BOULDER JUNCTION - We see businesses struggle to stay open in small communities, but that's not stopping owners from opening a grocery store in Boulder Junction.
The Coontail Market will open on the corner of County M and Main Street.
People from neighboring communities were using the Coontail Corner convenience store as a grocery store, so the owners decided to expand the building.
"Instead of having the traditional convenience store items that people are accustomed to seeing a convenience store, we ended up having more groceries," says Coontail Market co-owner Steve Coon.
Fewer than 1,000 people live in Boulder Junction. But people from Land O'Lakes, Presque Isle, and other neighboring communities use the convenience store regularly. That's why the owners are confident the market will do well.
"Both the locals and the tourists alike would prefer to stay in Boulder Junction for their shopping needs. It's just something that we think we can do for the community that will fit well with what we do already and it will kind of bring a little more vitality to this corner which is already busy," Coon added.
The grocery store is expected to open in late June.
RHINELANDER - The Oneida-Vilas Transit Commission will get its long-awaited federal funding installment by October 4.
The timing means no Northwoods Transit Connections drivers will have to voluntarily furlough their pay, but the requirement of 24-hour advance notice for rides will stay in place.
Transit Commission Chair Erv Teichmiller learned the news over the weekend.
The commission is waiting on an expected payment of $300,000 from the federal government. In 2016, that money came in early September. As of last Friday, the commission wasn't expecting the payment until as late as November.
MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker has selected a former legislator to run the state Department of Natural Resources.
Walker's office announced Monday that he has chosen former Republican state Rep. Dan Meyer to serve as DNR secretary. He replaces Cathy Stepp, who resigned in August to take a position in President Donald Trump's administration.
HARSHAW - Oneida County sheriff's deputies found three runaway sisters, ages 14, 14, and 12, in the woods in Harshaw just after 1 p.m. on Monday.
The sisters had been reported missing by their parents Monday morning. The parents had gone to wake the girls up for school, but instead found a note saying they had gone on an "adventure."
The missing girls triggered a search from the Oneida County Sheriff's Office Special Response Unit, Newbold Fire Department Search and Rescue, Minocqua Fire Department, Lake Tomahawk Fire Department, and Little Rice Fire Department.
RHINELANDER - A large open lot on Rhinelander's east side could soon fill in with a chain restaurant.
Cory Moritz-Hoffmann and her husband hope to build a Pizza Ranch next to Kwik Trip on Eisenhower Parkway. The pair of former Pine Lake firefighters got the idea about six years ago when they first went to a Pizza Ranch in Iowa.
They considered pursing a franchise then, but it was more than they could afford at the time. About two years ago, the Hoffmanns contacted an investor and saw an opportunity to turn their dream into a reality.
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