CRANDON - Last year maple syrup farmers suffered from the quick spring so badly, many had to take out emergency loans. This year they're the only one's not complaining about the slow thaw while the sap flows like crazy.
Tonight in Northwoods Works, Newswatch 12's Lyndse Stemm takes us to Ginter's Corner Tap N' Sap, where you can taste five generations of family tradition.
When the Ginter's say their maple syrup business is a family affair, they mean it. It started with great grandpa Ginter.
"Grandpa used to make it in an old kettle," says Tim Ginter.
Five generations later, syrup practically runs through their veins.
"This is our hobby gone wrong. We started out making 40 gallons and now we have expanded to where we want to eventually make 1,000 gallons a year," says Joan Ginter.
This year they're already on track to beat their old record of 600 gallons. It's a far-cry from last year when maple syrup producers around the state suffered from the fast spring.
"You rely on the weather. If it gets too warm then the trees quit running. If it gets too cold the trees quit. Ideal temperature, 45 during the day, 25 at night," says Tim.
The Ginter's now have between 2,400 and 2,500 taps on the property. Just this year they finished putting in lines, to bring the sap to holding tanks.
"It's expensive to put line in. So we started with one side, and then we waited a few years and then we put the other side in," says Joan.
The Ginter's invest their profits right back into the business. All this machinery saves them so much time, they're able to produce seven times as much as Great-Grandpa Ginter was able to during syrup season.
"Basically what we want to do is we want to be able to retire, and this is all we do," says Joan.
An even bigger dream is for the business to continue for generations after them.
"Hopefully I'll be able to pass it down like my grandpa did," says Tim.
"Oh, I'm almost positive it will be. Even if it isn't my kids or grand kids I have nephews that just love doing this stuff. It'll always be in the family," says Joan.
It shouldn't be a hard to find a relative to take over. The Ginter's sell out every year and the syrup is only sold in three stores in Crandon; the rest by word of mouth... all 750 gallons. Although, their family is responsible for a few of those cases.
"Probably three or four a year. But we can because we have it. So basically it's running through our veins. Literally," says Joan.
MINOQUA - Students often create projects for class, but it isn't every day that students create projects for regional competitions. Many Northwoods students gathered in Minocqua to compete in a history day competition.
"This year's theme is called taking a stand in history," said Lakeland Union High School's Department Chair of Social Studies Mike Mestelle.
MARATHON COUNTY - The suspect in a Wisconsin shooting spree that left four people dead has been identified, and court records show one of the victims was his wife's divorce lawyer.
A person close to the investigation identified the suspect Friday as 45-year old Nengmy Vang. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the person wasn't authorized to speak ahead of authorities officially identifying Vang.
WASHINGTON - UPDATE: 3-24-17, 4:00pm: Ryan bemoans collapse of health care bill:
Speaker Paul Ryan says the collapse of the House Republican health care bill means former President Barack Obama's health care law will be around for the foreseeable future.
The Wisconsin Republican addressed reporters minutes after GOP leaders abruptly shelved the legislation, averted likely defeat for the bill. But it still dealt a damaging setback to President Donald Trump, Ryan and an entire party that has long said it wants to annul Obama's statute.
ST. GERMAIN - A school bus doesn't feature a lot of amenities. Seats, windows, and that's about it. But a company out of St. Germain thinks buses, and other big vehicles, make the perfect kitchens.
Caged Crow Fabrication is owned by Josh Romaker. He moved to the Northwoods about three years ago. Around the same time a woman in Madison approached him to help refurbish an old camper. He decided to make it into a food truck instead.
"We took on the challenge and that first build was featured on US Today and some magazines and our phone just started ringing. We've got them in Denver, Salt Lake City, New Jersey," said Romaker.
That was just the beginning for Romaker's company, Caged Crow Fabrication in St. Germain. They now specialize in food trucks of all kinds.
"If a customer wants a food truck that looks like a barn or a steam train or a school bus conversion, we really stick to the unique food truck builds," said Romaker.
The 1982 bus that Caged Crow Fabrication is working on now will be complete in a little over a month. The team made up of just a few workers has one rule- they never build the same thing twice. And they take their time.
"We have a sign on the wall here that says 'quality over quantity'. I think our reputation right now is really based on the attention to detail and I think we want to keep that up," said Romaker.
If you're interested in checking out more work from Caged Crow Fabrication, follow the link below.
WAUSAU AREA - Organizations in the greater Wausau area set up funds remembering and honoring the victims of Wednesday's shootings.
A Marathon Savings Bank fund will support the families of the two bank employees shot. Dianne Look had worked at Marathon Savings Bank for almost 19 years, and Karen Barclay had been there for more than six years.
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