RHINELANDER - Shovels hitting frosty dirt made for another good economic sign in Rhinelander. The local Toyota dealership will soon expand into this area next to their current business.
The new building should add at least 12 new full-time jobs. But the construction says even more about business in the Northwoods.
"Anytime you put a new facility like we're going to do here, it's going to raise the interest of, 'hmm, growth and development's occurring' and it's kind of just a core root to draw more people in. Obviously I'm not going to invest the kind of money that we're investing if I don't believe this is a great place to be," said Mike Aus, operator of the Toyota Dealership.
Bayland Builders will serve as general contractor for the new 33-thousand square foot building. The build will create 125 construction jobs.
They expect to open the new facility by November 2013.
WASHINGTON, DC - Last week, 81 World War II, Korean, and Vietnam War flew veterans to Washington, DC, free of charge to see the memorials that stand in their honor. Veterans from our area left from Wausau on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight. It can be a challenge to convince the veterans to participate. They're humble and many feel like there are plenty of other veterans who are more deserving of the opportunity. One veteran who took some convincing is Dan Writz of Abbotsford.
"I just felt I never was qualified to go," Writz said.
It took a couple of years to convince him to go on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight. Writz served stateside as a radio repairman from 1950 to 1953, during the Korean War.
"I didn't think I did do what the people did to give their lives and everything for it," he said of taking the trip.
Writz may not have seen a war zone, but he sacrificed. He put his life in danger more than once. He was required to learn parachute jumping.
"Wind caught my chute and my chute was up in the air while I'm hitting the ground so, I kind of woke up with a helicopter above me and I said, 'I'm just fine. I'm just fine,'" he recalled.
Writz was 18 years old at the time. Sixty-three years later, he says he still has a dent in the back of his head.
His unit was selected to observe a nuclear bomb explosion. He returned to the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas a few years ago. Writz says museum workers were surprised he was still living.
"When the atomic bomb went off, we were in the trenches and the wind came past us and the sand just about covered us and then the suction when it came up, it just about pulled us out of the trenches," he explained.
"He is very humble. And to me, it says a lot about being a good role model for other people the willingness to go and serve," said Writz's daughter and Honor Flight guardian Jeanne Schreiner.
She convinced her dad to go on the flight. It was a family affair. Schreiner's brother served as one of the flight's medics. Her husband and his father, also a Korean war veteran, made the trip.
"My dad served in the first World War. I had three brothers that served in the second World War. One was in Germany. One was in Italy, and one was in Japan. And then the three younger ones, we were during the Korean conflict," Writz said. "I feel like I should really be going to see the things that are there because they're not here anymore. I've only got one brother that's living yet."
He may have finally realized he deserves the recognition.
"I normally don't break down in tears," Writz said. "But I went through tears all the way through the through the airport."
PRENTICE - Almost a mile of forest and underbrush stands blackened near a Price County railroad track.A train likely sent sparks flying into the woods as it passed through the area on Tuesday afternoon. That ignited dry grass, trees, and brush near the tracks. The fire put DNR and local firefighters in action fighting the long, narrow fire."We believe it was caused by a train," said the DNR's incident commander, Joe Danowski. "It spread about three-quarters of a mile along the north side of the tracks."
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