Page 1


New showroom under construction Benson Builders expanding, relocating on Highway 45

Business incubator started in Vilas

Historical lodge becomes sports bar

Eagle River development site home to new ventures

Huge collection of neon bar signs draws customers to Lumpy’s


Page 2

Progress — 2013

Progress — 2013

Page 3

Award-winning bratwurst takes Trig’s Smokehouse to new level ___________ BY GARY RIDDERBUSCH NEWS-REVIEW EDITOR


After winning state and international awards for its bratwurst — and seeing demand for its products increase — Trig’s Smokehouse outgrew its facility in the back of a Trig’s store and moved to a new 28,000-square-foot building last summer. The state-of-the-art smokehouse is located at 1607 N. Stevens St. in Rhinelander in the former Upper Lakes Foods building and features a two-tier plan, including Trig’s Smokehouse and a warehouse facility that supplies the five Trig’s stores. Following a six-month renovation period, Trig’s Smokehouse started production in the new facility July 31, 2012. Because it is a production facility, there is no retail outlet. Smokehouse manager Jamie Cline said the move to the new facility and expanded production created eight new jobs in the Rhinelander community, with more additional jobs planned for the future. “We currently produce over 80 varieties of fresh and smoked meats, and new recipes are already being developed in the test kitchen,” said Cline. The facility features three industrial smokers and the latest in new equipment for grinding, mixing, marinating, packaging and efficient labeling. Cline said the facility allows for new packaging options, with additional sizes available in the future. “We still maintain all of our core values and practices with the same great recipes. It’s just produced in a more efficient facility,” said Cline. “We still use fresh, all-natural ingredients.” Award-winning products It’s those recipes and fresh, natural

Trig Solberg and Lee Guenther, president and CEO of T.A. Soberg Co., are joined by Trig’s Smokehouse employees and

ingredients that has garnered Trig’s Smokehouse numerous state and international awards. Cline perfected the recipes and spice blends for all of Trig’s fresh and smoked products. The awards started to arrive in 2009, when Trig’s pizza brat was chosen as champion by the Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors (WAMP). Then in 2010, Trig’s fresh brat was selected grand champion by the WAMP. “The grand champion award that we received for the Trig’s Smokehouse fresh brat in 2010 at WAMP sparked some attention and got us an invitation to the World’s Best Brat Competition that year,” said Cline.

The new Trig’s Smokehouse is located in the former Upper Lakes Foods building at 1607 Stevens St. in Rhinelander.

chamber of commerce officials during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new smokehouse. —Contributed Photos

Trig’s Smokehouse fresh brat went on to be named World’s Best Brat and Fan Favorite at the World’s Best Brat Competition in both 2010 and 2011. “Following the success we had at the World’s Best Brat Competition, we started to see demand for our products increase, including national and international inquiries about our products,” said Gary Husnick, Trig’s director of meat and seafood. It was at that point that the smokehouse outgrew its former facility in the back of the Rhinelander Trig’s store. Trig’s Smokehouse also has received other recognition. Its smoked Hungarian sausage received the grand champion award and the pizza brat received honorable mention by the WAMP in 2011. Taking brats to new level Since Trig and Tula Solberg started the family-owned company of Trig’s in 1971, the primary focus is making sure customers have fresh, high-quality, locally made products. “What began as a small operation in the back of a Trig’s grocery store has now expanded into a full-scale smokehouse,” said Cline. And with that new facility, Trig’s Smokehouse hopes to take fresh and smoked meats to a whole new level, says Cline, who is currently attending Master Meat Crafter School through University of Wisconsin-Madison. “This is renowned as the best

sausage making and smoking course in the Midwest,” said Cline. Trig’s Smokehouse currently supplies its five Trig’s stores in Eagle River, Rhinelander, Minocqua, Wausau and Stevens Points and Trig’s Village Market in Manitowish Waters. “The full-scale smokehouse allows us to position ourself for future expansion with additional refrigerated trucks and the ability to service other retailers,” said Husnick. “Meanwhile, the warehouse at the facility allows us to do large-volume buys on grocery items and pass the savings along to our customers. We also recently began production in our ice-making plant housed there.” Cline noted that Trig’s Smokehouse will continue to offer venison processing out of the new facility. To assist customers, the Trig’s Smokehouse website will be soon offering products available for shipping, local delivery or in-store pickup. Plans are to have gift baskets and variety boxes also available online. Products available from Trig’s Smokehouse include bratwurst, summer sausage, beef sticks, smoked hams, smoked chickens, beef jerky, braunschweiger, Hungarian sausage, bacon, pork links, smoked country sausage, cheddarwurst, Polish sausage, kielbasa, wieners and ring bologna. Trig’s Smokehouse products are available at all Trig’s and Trig’s Village Market locations.

Page 4

Progress — 2013

A “MUST-SEE” DESTINATION! Check out one of the largest antique bar light collections in Wisconsin!

