LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Painful memories tempt us to try and forget the past.
In Lac du Flambeau, they're doing just the opposite.
"We can't ever let anybody forget that this had happened to our people and that we had survived," says Melinda Young.
"These are the schools that were designed to assimilate the Native Americans of this country into the American cultures," says Travis Maki.
A U.S. Government-run Boarding School took that mission to Lac du Flambeau from 1895 to 1932.
"The ultimate goal was to completely eliminate native cultures altogether," Maki says.
"You don't hear about this in textbooks. I lived in this community my entire life and did not know that this was a boarding school," Young says.
But by the middle of this year, the boarding school story will be on full display.
Young and Maki both work for the tribe's historic preservation initiative and are working on the boarding school project.
Physically restoring what, for 27 years, was the Boys Dormitory at the school will help restore a part of the Lac du Flambeau tribe's history.
"This hallway will mirror exactly what this building looked like in 1906. The ultimate design is to have that visual impact of what these students were coming into when they were brought to this school initially," Maki says, showing off the entrance to the Boys Dormitory.
The Boarding School will be open for visitors to experience what native children did so many decades ago.
It will also be the hub of the Ojibwe language and historic preservation programs.
Many of the rooms will mirror what they looked like in the early 20th century.
"We had an elder that had attended in the 1920s. We did a walkthrough with him, and he told us what each of these rooms was for," Maki says.
Leaders hope a step back into the tribe's historic culture will provide another reason for people to visit Lac du Flambeau.
"You have families coming. So it's providing an opportunity for families to do something in our community together," says Young.
Painful as some of the memories may be, historic leaders are working to make sure they're told at the Boys Dormitory.
"It's part of our history. We talk about World War I and Vietnam and everything else. This is a fact of our history. It cannot be forgotten," Young says.
The Boys Dormitory should open to the public in June.
BOULDER JUNCTION - Pilots find very little room for error when they make a landing. Wings, flaps, and landing gear all need to work properly. Then there's the runway itself, which needs to be flat and smooth.
So, when pilots found ruts and divots torn into the grass runway at Boulder Junction's airport, folks were more than upset, they were worried about safe landings. Airfield president Jeff Long thinks someone used a pickup truck to do the damage. It happened right before the airfield's busiest weekend of the year, the Musky Day fly-in.
"To see somebody disregard that, disrespect that, and then again the safety, where somebody could get hurt that we're inviting up here for summer fun, doesn't make you feel very good," Long said.
RHINELANDER - The City of Rhinelander and Oneida County will consider borrowing $15 million to help develop a manufacturer in Rhinelander, according to an Oneida County Economic Development Corporation release Tuesday.
The money would help Rhinelander Coated Products start work inside the former Printpack building on Kemp Street.
KNOWLTON - When you think of Wisconsin, you probably think of the Packers, dairy, and beer. One of the quintessential things that make this state great is its cheese, and you'll find no shortage of that in north central Wisconsin. The largest family-owned cheese factory is right in our own backyard, and it continues to push its limits in the industry
For Bill Mullins, the cheese business is all in the family.
"My other two brothers are in the business," said Bill, Co-Owner of Mullins Cheese. "My brother has four boys in the business full-time. My mom did accounting for us until she was 88."
EAGLE RIVER - Cities across the Northwoods drop tens of thousands of dollars every winter on crack sealing roads. The Eagle River Airport is no different. The airport spent about $25,000 in 2016 patching up its main runway.
Arguably, that runway is even older than most roads people drive on. The runway was last redone in 1971. On a busy day, the 5,000-foot runway hosts upwards of 80 takeoffs and landings. Airport manager Rob Hom showed Newswatch 12 a number of places where the pavement is buckling and cracked. That can lead to dangerous landings for small planes.
"Relative to a car or a truck [a prop-powered airplane is] pretty light relatively speaking, so having a smooth runway is imperative," Hom said.
THREE LAKES - Pollinators play an essential role in the growth of plants, and it's not just bees that help pollinate.
Butterflies, bats, and even mosquitoes are pollinators, but those populations have been in decline in recent years.
"Across the U.S., pollinators have been seeing big declines," said Oneida County Conservationist Michele Sadauskas. "We've been hearing more and more about our honeybee pollinations. The monarch populations have had dramatic decreases. So we're seeing it across the board."
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