RHINELANDER - One Northwoods company works with a huge amount of black printer ink every day.
But now, they can call themselves "green".
Laser Pros of Rhinelander remanufactures laser printers and parts.
The company has improved their operations in nine different "sustainability areas".
That earned them recognition as a "Green Professional" from the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council.
Some of the changes were easy, like installing motion sensors in their offices.
"But then, you get into the more complex things, like virtual servers. Virtual servers basically take ten desktop units, and convert them into one unit. Therefore, you have almost a 90 percent savings in energy consumption," says Denny Dunn, the Laser Pros Director of Operations.
While the cost up front can be high, the energy savings can end up in long-term savings.
The award is in the second-highest tier honored by the Sustainable Business Council.
Laser Pros is looking to improve their eco-friendliness even more.
"Always. It's something that we always have to work hard at. Just when we think we've done all we can, it's time to take a look at our processes and see where we can make improvements," Dunn says.
More than 100 people work in Laser Pros' Rhinelander location.
MERRILL - Members of a Northwoods union chapter gathered unique inspiration for a fundraiser - 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."
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.
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.
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."
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