LAC DU FLAMBEAU - What do auto mechanics, railroad operators, and NASA have in common? They all use an instrument built right here in Northern Wisconsin.
Simpson Electric embodies the heart of the Northwoods, quality, detailed labor, and pride in craftsmanship.
Those principles have served them well since 1934. In 1927 Ray Simpson built a key piece of equipment that allowed Charles Lindbergh to fly solo across the Atlantic. Today they build thousands of electric meters for a variety of clients.
"We sell to every branch of the military, we have NASA, the government orders, so it can go from the everyday user, all the way up into space. Our meters have been on Apollo 13," said Bill Conn, CEO of Simpson Electric.
Almost everything sold by Simpson Electric is made -starting with the tiniest pieces- right here, BY HAND.
From metal parts stamped and assembled on site to hair-fine wires spooled by hand. Each employee carefully checks the product at each stage. That dedication is what they're known for.
"We watch for the quality, we watch for the goodness in the meter before it goes out, and that's what keeps me here, the dedication to the company and the employees… And, it works," said Agnes Jack, Simpson Electric employee.
"I've had men come in and say, 'I dropped my meter 30 feet... What do you think?' And it usually works," said Conn, "So we're very proud of that meter, and we still build and sell about 60 of them every day. That's quality work."
Simpson Electric in Lac du Flambeau welcomes the public to come in for a tour.
RHINELANDER - Police accuse an Eagle River woman and her ex-husband of threatening and locking up a nurse practitioner in a Minocqua office last week, according to police.
Wednesday in an Oneida County courtroom a judge decided there was enough evidence to move forward with the case against 39-year-old Jillian Buza. According to a criminal complaint the Buzas locked the practitioner in the Marshfield Clinic office because she was trying to wean Jillian off opioids.
Police said her ex-husband held a hatchet and meat tenderizer to the nurse practitioner's face. Minocqua Police Department Sergeant David Geiss testified about what Jillian did in that office, in court Wednesday.
MERRILL - As Linda DeBroux walks through Merrill High School, she can see the halls she helped create.
What started as plain, whitewashed walls now look like an art gallery. For each of the last 13 summers, DeBroux has guided a select group of her art students to create murals to fill the walls.
"When I walk down, I don't just see the painting, I see the student, right there, painting on that wall," she said Wednesday. "I think of all the struggles, the struggle points they had, and parts where they celebrated."
Murals by ten students this week will bring the total to 157 on school walls. Like it does every summer, it will take long days to accomplish the project.
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