Vacant Lincoln Street business building torn downSubmitted: 04/30/2013
Story By Lane Kimble

RHINELANDER - Crews started making room for a new building on a busy Northwoods street Tuesday morning.

This building used to house the Fireplace Store and the Culligan Water store before that.

But it's stood vacant for awhile.

The city inspection department said repairs needed to be made.

The owners decided the building was of no value and chose to tear it down.

When the building is gone the open lot will be up for sale.

Right now, the listing agency doesn't know of any businesses planning to build there.

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WASHINGTON, DC - Last week, 81 World War II, Korean, and Vietnam War flew veterans to Washington, DC, free of charge to see the memorials that stand in their honor. Veterans from our area left from Wausau on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight. It can be a challenge to convince the veterans to participate. They're humble and many feel like there are plenty of other veterans who are more deserving of the opportunity. One veteran who took some convincing is Dan Writz of Abbotsford.

"I just felt I never was qualified to go," Writz said.

It took a couple of years to convince him to go on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight. Writz served stateside as a radio repairman from 1950 to 1953, during the Korean War.

"I didn't think I did do what the people did to give their lives and everything for it," he said of taking the trip.

Writz may not have seen a war zone, but he sacrificed. He put his life in danger more than once. He was required to learn parachute jumping.

"Wind caught my chute and my chute was up in the air while I'm hitting the ground so, I kind of woke up with a helicopter above me and I said, 'I'm just fine. I'm just fine,'" he recalled.

Writz was 18 years old at the time. Sixty-three years later, he says he still has a dent in the back of his head.

His unit was selected to observe a nuclear bomb explosion. He returned to the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas a few years ago. Writz says museum workers were surprised he was still living.

"When the atomic bomb went off, we were in the trenches and the wind came past us and the sand just about covered us and then the suction when it came up, it just about pulled us out of the trenches," he explained.

"He is very humble. And to me, it says a lot about being a good role model for other people the willingness to go and serve," said Writz's daughter and Honor Flight guardian Jeanne Schreiner.

She convinced her dad to go on the flight. It was a family affair. Schreiner's brother served as one of the flight's medics. Her husband and his father, also a Korean war veteran, made the trip.

"My dad served in the first World War. I had three brothers that served in the second World War. One was in Germany. One was in Italy, and one was in Japan. And then the three younger ones, we were during the Korean conflict," Writz said. "I feel like I should really be going to see the things that are there because they're not here anymore. I've only got one brother that's living yet."

He may have finally realized he deserves the recognition.

"I normally don't break down in tears," Writz said. "But I went through tears all the way through the through the airport."

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/06/2015

- Victims of domestic abuse often need to get away from their abuser.  But what about their pets?  New legislation addresses that question.

- Plus, we look at the Phillips School District, an example of one district getting less money because of negative open enrollment numbers.

 We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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RHINELANDER - A new report from the Sixth Amendment Center argues that private lawyers don't get paid enough when working as  public defenders in Wisconsin.

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TOMAHAWK - A Northwoods city wants to be prepared for when emerald ash borer is brought to the area. The city of Tomahawk will create a plan on what to do when the pest reaches the community. That's after it was found in Rhinelander last fall.

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker's administration has determined that complying with Wisconsin's phosphorus limits would cause substantial social and economic impacts.

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VILAS COUNTY - Many people enjoy exploring the Northwoods on a bicycle. The Heart of Vilas County Bike Trail spans 47 miles. Local communities hope more people will use the trail.

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