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.
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander couple thought they were empty nesters. However, an experience volunteering made them open their doors back up to kids who need a temporary home. The Zoerb's adult children moved out years ago. But at any moment they could get a call from social services that make them bring out their parenting skills for another round. Rick and Danielle Zoerb work together as realtors putting people in homes that are the perfect fit. However, the husband and wife know their home can be a good fit for others too. "There's no reason for kids to have to fall through the cracks," said Dani. Rick met a child at a mentorship program a few years ago. It was a meeting that opened a new door for him and his wife. "There was no hesitation on our part when we felt the situation was deteriorating for this young boy," said Rick.
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