MINOCQUA - The Lakeland Union Nordic Ski team started skiing the trails at Minocqua Winter Park 30 years ago.
The team has grown since then.
Only three members made up the team in the beginning and now they have almost 100 skiers of all ages.
“The first 5, 10 years we had three girls a couple of boys and really hardly a team,” said retired coach Ken Schoville. Since starting the Lakeland Union Nordic Ski team in the 1980’s Schoville has seen an increase in skiers.
“We started to develop a ski program for younger grades and from that we have continued to develop again both types of kids that come to the ski program those that are what we call skiers that already have the tools necessary to keep moving on and kids that are brand new to the sport,” said Schoville.
The program has always skied at Minocqua Winter Park.
“They’ve been our home base for 30 some years and we continue to have good relationships with the foundation that operates it,” said Schoville.
Schoville handed over coaching to Mike Bolger last year.
He says the team continues to bring in athletes- some who’ve never skied before.
“Going into it, I knew we had some talented skiers, but I would have to say, it’s the new kids who have come out for this sport, and really bought into the program,” said Bolger.
Bolger believes the program does more than just benefit the skiers. It benefits the community.
“With 4-6 inches of snow weekend Nordic ski people come, and they stay in hotels, they buy gas, they eat in restaurants, so it’s a boom to the economy,” said Bolger.
Schoville’s glad Bolger wants to keep the ski team in the community.
“To me that long term continuity and growth and thinking that when I’m gone and move on then it’s going to be here, it’s going to be a part of the north, “said Schoville.
Last weekend the Lakeland Union Nordic Ski Girls team took first place at the Nordic Ski State championships in Rhinelander.
Future Wisconsin Project wants to bring more workers, manufacturers to Wisconsin
RHINELANDER - The Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce group held a seminar at Nicolet College in Rhinelander Tuesday, to plan how to make Wisconsin more attractive to skilled workers and manufacturing businesses.
WMC's president believes the shortage in younger people in the industry has to do with two big misconceptions about manufacturing.
"The younger kids, as do their parents, have a perception on what manufacturing looks like and it's about 40 years out of date. If you're in an advanced manufacturing facility now, it's clean, it's high-tech, the engineers and technicians are working together," said Jim Morgan."We have a perception problem. I think we still have a definition of success that's says unless you have a four-year degree, you're not successful."
Morgan says groups like WMC work to change that perception. He believes workers with a two-year degree are just as successful in the industry.
So far, WMC held seminars at nine other technical colleges. For Rhinelander, more manufacturers could mean more economic independence.
"The Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce is looking to see how it can help and partner with local manufacturers to make the Rhinelander area a more favorable place for them to locate their businesses, as well as to attract and retain skilled workers to make those businesses successful," said Dana DeMet, Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce director.
Over the next six months, WMC will continue to look for ways to attract more workers and businesses to the state.
In December, it hopes to have 1000 representatives for a meeting in Milwaukee focusing on how manufacturing will benefit the state.
WMC also works with the University of Wisconsin system and the Wisconsin Technical Colleges.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Ruby's pantry opened their doors Tuesday in Lac du Flambeau. This is the first time the Ruby's pantry has set up shop there. They decided to come to Lac du Flambeau because of the good turnout in Rhinelander. The food pantry asks that people give a $20 donation.
“It's not your typical food pantry,” says Gloria Cobb, Ruby's Pantry Lac du Flambeau Lead Coordinator. “This is an opportunity to give people dignity, to serve with dignity, and it's a donation base.”
“I mean look at the hustle and bustle going on we've got the community coming together not only Lac du Flambeau but the surrounding community coming together to meet a very basic need and that's to help with hunger,” says Cobb.
The pantry offered items like strawberries, cake mix, and toilet paper. More than 400 people were expected to show up.
“A participant will go through the line with a laundry basket and or box and they will be offered items,” says Cobb. “They can refuse them however we will encourage them to take the item because somebody else that they may know may have a need.”
“They get a certain amount of each item and they go through the line like an assembly line,” says Cobb.
The pantry had more than 21,000 pounds of food to give away.
RHINELANDER - Warm temperatures and lingering snow on roofs doesn't make for a good combination.
Around 3 p.m. Monday, the weight of the snow on the roof of the building next to the Elbo Room in Rhinelander caused major damage to the building.
The awning to the building fell down onto the Brown Street sidewalk.
Fire leaders say it's important to remember to how dangerous heavy snowfall left on roofs can be this time of year.
“Well with this heavy snowfall this winter there's a lot of snow load with warm weather today the snow melting it created a lot of weight and it can damage structures with all the weight from the snow,” says Josh Schmitz, Rhinelander Fire Deptartment Deputy Chief.
No one was injured in the collapse. The fire department is not sure when cleanup will begin.
------------------------ An earlier version of this story indicated that the facade of the Elbo Room awning had fallen. That was incorrect. It was the building next to the Elbo Room. That has been corrected in the story above.
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