ANTIGO - Last week a 52-year-old Dallas woman died after falling from one of the country's tallest roller coasters at Six Flags. Carnivals and fairs happen without incident every day throughout the summer across the country. But we often only hear about the rides when something tragic happens.
The Langlade County Fair is this weekend. The company that owns the rides at the fair is ANP Enterprise. The family owned business has been traveling to county fairs throughout Wisconsin for more than 40 years. So they're MORE than familiar with safety standards in the fair ride industry.
In addition to running the company, two of the brothers are also certified ride safety inspectors. They say keeping the rides safe is the REAL full time job when it comes to running this business. And it's not just something they worry about when setting up at a new location, it's every day.
"It's out on a midway and we start our visuals and walk-arounds and if there is something that is reported to us by the operator from the previous day, we take that as a priority and take a look at that stuff. It's every ride here. It's 21 rides that we have here and we go through everything," says David Kedrowicz, ANP Enterprise Owner.
The woman who died in Texas was said to have been too big for the roller coaster she was on. Enforcing those size limits can be a delicate task, but it's one Kedrowicz says they don't take lightly.
"We'd be setting ourselves up for some court dates down the road so we pleasantly tell them 'Look, we cannot ride you' and they either understand or they ride something else that they're appropriate sized for," said Kedrowicz.
The Kedrowicz brothers spend much of the off-season in safety seminars to keep up with the latest safety standards in the industry… and the state of Wisconsin does random inspections of all fair ride companies twice a year.
RHINELANDER - People lived through detours, dust, and demolition throughout most of 2016 in downtown Rhinelander. Residents won't see that kind of work in 2017, but the city is planning more closures and road work to finish up the Streetscape Project.
Crews will start with the Davenport Street Bridge shutting down for a month in starting April 17. Public Works Director Tim Kingman says some sections of concrete, sidewalk, and asphalt pavement shifted, settled and cracked over the winter.
RHINELANDER - Cracked concrete, twisted rebar, and overgrown trees and bushes don't paint the most ideal picture for a park. But a Rhinelander alderman sees the perfect chance for a peaceful place to enjoy nature.
Alderman Alex Young hopes to turn an old snow dumping dock site into a "pocket park." The site sits where Norway Street runs into the Wisconsin River behind Ripco Credit Union and the DNR Service Center building.
WAUSAU - A contractor fell from a ladder and died at the construction site of the new Hilton Garden Inn in Wausau last week. Now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death.
Marathon County Sheriff's Captain Dale Wisnewski said Shane J. Cash, 45, of Wisconsin Rapids was drilling holes in the ceiling on Thursday when he fell from his ladder and died on scene.
TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk High School sporting events got an attendance boost this winter. At the same time, local charities benefited from the community's generosity.
The school's Varsity Club sponsored six nights of special events, one for each winter sport. The Varsity Club gave out T-shirts printed with team rosters. Meanwhile, fans brought donations for local charities.
"Each kid would walk in and they'd put on their T-shirt," said Varsity Club member Jackie Elliott. "When we got our student section going, they were all together, and you just had this block of white. It was awesome."
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