RHINELANDER - Many people visit the Northwoods as a place to get away from cell phones, emails, and constant connection.
But people who live here need those options for home and business.
Development leaders say Oneida County is a poorly connected place in terms of technology.
Doing business or personal work through broadband IN the city of Rhinelander works pretty well.
Just about anywhere else in Oneida County, though, can be a struggle.
Having broadband is no longer just a nice perk for people who like technology or who live in the city.
"Internet access is like electricity. It's like getting water to your house. It's critical. They call it the information superhighway, but the internet really is as important as a road when it comes to doing business," says Oneida County Community Resource Development Agent Tim Brown.
Only a few areas have the top level of service in Oneida County.
That leaves smaller communities and rural areas lacking.
Development leaders want county and town governments to work to improve broadband.
But the government can't provide the service.
That would be illegal.
So instead, they need to convince providers to come here.
"There is demand here, that there is money to be made here, and we encourage you to invest in building more connections in our community," Brown says.
You can help the effort.
Follow the link below to take a survey on broadband needs in your area.
We take our Long Summer Weekend to Vilas County where we show you a garden in Land O'Lakes overflowing with produce - and a strong sense of community.
We talk to participants and organizers of the National Championship Musky Open in Eagle River.
And Friday Night Blitz kicks off another season tonight at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10 with football scores from high school games all across North Central Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following games:
Superior at Merrill
Berlin at Antigo
Hayward at Lakeland
Abbotsford at Crandon
That will be tonight on Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.
We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - On a busy stretch of Highway 47 near Lac du Flambeau -- where hundreds of wheels spin at 55 miles-per-hour each day -- just one tire drags at a slower pace, pulled by one man: the Tire Man.
"I guess I'm the only one nutty enough to do it, I suppose," Frank Tarantino said with a laugh.
Tarantino lives in Mercer, but trains for marathons in Lac du Flambeau. He started pulling a tire on a chain a few years ago after reading about it in a fitness magazine. People often stop to take his picture.
"Little by little you run a little further, a little further," Tarantino said.
RHINELANDER - Cancer survivors and supporters gathered at Ministry St. Mary's Hospital for the 10th annual Celebration of Life Thursday. The event honors those battling cancer or survivors of cancer and shows people what kinds of services the James Beck Cancer Center offers.
The center's namesake lost his life to cancer, but now others will be able to benefit from his gift to the hospital.
"With his vision and his dollars we were able to put this cancer center here in Rhinelander so patients don't have to travel to larger cities," said Director of Cancer Services Kimberly Hetland.
This year's speaker was Mike Regole, a survivor of tonsil cancer. He spoke about his experience at the center, how family and support affected his journey, and how he ran a business while having cancer.
SAYNER - A needle and thread means more to Pat Andersen than just sewing.
"I started quilting when I was 19 so it's been a passion of mine for a long time," said Pat.
Quilting gives her a community of ladies in the Northwoods.
"Sayner needs something like this, it needs something for the women to do," said Pat.
After moving to Sayner with her husband Don last spring, the two decided to buy the building that now houses Plum Lake Quilts. Pat needed somewhere to put her long arm machine and that eventually turned into a little retail business.
"I mean little and then it grew a little bit and it grew a little bit more," said Don Andersen.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Just a few years ago, crumbling cement, steps, and seats filled Lac du Flambeau's Indian Bowl. Now, a major reconstruction project is halfway done. It will hopefully give people from all over a chance to learn about Native American culture and traditions once again.
"We increase that sense of pride in our community," said Director of Planning and Development Emerson Coy.
Coy still remembers how the old Indian Bowl used to look like.
"It was used in bad shape before that and it was sad," said Coy.
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