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Northwoods dentist helps battle the winter blues with a 'trip' to HawaiiSubmitted: 03/26/2013

Lane Kimble
Managing Editor/Anchor
lkimble@wjfw.com


LAND O' LAKES - Staring at snow for months on end can start to wear on your psyche. Add a trip to the dentist and it can make even the heartiest Northwoodser shutter. But Painless Pete Schindelholz of Land O' Lakes wants to change that.

"It started from all of us wanting to get away this time of year that couldn't... instead we thought, 'Well, let's make believe,'" Schindelholz said.

Dr. Schindelholz came up with the idea for Cabin Fever week about 20 years ago. He cranks of the heat, throws on a pair of shorts and sandals and serves his patients tropical drinks.

"Some lady just told me, 'You know, you made my day,'" Schindelholz said. "And I think she just saw the waves out on the road and thought that was kind of nice."

Patient Barbara Nehring thinks so too. She looks forward to this week every year.

"The colors and shapes just really, really make me happy," Nehring said. "To come into this office in the middle of the winter, or end of the winter and to find all of this joy... it really is a joy."

After about three months of staring at white snow turn into dirty, filthy snow it certainly is refreshing seeing bright blue waves crash into Painless Pete's County B sign. That's the point he hopes you realize: you don't have to go to the tropics to get a taste of them.

"It's kind of fun," Schindelholz said. "I enjoy dressing scantily and just being a little more nuts than normal."

Barbara wouldn't have it any other way.

"For the people who haven't experienced this, it's a bit of a surprise," Nehring said. "But it brings a smile to their face. Those of us that do know [Pete], it helps us realize spring is on its way."

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MERRILL - The debate in Merrill over what's junk and what's historic treasure may not end soon.

It appears Merrill City leaders won't punish two of its workers for taking items from a now demolished building on the Lincoln County Fair Grounds. 

After about a month-long investigation, Mayor Bill Bialecki sent out a statement Thursday morning on behalf of the common council with a decision.

It said, "The actions of City Administrator Dave Johnson and Fire Chief Dave Savone, although not in violation of city Ordinances or policies, were in poor judgment. They have been advised to follow City ordinances and policies to avoid improper conduct or the appearance of such conduct, as it reflects poorly on City Government."

Back in July, Savone got the okay from Johnson to help a friend take some shutters and tables from the 
Schultz building on the grounds before it was demolished.

But some people considered those items historic and expressed their concern on social media.

The Merrill City Common Council then hired an outside firm to investigate.

Now that that's done, Johnson still feels the same way he always did.

"I've stated from the beginning that there were no laws, ordinances or policies that were violated, and that is what the investigation showed," Johnson said. "So, I mean, how can I feel other than vindicated?"

Johnson and Savone did return the items.

Savone did not want to talk on camera but told Newswatch 12 he did not violate any ordinances.

Opponents of this decision believe the city leaders violated state open meetings laws.

According to documents obtained by Newswatch 12, those opponents filed a complaint Thursday afternoon with the Lincoln County District Attorney.

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RHINELANDER - Lifting brand new bikes out of the basement to see the light of day for the first time, Gene Welhoefer couldn't wait to put them to use.

"We'd love to wear the tires out in year one," Welhoefer said.

The Three Lakes Principal loaded bike after bike -- 29 on this trip -- into a trailer parked outside of Mel's Trading Post in Rhinelander Thursday afternoon.  The school district purchased 63 bikes to promote healthy habits in Three Lakes students.

"Get outside, breathe some fresh air, soak in some sunshine, take a little ride," Welhoefer said.

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GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers have doubled down on their image of playing on the frozen tundra, unveiling more details for its Titletown District that include a winter tubing hill and a skating rink at its heart.

The team announced Thursday the district will also include a football-themed playground and full-sized football field with an artificial surface.

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WOODRUFF - You don't see very good odds of catching someone who poached a deer unless someone saw or heard it happen.  Luckily for law enforcement, that's what happened in Woodruff and Minocqua last week.

People living near Theis Road off Highway J and near Gopher Lane along Highway 70 heard gunshots late Wednesday night, September 21.  Minocqua police found two 16-year-old boys who shot and killed two bucks.

DNR Warden Supervisor Dave Walz says the teens were shooting within 100 yards of homes.

"There's a serious safety aspect when these people are out shooting deer at night, they may not know what's in the background," Walz said.  "Even if they do know what's in the background, it's still not a safe situation."

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ST. GERMAIN - The owner of a Northwoods yoga and massage studio believes her business offers more than just a place to stretch.

 It's a way to change the body image of the community.

St. Germain's Shanna Stein committed herself to yoga when she was 18. 

She lost more than 100 ponds and gained a new view of her body image. 

Now 14 years later, she is using that new view to help others. 

"You set these goals and they're so far away and you're like someday," said Stein.

 "And now it's here and it's happening so it's just kind of surreal."

Because of her past, Stein is committed to providing a space to uplift people.

 She created a monthly wondrous woman class, providing a place for women to encourage each other's body in a positive way. 

"When I look at people coming into my studio and when I see their struggles and what they're going through I know because I've been there," said Stein.

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MINOCQUA - You can see the leaves just beginning to turn here, but soon the Northwoods will be a whirlwind of oranges, reds, and yellows. 

"Not only is the environment around us changing, but just kind of the pace of life in the Northwoods starts to change a little," said Northwoods Zip Line General Manager Andrew Warner.

Many people enjoy hiking or taking a scenic drive to view the fall colors, but Northwoods Zip Line in Minocqua offers people a different perspective.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - No matter the weather, a glass of wine can be enjoyed year round. Even in the bitter cold, there are wineries in Oneida County that still offer tastings and wine tours.

"When people think of a winery, they do think of grape wines. They're kind of surprised, pleasantly surprised when they come to our winery and see fruit wines," said Terri Schenck from Three Lakes Winery.

The Oneida County wineries are a little bit different than what you'd see in Napa Valley.

"It is a farm so we are working on different crops, black currants, apples and an experimental vineyard," said Linda Welbes from Brigadoon Winery in Tripoli.

With the unique flavors of wines, Three Lakes Winery and Brigadoon Winery often see a lot of visitors from out of town.

"They usually say, 'I didn't know how much I needed this.' They relax, they unwind whether it's summer time or fall, just to sit outdoors when it's beautiful, it's peaceful, it's quiet," said Welbes.

Three Lakes Winery has a lot of history behind their building. 

"The actual winery itself is an old Chicago Northwestern Train Depot that was built in 1880. There was a tornado or wind storm that happened in 1924 that destroyed the building," said Schenck.

The building was rebuilt shortly after. Every fall the winery hosts cranberry marsh tours.

"There are several bogs in the area and it's interesting for people to be able to go and see a bog and see how the cranberries are harvested and what goes into making cranberry wine," said Schenck.

With winter right around the corner, the crops won't be producing much.

"The crops, they are what they are. It's farming so there's not much you have to do and you just hope for good weather. Lots of snow cover, that helps," said Welbes.

The Three Eagle Trail runs right into the parking lot of Three Lakes Winery. That brings in a lot of traffic year-round.

"In the winter time it turns into the snowmobile trail. We will get a lot of snowmobile traffic in the winter time and a lot of foot traffic, hiking, biking people in the summer time," said Schenck.

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