MINOCQUA - Plans for a new highway in Minocqua have been in affect for a while now.
The Department of transportation is hoping that highway 51 will have some new changes that will affect the community in a positive way.
"When we’re done we’ll have all new pavement. A lot safer. We’ll have bicycles facilities on the road and bicycle facilities off the road," said DOT Project Development Supevisor, Robin Stafford.
"We’ve put sidewalks on both sides so pedestrians will be easier getting up and down the highway. There will be a lot of benefits to the new project."
But Minocqua business owners don’t see it that way.
"Being as if there’s really only one main artery from south going through the Northwoods in this area and it’s right out here in our front door, it’s really going to have a negative impact." said Kurts Island Sports Shop Owner, Kurt Justice.
In fact some owners think the process and the finished product will take away some of their profits.
But the DOT seems to be locked in.
"Unfortunately with such a big project like this you can’t really appease to everyone," Stafford said.
"And so there is some people up there who aren’t happy, but again overall I think the community and the traveling public will be very happy with the product when it’s done."
Even though it has been set in stone for Minocqua, residents are hoping DOT will take their opinions into consideration.
"The Minocqua project is scheduled to start this spring and we’re hoping that the DOT still has room for modification and changes based on some of the discussions that we had at town hall last Friday." said 34th District Assembly Representative Rob Swearingen.
Now projects in other towns such as Arbor Vitae, Hazelhurst and Woodruff have not been finalized.
Swearingen suggests that if you want to voice your opinions on the project, you should contact your town board and chairman.
Northwoods filmmaker makes movies for the big screen
MERRILL - When you think of movies you probably think of Hollywood, but one man from Northcentral Wisconsin is bringing his feature film to the local screen.
Wausau’s Jarrod Crooks not only makes movies, but he also stars in them.
His latest film, "Dispatched" is based off the Elvis Presley movie, “Girl Happy,” says filmmaker Jarrod Crooks. “My character Jake is sent to go watch my bosses daughter while she’s on vacation with a friend. Then an old enemy is kind of after him while he’s on vacation, so some things happen.”
Crooks made, "Dispatched" on a $5,000 budget and it’s full of romance, action, and comedy.
“My buddy would joke with me, ‘why don’t you just pick one genre man and then just go with it'," says Crooks. "I’m like because I want to make this movie how I want to make It'." "I actually like romantic comedies, I think they’re kind of fun, and I think they’re cute. I like action films because I’m a guy, and I like comedy because Jim Carey is great.”
Crooks is only 28 and has already made 4 feature films. His passion started when he was 12 years old.
“I went over to my friend’s house and he had a video camera. I was like oh we should make a movie, and at that time I was really into, “Wishbone,” says Crooks.
“We’d always remake our own literature pieces. Then I saw my first Jackie Chan movie and I’m like, alright it’s settled we’re doing action films from now on," says Crooks. “From then on it was just a love affair with the filmmaking.”
His latest film will be shown at the Cosmo Theatre in Merrill on Saturday at 5pm.
“The fact that I’m bringing it to central Wisconsin is great because this is where I grew up," says Crooks. "All my family and friends get to see it, so I’m very excited about that and you get to see yourself on the big screen what’s better than that.”
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