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NEWS STORIES

Changing with the Times at WD FlooringSubmitted: 05/06/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com

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LAONA - The type of timber harvested in the Northwoods won't change much from year to year.

But a main product it can become wood flooring has undergone a big transformation.

WD Flooring in Laona is a success story with that change.

Last fall, they laid out plans to double their workforce and refurbish a new manufacturing building.

That was so they could better move out of the business of thin strip flooring to the economical and popular prefinished engineered wood flooring.

"Styles of flooring have changed dramatically in the past ten years. I think we've seen more change in this industry - which, really, for a hundred years had been stagnant and had seen little innovation - we've seen more innovation in the past five years than we did in the previous one hundred," says WD Flooring President Peter Connor.

They've hired about half of the 58 new employees they originally planned on so far, with more to come.

The changing flooring landscape - and WD Flooring's change with it - earned them honors.

They took home the Floor of the Year prize at the National Wood Flooring Association convention in Dallas.

"Winning an award like that is a tremendous affirmation of all the hard work that we put in for the last five or six years with regard to changing the products that we're doing, and going into a new course to put us in good stead over the next hundred years as we continue to grow as a company," says Connor.

The winning floor was installed at a penthouse in Minneapolis.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Price County Fair starts WednesdaySubmitted: 08/19/2014

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PHILLIPS - People come from as far away as Milwaukee and Green Bay every year for the Price County Fair.

This year's fair starts Wednesday.

The same fairgrounds area just outside of Phillips has hosted the fair for more than a century.

We caught up with organizers and helpers making some final preparations at the fair.

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Will the highway department relocate?Submitted: 08/19/2014

RHINELANDER - The highway department may need to relocate.

Kwik Trip has made a formal offer to purchase the current highway department for a new highway Kwik Trip location.

If the purchase is approved, the highway department will move facilities. The details of the proposal have yet to be released. But, the county board has discussed the proposal in numerous closed sessions.

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Sen. Ron Johnson: Submitted: 08/19/2014

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FOREST COUNTY - Forest and timber leaders in Northern Wisconsin hosted Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) in Forest County Tuesday. The group of timber experts was touring areas of the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest (CNNF).

Both of Wisconsin's senators toured forests and forest industries in the north over the last two days.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) toured wood products businesses in Laona on Monday.

Foresters and timber experts were urging, to both senators, for more harvesting in the more than one million acres of national forest that covers Northern Wisconsin. The harvest this decade has been far below what it was in the 90s.

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Brand new Spudmobile hits the road in Wisconsin Submitted: 08/19/2014

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STEVENS POINT - The Spudmobile is Wisconsin's newest addition in potato education.

The Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association unveiled the Spudmobile at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in Stevens Point last week.

"It was a big project, 4 years of planning and development. It cost a lot of money and we don't want it to sit parked. We want to get it out there and get people touring through it and seeing it on the road," said Tamas Houlihan.

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Some Rhinelander High School Students to get Chromebooks this upcoming school yearSubmitted: 08/19/2014

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RHINELANDER - Some students in the School District of Rhinelander will get Chromebooks starting this school year.

Freshman and sophomores at Rhinelander High School will get the computers to use at school and at home.

Some elementary and middle school students will also get to use them in the classroom.

Leaders think this will benefit students.

"They're not just learning about how to use the tool," says Instructional Technology Coordinator Heidi Catlin. "Digital literacy, digital citizenship, how to use it appropriately, when is it appropriate to use it, and the different resources that are out there."

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Fashion show benefits Eagle River Memorial HospitalSubmitted: 08/19/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - Organizers hope a fashion show will bring in more customers and more money to the Eagle River Memorial Hospital Gift Shop and Thrift Shop.

The Partners-Auxiliary of Ministry Eagle River Memorial Hospital hosted the All Dolled Up Luncheon and Fashion Show in Eagle River Tuesday.

Auxiliary volunteers modeled clothes and accessories from both the shops.

They enable the Auxiliary to make big donations.

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Another option? Studying weevils' ability to control invasive species in Northwoods lakesSubmitted: 08/19/2014

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BOULDER JUNCTION - The problem of invasive Eurasian Watermilfoil in Northwoods lakes never seems to stop.

Lake groups can cut it, but it often grows back.

Chemical treatments often work, but they put artificial ingredients into lakes.

What if there was another option?

We found one group that's on the hunt for one.

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