RHINELANDER - Rhinelander Mayor Dick Johns remembers just about every event in the city's history over the last five decades.
For him to say something like this, Thursday had to be important.
"I've had 50 years of politics in this community, and I'll tell you, this is one of the best days I've ever had," he said Thursday.
The mayor is this happy because of a big grant from the state Department of Transportation.
The DOT gave Rhinelander $425,000 for road work.
But it's not just any construction.
The work on Highway 17 on the city's east side makes it possible for Printpack to build their new manufacturing facility.
"For them to be able to build this facility, we needed to make sure we had safe and efficient access from the state highway. Without the bypass lanes, the turn lanes, and the access road, we wouldn't have been able to achieve that. They wouldn't have been able to move forward with their project," said Wisconsin Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb.
About 130 people work at Printpack's current Rhinelander facility.
When the new plant is done, the company plans to hire 20 or 30 more workers.
"The support that Wisconsin has given us and the City of Rhinelander has given us, both financial support and infrastructure support, is an important part of the equation, also," said Dennis Love, the chairman of Printpack's board.
Printpack plans to have their new facility done in the middle of August.
Thursday's transportation grant was the fourth to Rhinelander of its kind in the 26-year history of the program.
ANTIGO - Messages of support have been pouring in throughout the state since the prom shooting tragedy in Antigo.
Two Antigo women are continuing to support the community by collecting donations not only for the family of the shooting victim, but for the family of the shooter as well.
You can find a box at the Thirsty Soul in Antigo where people are placing words of encouragement, cash, and gift cards for the Wagner and Cooper families.
Lisa Sennholz is a mother of two Antigo High School students. Her son was at prom the night of the shooting. After that night, Lisa knew that something had to be done.
"My first instinct was to do something, to actually reach out and help in some way," said Sennholz. "And I said, I just feel like we need to ask the community to rally around these families and give support."
Lisa and Diane Kondrath, the owner of the Thirsty Soul, originally just hoped to collect cards of encouragement for both the Cooper family and the Wagner family. Soon, they began to collect gift cards and other monetary donations.
"I am overwhelmed with how many people have come in, and cared for both families equally," said Kondrath.
RHINELANDER - For the last seven months, salesmen at Rhinelander's Slumberland Furniture worked in a dark, cramped warehouse. After crews tore down the old building on Stevens Street, crews were busy building a new building on the old one's footprint. That work took longer than expected, but the new Slumberland will open Saturday.
Newswatch 12 got a walk-through with the owner and store manager Friday. The new building is 19,000 square feet, offering about 2,000 sq.-ft. more than the old showroom. The new building features a more open layout with raised ceilings.
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