WAUSAU - Wausau's Curling Center doesn't open for the pros until next fall--but until then, amateur curlers can stop by. The new 4-million dollar facility uses the highest quality of ice in the world. The designers also brought in 80-thousand dollars' worth of curling stones from Scotland.
Building Committee Chairman Cal Tillisch has curled all over the country for decades. He compared Wausau's new ice arena to pro golf's top event.
"The Master's is universally known to have the very best greens to putt on. We built this facility to have Masters-quality ice. Much like the Masters has for their greens."
Tillisch has seen the sport grow nationwide since the 90's. But he wants the Curling Center to bring in people from right here in the Northwoods.
"It's nice to do something in the winter time so you enjoy winters and look forward to winters rather than dreading it. And this facility provides bigger and better opportunities for all levels to participate in and enjoy this wonderful sport."
From now until next fall, the Curling Center plans on making bids for national events.
MERRILL - For 32 years Battalion Chief Mike Drury walked into the Merrill Fire Department ready to save lives. Friday he walked out of the department for the last time to start the new phase of his life. "It goes fast it goes really fast," said Drury. Drury was about 18 -years -old when he walked into the Merrill Fire Department for the first time. "When you're 18, 19,20 years old and you're looking at 50 something years old you think you're never going to get there," said Drury.
Drury is one of 184 firefighters to ever work full time with the city of Merrill. "As a firefighter they spend a lot of time at the fire house so they miss a lot of things," said Drury's daughter Cassi. After 32 years of missing birthdays, holidays and family time Drury was ready for a change. "I realized I had enough this is a young man's job," said Drury. Friday afternoon Drury said goodbye to a room of men who merged and became family. "Not having that is a little scary I know they'll always be our family but it's hard to leave," said Cassi. Cassi watched her dad rush off to help his community since the day she was born. "It's scary because you hear about the times things don't go right or the times fire fighters don't come home," said Cassi.
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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