have two sets of rules. There are rules when the person, the alcoholic, is dry - not drinking - and then there's the rules when they're drinking. They tend to be very, very, very different."
Simonis and others at the nonprofit North Central Health Care help people and families work through these problems.
See the links below to learn more about North Central Health Care and to read the full study.
PRESQUE ISLE - The art of violin making dates back hundreds of years, and Brian Derber is carrying on the tradition. He wanted to go into furniture making, but fell into instrument design after taking a class in college. In 1999, he opened his own school. It's the only violin making school in Wisconsin.
"The program itself is modeled after a German school of violin making," said New World School of Violin Making Owner Brian Derber. "Students have to fulfill a certain requirement before they can apply to graduate. So the minimum time they are with me is three years."
Students start out by making the body of a violin in their first year. As they progress, they add the scroll and varnish, which can take months for students to finish. Nearing the end of their stay, they can even try to make a cello.
"In the time that I have with students in the school here, I can only give them so much, and then it's time for them to go someplace else and get more knowledge," said Derber.
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