RHINELANDER - You may have already fired up your grill this spring with burgers and brats.
If those brats came from Trig's, consider yourself lucky.
The Smokehouse brats can only be bought at Trig's grocery locations and small retailers around northern Wisconsin.
But that could change soon.
Starting at the end of May, you can order Trig's brats and other meat products online.
"This will be very good for Trig's Smokehouse here. This facility was built for the future," said Gary Husnick, director of Trig's meat and smokehouse operations. "We have a 30,000 square foot facility, we haven't even tapped the potential of it yet. Right now, we are currently supplying our six stores, plus some small retail stores. So we have plenty of capacity to grow into the future.
By midsummer, shoppers in southern Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois might be able to find Trig's brats in some grocery stores.
Husnick says their brats stand out partly because they're leaner than other brands.
"We found that there's a lot of demand for it, not only within northern Wisconsin here, but with a lot of our customers that come up north during the tourist season," Husnick said.
Trig's will also make private-label brats and smoked meats for stores around the Midwest.
Right now, the facility puts out between 4,000 and 6,000 pounds of brats per day.
But it can handle up to ten times that.
Trig's expects to hire ten more people by the end of summer to deal with increased production.
47-year-old Karen Wessell of Star Lake died in yesterday's swimming accident in Vilas County. A boater pulled 2 people out of the water after they started drowning on Star Lake. We now know Wessell died shortly after.
Wessell went under water during a rescue attempt.
The Vilas County Sheriff says 3 women and 4 kids were along Trampers Trail. 3 boys swam across the channel and were told to come back. They got tired swimming back to shore so the women had to help. Wessell used herself to push one of the boys above the water to keep him from going under. A boater saw them, pulled them out, and started doing CPR.
WOODRUFF - Americans will eat about 7 billion hot dogs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Wednesday, millions of Americans celebrated National Hot Dog day. That was the case in the Northwoods.
Hoggie Doggies Snack Shack is a staple in Woodruff. Their All-American favorite is the Chicago Style Dog.
The owner Judy Rossi has been there for 12 years and says they go through a lot of dogs.
"Last season we went through almost 17,000 hot dogs. This year we're on track for about 18,000," says Rossi. "Statistically we go through about 8 tons of potatoes in a season, which is close to 16,000 pounds for our homemade french fries. Those are some big numbers for this little place."
EAGLE RIVER - A new type of foundation could give you a better way to build a home, and the idea for the improvement starts right here in the Northwoods.
Composite Panel Systems in Eagle River builds composite panels for home foundations. Composite means anything made of two or more materials, which includes fiberglass in this case. The company describes the EPITOME Quality Foundation Wall as a revolutionary composite building solution for residential foundations.
The company makes them off site, and then they put them together on location. Composite Panel Systems' Scott Weber says that means a shorter build time compared to concrete foundations.
MERRILL - Members of a Northwoods union chapter gathered unique inspiration for a fundraiser - The Beatles.
Merrill-area Local 6 members gathered Wednesday on the Wisconsin flowage to raise money for groups in need of assistance. The union leaders organized boat rides, raffles, barbecues, and contests. The inspiration for the fundraiser came, in part, from the 1965 Beatles single Help!
"I found out it was the anniversary of the 'Help!' release from The Beatles record, and I decided, let's help our community," said Local 6 Vice President Valerie Nelson. "Our membership is very passionate about certain organizations within our community. One being the Lincoln County Humane Society, the local food pantry, and the American Cancer Society."
CONOVER - The Chain Skimmers Water Ski Team from Conover won the state title for their division last weekend in Wisconsin Rapids. Summer water ski shows are a wonderful part of the Spirit of the North.
"I don't know how to spend the summer anywhere else," said Jessica Clark.
She is one of about 35 skiers between the ages of 12 and 31 who spend their summers on Lake Pleasant in Conover. They come from Illinois, Wisconsin, Florida and Texas.
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