Over 300 square feet of Hi-Def televisions Homemade Pizza, Sandwiches, Fried Chicken, All-You-Can-Eat Friday Fish Fry • Saturday Prime Rib Smoked BBQ Baby Back Ribs DAILY SPECIALS ~ OPEN DAILY AT 11 A.M.

Overlooking beautiful Catfish Lake on the Eagle River Chain

HISTORIC LOG STRUCTURE State-approved smoking room

838 Hwy. 45 South, Eagle River, Wis. • 715-479-1515 •

Progress — 2013

Page 5

Lumpy’s, historical area lodge, transformed into sports bar, grill Looking beyond the 300 square feet of high-definition television screens, visitors will find Lumpy’s Bar & Grill south of Eagle River is more like a 19th century lodge — a step back to the days of log buildings and fieldstone fireplaces. Owner Pete Baltus acquired the historic log building, which has served in its past as a general store, resort and youth camp, in the fall of 2002. “The property was turned into condos in the mid-’90s, and the bar and restaurant had a few years where it sat vacant,” said Baltus. “I bought the building from Dick and Don Eliason, did some requisite upgrades to the structure and mechanical systems, and opened it as Ruby’s in June of 2003.” Although Baltus had owned bars and restaurants on and off for the prior 30 years, the size of the Ruby’s operation contributed to its downfall. “Just because you can seat 100-plus people for dinner doesn’t mean you should,” he said. “The operation was a complete and total failure that I ceased operating in November 2005.” However, during the course of those two years, Baltus heard firsthand some of his building’s history, as area families and individuals stopped in and shared their memories. Among those was Craig Moore, whose great grandfather, F.W. McIntyre, was the property’s original developer. Old World Swedish tamarack log crafters originally constructed the building and placed it into service as the Central Store. “The store was where the small handful of people who lived on the eastern side of the Chain of Lakes would travel to by boat for their provisions,” said Baltus. “After a few years and the advent of northern Wisconsin tourism, McIntyre converted the property to the Grandview Lodge, which was operated as one of the first resorts on the Chain.” Approximately 100 years ago, the property was sold to investors from St. Louis, who transformed the property into Camp Winnepee for Boys. It was during the investors’ stewardship that the 25-foot split-stone fireplace was erected on the south end of the original lodge building, according to Baltus. “The fireplace’s mantle is constructed of one of the largest single pieces of Lannon stone successfully quarried and shipped when the fireplace was built in 1922,” he said, referring to a natural landscaping stone first discovered in the 1800s in an area of southern Wisconsin now occupied by the village of Lannon. Today, Lumpy’s Sports Bar houses a

Lumpy’s Sports Bar & Grill, well known for its collection of vintage beer signs, Green Bay Packers memorabilia and abun-

must-see collection of antique neonlighted beer signs, lighting the establishment and giving it the nostalgic touch that makes it a unique North Woods destination. When Lumpy’s opened in January 2009, Baltus’ goal was to keep the establishment open for the requisite 120 days to keep a liquor license in the town of Lincoln. To his surprise, however, the patrons were pouring in. “I had moved my collection of Hamm’s signs and other ‘breweriana’ to the place to help cover all of the wall space, and I was amazed at the number of people who really get into that stuff,” he said. One thing led to another, and now the bar and restaurant is decked out with more than 200 antique beer signs and neons. Adding 300 square feet of high-definition televisions was the next step for Lumpy’s, which was quickly morphing into a beloved sports bar and grill during its first year of operation. Baltus said the restaurant primarily attracts fans of Wisconsin sports teams. “We’re packed to the gills for most Sunday Packers games, Badgers games

dance of high-definition televisions, provides a great atmosphere during the football season. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTOS

and any other sporting event involving a Wisconsin team or native,” he said. “We do have a smattering of Bears fans, but for the most part, they find the Packers atmosphere a little overwhelming.” With the addition of a new entrance and smoking room in 2011, Lumpy’s had room to incorporate display cases for the Baltus family’s extensive collection of Packers memorabilia. The cases feature autographs from every Packers player in the Professional Football Hall of Fame along with numerous other one-of-a-kind items collected over the past 50 years. There are even some unique Chicago Bears items displayed to appease football fans from south of the border. Along with sports fans from all over the Midwest, the establishment’s clientele ranges from families with young children to octogenarians. “The smoking ban that went into effect in July of 2010 brought out the large family groups that previously wouldn’t consider a bar-type atmosphere as a place to frequent,” said Baltus. “It’s also to our benefit that we can

seat large groups of 25 to 50-plus people with a little advance notice.” As a result of the 2010 smoking ban, Lumpy’s added on its separate state-approved smoking room, which also features a pool table. If the atmosphere itself isn’t enough to bring patrons to Lumpy’s Sports Bar, visitors can come by car or by snowmobile to enjoy a full menu of grilled items. “Our signature sandwich would have to be The Beefeater,” said Baltus. “It’s made of thinly sliced prime rib stacked on a hoagie roll and topped with melted cheese. Our smoked barbecue baby back ribs are also popular, but are only offered on Saturdays and Sundays.” Between the unparalleled ambience and the fan-favorite foods, Lumpy’s Sports Bar has proven itself a mainstay in the North Woods tavern scene. “The success we’ve enjoyed here can be attributed in great deal to our everevolving management and staff, combined with our desire to differentiate ourselves from our competition by creating a unique destination up North,” said Baltus.

