RHINELANDER - Rhinelander Mayor Dick Johns remembers just about every event in the city's history over the last five decades.
For him to say something like this, Thursday had to be important.
"I've had 50 years of politics in this community, and I'll tell you, this is one of the best days I've ever had," he said Thursday.
The mayor is this happy because of a big grant from the state Department of Transportation.
The DOT gave Rhinelander $425,000 for road work.
But it's not just any construction.
The work on Highway 17 on the city's east side makes it possible for Printpack to build their new manufacturing facility.
"For them to be able to build this facility, we needed to make sure we had safe and efficient access from the state highway. Without the bypass lanes, the turn lanes, and the access road, we wouldn't have been able to achieve that. They wouldn't have been able to move forward with their project," said Wisconsin Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb.
About 130 people work at Printpack's current Rhinelander facility.
When the new plant is done, the company plans to hire 20 or 30 more workers.
"The support that Wisconsin has given us and the City of Rhinelander has given us, both financial support and infrastructure support, is an important part of the equation, also," said Dennis Love, the chairman of Printpack's board.
Printpack plans to have their new facility done in the middle of August.
Thursday's transportation grant was the fourth to Rhinelander of its kind in the 26-year history of the program.
WOODRUFF - The state will no longer use county-by-county rules to attempt to slow the spread of deadly emerald ash borer (EAB).
Next Friday, all of Wisconsin will be under an EAB quarantine. That means ash wood can now move freely around the state.
In the current system, individual counties are quarantined only if the tree pest was found there. The state restricted the movement of ash wood between infected counties and those free from EAB, trying to keep more areas "clean."
EAGLE RIVER - You typically find cotton or denim running through her sewing machine, but Chris Gaffron has been sewing a lot of plastic lately.
"It's just straight stitching, so anyone can do it," Gaffron said.
The "StitchIt" custom embroidery store owner worked on sewing old plastic feed bags from a friend's horse barn, which don't biodegrade. Gaffron and her friend talked about ways to make better use of the trash and came up with an idea to help the homeless.
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