ARBOR VITAE - A fire at Pukall Lumber last Wednesday didn’t slow the company down.
No one worked Thursday and Friday, but that was because of Independence Day, not because of the fire. Now, everything but the paneling shop is up and running.
“The fire started right here at our chipping operation, we chip scrap up and blow it into our silos,” said vice president Rick Wilson. “There’s some foreign object, we think, that got into our chipper that created a spark and started the fire.”
Wilson can’t remember the last time they had a fire like this.
“We had an employee who noticed some smoke coming out of the top of the building and when we got to the fire, it was already quite large,” he said. “We did what we could with the fire extinguishers until the fire department came.”
Arbor Vitae fought the fire along with five other departments. Firewalls helped, too.
“The building is really not a total loss,” Wilson said. “This is one corner of a very large building. The firewalls did their job and we were able to limit this fire to this one section.”
Wilson guesses the damage here will probably run about half a million dollars.
“This building is only paneling and flooring operation. It’s a minor part of our business, so overall, we will rebuild it, but it won’t have a significant impact on our operation.”
Wilson says a fire in any other part of the building would have done millions of dollars’ worth of damage. He’s also grateful for a quick response.
“I want to thank all the local volunteer fire departments,” he said. “They did a great job, they responded quickly and they were very professional.”
The panel shop will take at least a few months to rebuild.
GREEN BAY - Two people convicted of mistreating cows at a Brown County dairy farm have been fined hundreds of dollars.
Lucia Martinez pleaded no contest Tuesday to two counts of mistreating animals, and Abelardo Jaimes pleaded no contest to one count. As part of a plea deal the charge was downgraded from a misdemeanor to a forfeiture.
Prosecutor David Lasee says with fines and court costs, Martinez will owe about $1,100, while Jaimes will have to pay $600 to $700.
Martinez, Jaimes and two others were charged after Mercy for Animals, an animal-rights group, secretly recorded workers beating injured cows.
Jaimes' attorney, Luca Lopes Fagundes, says workers were told they needed to make sure sick cows didn't remain down because they could die.
A message left with Martinez's attorney wasn't immediately returned.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - People from all over the Northwoods celebrated Earth Day today. Students at Lac du Flambeau school participated in a natural resources fair today.
Classes, groups and individual students submitted projects to be judged. By doing the projects they learned the importance of Earth Day.
“Polluting could harm the earth and if that harms the earth later on we won't have a better earth to do stuff on like camping, or fishing, hiking and taking walks,” says Sky Risingsun, a Lac du Flambeau student.
35 projects were judged in the science competition. Each student was given a white spruce seed to take home and plant in their own yard.
“It's a white spruce which is a native tree to this area,” says Bryan Hoover, Lac du Flambeau Energy and Air Quality Coordinator. “We've got almost 500 of them and every student is going to take one home so that they can pick a spot in their yard to plant the new tree and watch that tree grow as it matures.”
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