Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Wabeno Rebuilds Icons Destroyed in StormsSubmitted: 05/26/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


WABENO - People always remember the Town of Wabeno once they've been there, even if they were just passing through.

But the two larger-than-life icons that make the name Wabeno stick in people's memories were both destroyed by mother nature within the last year.

Now the town has nearly rebuilt both to all their former glory.

The details of how the gentle giant that watches over Wabeno got there, are foggy. But how he got destroyed is still fresh in everyone's mind. Larry the Logroller was felled by, well, a tree.

"Well it happened on a Thursday, I think. They called and says, 'Hey, I know you can fix anything. Larry got run over by a tree basically'," says Ron Piontek.

So off to Denmark, Wisconsin he went to undergo surgery.

"Larry had a broken neck and broken shoulder," says John Ehlinger, from Wabeno.

"I was kind of sad because I really liked Larry the Logroller," says seven-year-old Zachary Augustin.

Less than a year after the town lost it's even more historic band shell to heavy winds, the loss of Larry was a tough blow.

"It was kind of like after the band shell, what's next? It was like part of Wabeno was missing," says Park Board President Larry Rummel.

But auto body repair shop owner Ron Piontek logged hundreds of hours, and put Larry back together.

"I got 400 or 500 rivets in him to get him back into pieces. And then six gallons of fiberglass resin and three months of work," says Piontek.

The town unveiled Larry, good as new, Saturday.

"I thought he was really big and really cool," says six-year-old Audrey Bauagnet.

"I think it's awesome that they could redo him and everything," says nine-year-old Brianna Augustin.

"It's amazing. Kids love him. And evidently adults do too," says Rummel.

It's a new day in Wabeno. Larry stands sentinel once again and the band shell reconstruction should start back up within the week.



Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - In the next couple weeks, Gov. Scott Walker will release Wisconsin's budget for the next two years. Rep. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) and Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) thought it would be a perfect time to host listening sessions in a number of Northwoods communities. 

One of the sessions was at the Eagle River library Monday. Some people brought up the poor road conditions in the area. Tiffany says transportation funding is one of the items he will be looking at closely in the upcoming budget. 

+ Read More

Play Video

LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Neal McCoy doesn't take days off.  The 58-year-old country music star is in the middle of a months-long multi-state tour, which is something he's done for nearly 30 years.

But it's McCoy's daily tradition, which started one year ago, that's rejuvenated the patriotic front man more than any concert does.

"I haven't slept in for quite a while now," McCoy said with a laugh.  "I know, I'm leading this crusade, if you will."

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - People stopped at the site of Eagle River's Ice Castle on Monday, cellphone cameras in hand. But unlike the previous week, they weren't taking pictures of the beautiful and iconic castle.

Instead, they were taking pictures of its demolition.

Warm winter weather made the Ice Castle's structure come apart--and made it a safety hazard.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - The YMCA of the Northwoods teamed up with LIVESTRONG to create a fitness program that supports
cancer survivors and patients. The 12-week program focuses on rebuilding strength and stamina.

YMCA wellness director Stephanie Ruckeim says it offers so much more than just physical strength.

"It's about trying to increase that muscle mass, increase their flexibility, their endurance and also work
on their self-esteem and self-confidence," says Ruckeim.

+ Read More

Play Video

ANTIGO - The people of Antigo officially said goodbye to Christmas on Monday night.

The Optimist Club hosted the annual Christmas tree burn outside the high school. 

Last week, city workers collected and piled up hundreds of residents' Christmas trees.

Organizers say they believe the event has been going on for 30 or more years, and this year's weather was one for the books.

+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - Sunday's Packers loss hit fans hard. But it also affected stores that support those dedicated fans.

+ Read More

Play Video

MEDFORD - Mikayla Kelz grew up around politics. 

"When I was little my dad was actually a politician--just a local one, a district attorney," said Kelz. 

Seeing her dad work got Kelz interested in politics too.

"I remember going on the campaign trail with him and that just kind of sparked my interest," said Kelz.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here