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.
WAUSAU - Wausau opened its doors to new students who traveled to study 7000 miles from home. Collaboration between multiple UW system schools, most notably UW Marathon County and UW Madison, and the Wausau School District created the Summer International Student Program for Chinese Students.
STEVENS POINT - Watching her grandsons, Ben and Marty, learn to play in harmony with a large group of strangers, Jeanne Wieland knew the outdoor concert was a proud moment.
"Nice to see them develop the confidence in their abilities," Wieland said.
Wieland drove up to Stevens Point from northwestern Illinois to join her family at the UW-Stevens Point's "American Suzuki Institute."
The week-long camp brings together more than 1,000 students and families to learn the Suzuki method.
"There are so many ways to get the kids focused on what they're doing and if they, like normal kids, get off they are able to bring them back," Wieland said of the camp's instructors. "It's not painful."
THREE LAKES - Research shows lakes with no shoreline development generally produce bigger, faster-growing fish. Lakes with heavily developed shorelines, full of homes, lawns, beaches, and docks, have the opposite effect.
Researchers at the UW-Madison Trout Lake Station in Boulder Junction want to know more about that dynamic.
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