CRANDON - A quarter million new jobs- that's what the Governor promises by the end of his first term.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation wants to help create them, and local companies are taking advantage of the effort.
The WEDC loaned two Crandon companies hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Hometown Trolley recently finished a 20,000 square foot expansion, and Infinity Wood Floors opened a manufacturing location in Crandon in January.
The two companies are bringing 77 new jobs to the area. That's a lot of jobs for the city, but 250,000 jobs is still a ways off. WEDC CEO Reed Hall thinks it's still a realistic goal.
"I do. And we're going to do whatever's in our power to make that number come true. One of the things I think helps us, is I think Wisconsin is right on the edge of a turn-around. I think we have a very stable political environment, or much more stable than it was in 2010, 2011," says Hall.
Hall also thinks the regulatory environment is better than it was in the past. He points to housing and auto sales as indicators of a turn-around.
Hall says economic development in the Northwoods presents unique challenges.
"The timber industry here is so very, very critical. Certainly tourism is so very critical to this area. Broadband issues are sort of unique here too because we don't always have enough broadband capability. I think we need to concentrate on the timber industry specifically," says ," says Hall.
Hall says they'll hold a conference this summer to promote getting more timber harvested from the national forests.
He wouldn't name specific companies, but Hall did say the WEDC is working with other businesses in the area.
NORTHWOODS - Next Monday's solar eclipse will look fascinating, but it can damage your eyes for a lifetime.
It's never safe to look directly at the sun's rays, even though there will be a partial eclipse here in the Northwoods.
Regular sunglasses won't protect you, so if you plan to view the solar eclipse you need special solar eclipse sunglasses.
Those glasses are one size fits all, so it's important to check they are snug on your child's head, too.
Kids are curious, and may want to fixate on the crescent beam of light.
"We know children are going to want to peek over the top and in just 20 to 30 seconds they could be doing damage to their eye, " says Dr. Jill Redman.
The solar eclipse light is not as intense as regular sunlight.
You won't actually feel the damage being done until the next day because the reflex to turn away won't be there.
"Missing blurry vision and central vision. Afterwards you could have light sensitivity. You could also have watering eyes. But some of the damage with maculopathy can be permanent," says Dr. Ben Redman.
Dr. Ben says if you don't have those special solar glasses, the safest option is to avoid it entirely and watch online.
RHINELANDER - You probably wouldn't consider a dark, smelly alley an ideal place to sit and relax. Maggie Steffen agrees, which is why she's planning to transform an alley on Brown Street in Rhinelander.
Steffen plans to tackle the project in three phases. Phase one is lighting the alley, which sits between The Brick restaurant and Bath and Body Creations. Downtown Rhinelander, Inc. agreed to pay about $2,800 for five LED lights if the city would pay for the electricity.
RHINELANDER - DNR Furbearer Research Scientist Dr. Nathan Roberts calls bobcats "a conservation success story." Their population numbers are up across the United States.
The DNR doubled the harvest quota this year at 750 bobcats because of that healthy population size.
"While the population's grown, we've also increased our understanding of bobcats considerably. Working together with hunters and trappers across the state we've increased our understanding of bobcats and our ability to monitor bobcats," said Roberts.
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