RHINELANDER - Northwoods students got a taste of heavy metal Wednesday, but not of the long hair, loud music sort.
Three hundred fifty eighth graders came to Nicolet College to tour labs and classrooms, hear presentations from area companies, and each school toured a local manufacturer.
"We went to NorthStar." What kind of stuff did you see there? "We saw the cabs of many things. We saw cabs of skidders," says Jesse Hanson, from Crandon Middle School.
"And instead of using machines they do everything hands on," says Brennan Livermore, from Elcho Middle School.
It's all in an effort to introduce kids to the local manufacturing sector.
"To expose today's students to today's manufacturing. To give the manufacturers an opportunity to tell students what it's like to get a job in manufacturing. And to also tell the students they can make a very family sustaining wage in manufacturing," says Bruce Tremble, from the North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board.
Organizers say they picked eighth graders for this fieldtrip because it's an early enough age to plant the idea that maybe they'd like to get into manufacturing.
"You know what eighth graders really are at a great opportunity to say, 'What direction do I want to go and what are some of the opportunities as I'm going forward in my educational career?'" says Teri Phalin, the Nicolet College PK-16 Admissions Coordinator.
Since about half of the manufacturing workforce is over 50, the industry will be ready for these students by the time they're ready to enter it.
"I heard that most of the time jobs are looking for welding people. I've tried welding; it's fun," says Livermore.
A reaction that could turn into a profession.
Nicolet College, the North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board, and Grow North Regional picked up the tab so it's free for the schools to attend.
MILWAUKEE - Authorities are looking for a fourth suspect in a shooting on an interstate in Milwaukee County.
Sheriff David Clarke says people in a minivan and another vehicle were shooting at each other in a ``running gun battle'' on Interstate 43 Tuesday afternoon. One vehicle struck the other and the minivan spun into the ditch near Fox Point. Three people in the van were arrested. Authorities say a fourth person left the scene.
Spirit of the North: water ski team wins state title
CONOVER - The Chain Skimmers Water Ski Team from Conover won the state title for their division last weekend in Wisconsin Rapids. Summer water ski shows are a wonderful part of the Spirit of the North.
"I don't know how to spend the summer anywhere else," said Jessica Clark.
She is one of about 35 skiers between the ages of 12 and 31 who spend their summers on Lake Pleasant in Conover. They come from Illinois, Wisconsin, Florida and Texas.
WOODRUFF - Americans will eat about 7 billion hot dogs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Wednesday, millions of Americans celebrated National Hot Dog day. That was the case in the Northwoods.
Hoggie Doggies Snack Shack is a staple in Woodruff. Their All-American favorite is the Chicago Style Dog.
The owner Judy Rossi has been there for 12 years and says they go through a lot of dogs.
"Last season we went through almost 17,000 hot dogs. This year we're on track for about 18,000," says Rossi. "Statistically we go through about 8 tons of potatoes in a season, which is close to 16,000 pounds for our homemade french fries. Those are some big numbers for this little place."
MADISON - Unemployment is up in all of Wisconsin's largest cities and most counties.
The state Department of Workforce Development reported Wednesday that unemployment rates in June increased in all of the state's 32 largest cities. Unemployment rates went up in 61 of 72 counties and remained unchanged in the other 11.
Wisconsin's monthly unemployment rate in June was 5.7 percent, unchanged from May.
Gardens need some help with large temperature swings in summer
RHINELANDER - Northwoods heat the past few days forced plants to endure different weather, but you don't need to do extra gardening just because it's hot.
Experts at Hanson's Garden Village in Rhinelander say plants can manage the heat just fine. On hot, sunny days, many plants will wilt, but that doesn't mean they need more water.
"If the soil is moist on a hot day, I wouldn't water more. That's probably more harm. The plant can only take up so much moisture at a time, so I would just hold off on watering," says Sue Hanson, Hanson's Garden Village Co-Owner.
MERRILL - Members of a Northwoods union chapter gathered unique inspiration for a fundraiser â€" The Beatles.
Merrill-area Local 6 members gathered Wednesday on the Wisconsin flowage to raise money for groups in need of assistance. The union leaders organized boat rides, raffles, barbecues, and contests. The inspiration for the fundraiser came, in part, from the 1965 Beatles single Help!
"I found out it was the anniversary of the "Help!" release from The Beatles record, and I decided, let's help our community," said Local 6 Vice President Valerie Nelson. "Our membership is very passionate about certain organizations within our community. One being the Lincoln County Humane Society, the local food pantry, and the American Cancer Society."
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