MERRILL - Merrill's April 2011 tornado - ironically enough - flattened a campus that trained emergency workers and law enforcement.
Two years later, the Northcentral Technical College Public Safety Center is rebuilt.
It now offers an even higher level of training - with some of the coolest features around.
The new Public Safety Center will put what it offers against any training center in the state.
On Wednesday, we got our first look at the extensive Emergency Village and learning buildings that make up the NTC Merrill campus.
"I want you to know it's the only one in the entire technical college system. We have a unique opportunity to do some training that no other technical college has the opportunity to do - to put Merrill on the map," NTC President Dr. Lori Weyers told a crowd of over a hundred at the ribbon cutting.
Learners in fire, EMS, and criminal justice can use realistic scenarios to apply their classroom instruction.
But the Center's offerings aren't only targeted at NTC students.
The Merrill area community can take advantage as well.
"We'll be able to offer training for brand-new drivers, like a 16-year-old driver learning to do skid recovery, or for a person with a concealed carry permit, perhaps they want to learn how to use force and make decisions about use of force. In addition to just the public safety community that's out there, we'll offer a lot of classes that the general public will be able to enjoy," says NTC Dean of Public Safety Bryce Kolpack.
The Center plans to have almost 11,000 people use its services for learning every year.
RHINELANDER - North Brown Street is now open and parking is also available. It has parallel parking spots and angled spots. Restaurants have already noticed an increase in business after the street opened late last week.
"We had very good business this weekend. We were very glad that before Friday they were opened. They opened the roads so our Friday Fishfry was back to its normal pace," said Bucketheads server Ashley Hull.
"Last weekend when it opened up, of course it was packed out front. Everyone's using it and I think everyone's getting used to the new parallel and angled parking. I know it was a big shock for everyone that it was going to happen, but everyone's embracing it and getting used to it," said Rhinelander Café & Bar co-owner Brooke Johnson.
The Davenport Street Bridge is still closed, but it's getting closer to opening. Once that happens, downtown will be even easier to access for people coming from the west side of town.
ANTIGO - When the Kretz family started the Kretz Lumber Company here in Antigo in 1929, they built part of the original saw mill with hemlock that grew near the property. Now, a piece of hemlock far older than that serves as a bit of the company's rich history.
On the south side of the property outside the so-called "Cabin" stands an eight-foot-tall hemlock log. A ginseng farmer in Bryant dug it up while plowing a field and thought it looked old.
UW-Madison carbon dated the log and discovered it's 1,200 to 1,600 years old. That's from about the time the Vikings started raiding Europe.
"A lot of people go back in their mind and they try to think back through history and what it would've been like," Kretz Lumber President Troy Brown said. "So that's kind of the fun part and it brings up conversations like that."
ANTIGO - In one way, Antigo Silt Loam isn't all that special.
"The reason the Antigo Silt Loam soil was selected wasn't that it represented the whole state, or exists throughout the whole state, or that it was the most productive," said Matt Ruark, an associate professor in the Soil Science department at UW-Madison.
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