CRANDON - Last year maple syrup farmers suffered from the quick spring so badly, many had to take out emergency loans. This year they're the only one's not complaining about the slow thaw while the sap flows like crazy.
Tonight in Northwoods Works, Newswatch 12's Lyndse Stemm takes us to Ginter's Corner Tap N' Sap, where you can taste five generations of family tradition.
When the Ginter's say their maple syrup business is a family affair, they mean it. It started with great grandpa Ginter.
"Grandpa used to make it in an old kettle," says Tim Ginter.
Five generations later, syrup practically runs through their veins.
"This is our hobby gone wrong. We started out making 40 gallons and now we have expanded to where we want to eventually make 1,000 gallons a year," says Joan Ginter.
This year they're already on track to beat their old record of 600 gallons. It's a far-cry from last year when maple syrup producers around the state suffered from the fast spring.
"You rely on the weather. If it gets too warm then the trees quit running. If it gets too cold the trees quit. Ideal temperature, 45 during the day, 25 at night," says Tim.
The Ginter's now have between 2,400 and 2,500 taps on the property. Just this year they finished putting in lines, to bring the sap to holding tanks.
"It's expensive to put line in. So we started with one side, and then we waited a few years and then we put the other side in," says Joan.
The Ginter's invest their profits right back into the business. All this machinery saves them so much time, they're able to produce seven times as much as Great-Grandpa Ginter was able to during syrup season.
"Basically what we want to do is we want to be able to retire, and this is all we do," says Joan.
An even bigger dream is for the business to continue for generations after them.
"Hopefully I'll be able to pass it down like my grandpa did," says Tim.
"Oh, I'm almost positive it will be. Even if it isn't my kids or grand kids I have nephews that just love doing this stuff. It'll always be in the family," says Joan.
It shouldn't be a hard to find a relative to take over. The Ginter's sell out every year and the syrup is only sold in three stores in Crandon; the rest by word of mouth... all 750 gallons. Although, their family is responsible for a few of those cases.
"Probably three or four a year. But we can because we have it. So basically it's running through our veins. Literally," says Joan.
STEVENS POINT - A former Portage County doctor could go to prison for sexually assaulting his patients. Wilton Calderon pled guilty to three felonies Friday.
Calderon was a caregiver at the Plover Family Practice until leaving it in 2015. He then moved to Connecticut.
At least seven women accused Calderon of sexually assaulted them during appointments. Some patients said Calderon placed his genitals in their hands and performed unwanted gynecological exams by penetrating them with his fingers.
SUGAR CAMP - Update Feb. 17, 2017 10:20 p.m. -- The woman who runs an Oneida County animal rescue could face animal mistreatment charges.
Oneida County Deputies booked Stephanie Schneider on Thursday. She is due in court on Feb. 27.
Last week, deputies removed 39 dogs from Schneider's "It Matters to One" in Sugar Camp and put them at the Oneida County Humane Society.
Police are recommending charges to the district attorney, which include failing to provide food and water, mistreating animals, and obstructing officers.
People who know Schneider say they can't believe this is happening.
"I'm just heartsick about this, and I'm sick at heart for her," said LynnAnn Thomas, a Sugar Camp resident who says she's friends with Stephanie Schneider.
"Those are her children. She would never, ever , ever mistreat them," Thomas said.
But that's exactly what police believe Schneider did. Last week they removed the dogs from the facility after a weeks-long investigation that was prompted by complaints and concerns from several people.
"People that had worked or volunteered there were concerned about the conditions that the dogs were in and the fact that they were not receiving food or water," said Oneida County Sheriff's Capt. Terri Hook.
Those accusations baffle Thomas.
"I been over there several times, it's always been meticulously clean, happy dogs," Thomas said.
Thomas believes whatever condition the dogs were in, they came to Schneider that way.
"She does get some really, really, really desperate cases, and I imagine that they take a long time to heal," Thomas said.
Thomas added she got her own dog from It Matters To One a few years ago.
"I got my little Hankey, he came in in really bad shape, and she wouldn't let me have him until he was nursed back to health," Thomas said.
Since the dogs were removed, It Matters to One posted certificates of veterinary inspections on its Facebook page for most of the 39 dogs. The Sheriff's Office has seen those and is including them in its investigation, which is ongoing and may not end soon.
"Just to ensure that all the dogs are healed and make sure they've received all the care they need," Hook said.
Newswatch 12 has reached out to It Matters to One and has been communicating with the rescue via email.
The state Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection is helping the sheriff's office with its investigation and will decide if the rescue can keep its license.
Newswatch 12 also reached out to the veterinarian who conducted the inspections for the rescue, but has not yet heard back.
MADISON - A suspended University of Wisconsin-Madison student accused of sexually assaulting and harassing nearly a dozen women has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges.
Twenty-year-old Alec Cook faces a total of 21 counts, including strangulation, sexual assault, stalking and false imprisonment involving 10 women dating back to March 2015. Five of the charges are misdemeanors. The rest are felonies.
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