Moving, But Staying Close: Unique Creations owners hope new downtown Rhinelander location inspires others to follow suitSubmitted: 03/20/2018
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
News Director

Moving, But Staying Close: Unique Creations owners hope new downtown Rhinelander location inspires others to follow suit
RHINELANDER - Old kitchen cabinets got a fresh coat of paint Tuesday morning in the back of an old building that Kate Bauman is bringing new life to.

"We really kind of want to make our home here," Bauman said.

Over the last few weeks, Bauman and her husband Elvis transformed 146 North Brown Street in Rhinelander from office space into a storefront for their store "Unique Creations."

"We decided to give it a whirl and it's really, really taken off in a way that we didn't expect it," Bauman said.

About two years ago, the Baumans opened the furniture painting and sign store about two blocks to the south at 51 S. Brown Street. When the couple found out that building owner wanted to sell, they started looking elsewhere and didn't need to look far.

"We're a family, we're a team, we just have to do it," Elvis Bauman said of the reason to move.

Elvis spent a month knocking down walls, installing a drop ceiling, and redoing the floors in the approximately 80-year-old building.

"I'm excited to stay in this location forever, I don't want to move again," Bauman said with a laugh.

That's a decision the Baumans don't take lightly. Kate says the $10 million Streetscape project -- which led to some stores deciding to move -- actually inspired her to adapt.

"It's a risk to stay anywhere, but I think the advantage to Brown Street is the fact of the more of the pedestrians, more of the walking traffic," Bauman said.

"Downtowns are living, breathing things, people move around," Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce Exec. Director Maggie Steffen said.

Steffen sees a 50/50 split when downtown businesses decide to move: either to a different part of town versus moving up the street. Steffen says there's been a spike in interest in moving downtown now that construction is done.

"They're even getting advice from consultants and things that are saying the same things, so there seems to be a resurgence," Steffen said.

Steffen knows Rhinelander can't keep everyone downtown, admitting there are several vacant buildings. However, the Baumans want their business model -- what's old is new again -- to be a model for other business owners considering where they want to set up shop.

"It's kind of nice seeing where we started to where we've grown to where we might go," Bauman said.

Unique Creations will open for business again on Friday. Bauman expects people eating at Brown Street 151 and Jet's Dairy Bar will help their business take off.

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS - 25 years later and the movie The Sandlot still brings a lot of smiles.

2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the classic film.

To celebrate, actors from the movie are on a mini tour around the U.S.

Scotty Smalls and Tommy Repeat Timmons joined the Wisconsin Rapid Rafters Thursday evening.

"It's hard to believe," said Shane Obedzinski, who played Tommy "Repeat" Timmons in The Sandlot. "It feels like it was yesterday. But it's awesome. We are very very grateful."

The Sandlot actors stopped in Wisconsin Rapids to throw the first pitch at the Rafters game and meet their fans.

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MERCER - Two Mercer School Board members, Karl Anderson and Christa Reinert, are facing backlash for questioning finances of the district and the behavior of some of its leaders. 

"I get [an] upset stomach thinking about the things that are going on," said Anderson.

Anderson was elected to the five-person board this spring. He ran to support fellow school board member Christa Reinert and to try to correct some of the wrongs he saw happening in the district. 

"Some of the facts that have been coming out seem to be waking people up," said Anderson.

Those facts are misuse of taxpayer money, improper raises, and intimidation techniques, which were observed during this interview when a man in a car drove by yelling profanities.

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NORTHWOODS - Local lawn care services hope the rain we saw Friday will give them more business.

We've had 41 days of hot, humid weather this summer. That's more than double than last year.

Those temperatures are taking a toll on our yards.

Owner of "Brian's Fairway Look" Brian Perschon feels right at home behind a lawn mower.

"I just love cutting grass. I love doing it. It's not really work for me," said Perschon.

Perschon noticed the once glossy, green grass is now dry and yellow
Perschon uses fertilizer on the lawns he mows to avoid having to deal with dull grass.

"If you take care of it, it'll take care of you," said Perschon.

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RHINELANDER - Rainy skies couldn't dampen the sound of music in Rhinelander Friday afternoon.

The ArtStart summer "eat to the Beat" concert series kicked off Friday with instrumentalist Chris Skinner playing the electric chapman stick. 

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Newbold Town Hall gets repairsSubmitted: 07/20/2018

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NEWBOLD - Last year, members of the Newbold Town Board discovered their building needed some repairs.

The sides of the town hall started to pull away from the building, becoming a safety hazard.

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ANTIGO - One Antigo woman needed more space to share her folk medicine knowledge.

To keep up with demand, Kelly Keyser-Millar recently moved her 'Mortar and Pestle' shop right next door from its old location in downtown Antigo.

Digestion problems are a common reason that people come into the shop.

She recommends digestive bitters to get your system moving naturally.

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SUN PRAIRIE - A contractor struck a gas line in Sun Prairie causing an explosion July 10th that killed firefighter Cory Barr.

That contractor was not registered to do business in Wisconsin, according to the Journal Sentinel.

Michigan-based VC Tech, Inc. was hired by Kansas-based Bear Communications to help install new fiber optic cable lines in Sun Prairie.

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