MERRILL - Getting a real Christmas tree to decorate your home can really bring the smells and sights of the holidays right to your living room.
Trinity Lutheran Church in Merrill sells Christmas trees and wreaths in the lot next to the Trinity Lutheran School.
Tree lot organizer Dan Frick says he has been selling trees there for a decade.
However, this year people pay for the trees by simply dropping their money off in a mailbox on site.
"It's a blessing to be able to have these trees here where people can come and get them on their own [because] it's self-served. And the trust that [the tree buying system] sets up is what means so much to me," said Frick.
Each year, Frick makes about $4,000 which he donated to Wisconsin Valley Lutheran High School in Mosinee.
Frick gets his trees from High Ground Tree Farm in Merrill.
MILWAUKEE - A Wausau-based company that makes architectural metal finishing took home a big honor Thursday night. Linetec won the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce's Manufacturer of the Year Award in the Large Company category.
The annual awards program celebrates Wisconsin companies that are well respected, serve their communities, and make Wisconsin "a better place to live, work, and play", according to a press release from the WMC.
MERRILL - Trinity Lutheran School in Merrill doesn't have room for any more kindergarten students next year.
Its class is already full, partly because some families can send their kids to Trinity for free.
For the third straight year, Trinity will participate in Wisconsin's private school choice program.
This year, the state pays tuition for about 30 of Trinity's 120 total students.
"Parents like the Christian base, obviously. That's the main reason people send [their kids] here," said School Administrator Kathy Yahr. "They're keeping them here more now because of the opportunities that we offer."
NORTHWOODS - Lakes and nature bring people from all over the country to the Northwoods during the summer. Those same attractions get some people to stay here. Home sales and home prices in the Northwoods went up in 2017.
The Wisconsin Realtors Association reports about 1,300 more homes sold last year than in 2016 in Wisconsin. A local broker saw the increase firsthand.
"The markets that are going crazy right now are premium homes. The Minocqua chain is red hot, the Eagle River chain is pretty hot the Three Lakes chain is pretty hot and there are some chains of lakes that are less hot," said Coldwell Banker broker Jim Mulleady.
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