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.
MINOCQUA - You know summer in the Northwoods will soon be here when seasonal businesses start opening up again.
Wildwood Wildlife Park opened up Saturday in Minocqua.
Hundreds of people rushed to the gate today to see all different types of animals, some local and some exotic.
"We are so busy today but it's a beautiful day to come out to Wildwood," said the park's director Judy Domaszek. "This is one of our baby aoudads, it's an African sheep, and as you can see in the background there are many people busy playing with the baby goats, and the sheep and the pigs and the tortoises, and they're just enjoying their day."
On Saturday the park had a giraffe feeding.
Workers also have been renovating and expanding the park.
The park has many new animals on the way, including some baby animals that were born there.
"The mouflon sheep are new, we've got some new reptiles, we have some new babies that we're going to have down in the nursery in a little while," Domaszek said. "We actually had a baby badger born here at the zoo. And we have a baby kangaroo. Those guys are all coming down when it's safe to come down."
Wildwood is open every day from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Then after Memorial Day the park stays open till 5:30 p.m. for the summer.
NORTHWOODS - Prescription drugs play an important role in our health.
They help us recover if we're sick, cope if we have a chronic condition and help manage pain.
But those drugs can expire or just stay in the back of our medicine cabinets for months or years.
And if those drugs get into the wrong hands—such as toddlers or abusers—that's a problem.
That's why many local police and sheriff's departments participate in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back program.
It's run by the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Saturday was National Take-Back Day.
"We're keeping the controlled substances in the hands they're supposed to be in, especially with the pill epidemic now, it's important that these stay out of the hands of people that are abusing them," said Minocqua Police Officer Matthew Tate.
Several area police departments hosted drop-offs Saturday.
You can drop off prescription or over-the-counter pills, ointments, patches, non-aerosol sprays, vials and pet medications. You cannot bring in inhalers or aerosol cans, and you cannot drop off illegal drugs or needles.
All the drugs are brought to the state Department of Justice where they will be incinerated.
That's better than just flushing them or throwing them out in the trash.
"It's very important that it's not getting into our ground water is the main thing," Tate said. "We just don't want people dumping them in toilets or in their garbage."
If you have prescription drugs you want to get rid of safely, don't worry if you missed Saturday's opportunity. Many area police stations have drug drop-off bins in their lobbies, so you can drop them off any time of the year.
MINOCQUA - Lakeland and Antigo generally square off as rivals in Great Northern Conference competition. But on Friday, nearly a week removed from the prom shootings in Antigo, Lakeland wanted to show that it was on Antigo's side.
"It's hard to react to something like this, because you want to be concerned, and you want to help, but it's hard to know how to help," said Maggie Laurence, a Lakeland sophomore and Student Council member.
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Rockfleet Broadcasting / Northland Television, Inc. and By Request Web Designs shall not be held responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, or misprints.