Page 6

Progress — 2013

Marshfield Clinic radiation oncologist leads prostrate cancer research project ___________ BY AMBER WELDON MARSHFIELD CLINIC NORTHERN DIVISION PUBLIC RELATIONS


Prostate cancer is the most common nonskin cancer and the second-most common cause of cancer death for men. About 230,000 men are diagnosed each year and about 30,000 die of the disease. Marshfield Clinic Minocqua Center radiation oncologist, Baruch Kahana, is currently leading a study through the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation to determine which treatment option has produced the best outcomes for prostate cancer patients. “At Marshfield Clinic, we have been treating prostate cancer for a very long time, using the latest in techniques and technology to provide the best results we can for our patients,” said Kahana. “Our years of experience with these potentially curative treatment modalities have provided us with a great wealth of data to analyze regarding how effective these treatments were for those patients.” Currently, there are three main methods for treating prostate cancer —


or a combination of one or more of the three methods. There is surgery, external beam radiation and/or prostate seed implants (brachytherapy). The new research study is investigating the outcomes that the clinic system has achieved over time with patients

who have undergone these treatments. External beam radiation, which requires nine weeks of radiation given five days a week, utilizes a high-energy linear accelerator to direct the beam precisely to the targeted treatment area. In radiation therapy, the goal is to kill all the cancer cells while preserving adjacent tissue. Brachytherapy involves the implantation of “seeds,” which are tiny capsules of radioactive material the size of a grain of rice, into the prostate using needles guided by ultrasound imaging. The seeds, which are permanent, become totally inactive after about a year. The prostate seed implants target radiation to the prostate, avoiding radiation exposure to healthy cells. The third treatment, surgery, involves the surgical removal of cancerous tumors and surrounding tissue. “The goal of this research is to closely examine the methods that were used and determine what has worked best, producing the best outcomes for our patients,” said Kahana. “We can then compare our data to other cancer treatment centers nationwide to see if our methods were more effective, or less effective,

than theirs and, if our results were different, find out why. Sharing our data and learning from other organizations benefits our patients.” Kahana said the study from past Marshfield Clinic patients will help future prostate cancer patients. “The bottom line for everyone involved in treating cancer is that we all want to be sure that we are doing the very best we can for every patient with cancer,” said Kahana. “We want to assure our patients that we have taken everything we have learned over time, have educated ourselves with all we can learn from other organizations, and bring the very best treatment options to each patient, every time.” The study is funded through philanthropic gifts to Marshfield Clinic in support of cancer research. To learn more about how to support cancer research at Marshfield Clinic, visit or call the Development Department at 1-(800) 858-5220. To find out more about radiation therapy or other cancer treatment options available in the Minocqua area, call Marshfield Clinic at 1-(800) 3470673.

Progress — 2013

Page 7

Parsons renovates dealership Customers to see Chevy, Buick lineup changes in 2013 Parsons of Eagle River customers have witnessed many changes at the Chevrolet and Buick dealership the past year, including the renovation of the automotive center. For those who drive past the Highway 70 West dealership, the most noticeable exterior change was the new Chevrolet Blue Arch on the front of the building. “All Chevrolet dealerships will eventually display this architectural design, but Parsons of Eagle River is proud to be one of the first to undergo this renovation in northern Wisconsin,” said Parsons of Eagle River general manager Bill Weber. But there also were many changes inside the facility, according to Weber. The renovation included all new furniture for the comfort of Parsons’ customers, a big-screen television in the customers lounge, a new coffee bar/café area for guests and free Wi-Fi was added for the convenience of those having a vehicle serviced. Other conveniences customers will notice inside the building were measures taken to reduce noise and changes in the service department entrance to make it easier to access the Parsons’ service advisors. “We would like to thank our customers for their patience during this remodel and would like to invite everyone in to take a look at the all-new Parsons of Eagle River,” said Weber. Parsons of Eagle River is planning a grand re-opening this spring to show off the revamped facility and new automotive lineup with a gala event. New automotive lineup While the dealership took on a new look, customers also witnessed some

changes to the Chevrolet and Buick lineup. The 2013 Chevy Malibu, 2013 Chevy Spark and 2012 Buick Verano were introduced to customers and received positive reviews, according to new-car manager Brandee Nieckula. “These stylish and sporty, yet very affordable vehicles, have impressed many,” said Nieckula. These won’t be the only changes to Chevy and Buick vehicles this year. During 2013, GM will introduce the redesigned Buick Enclave and Chevy Traverse (currently available). Also coming in the spring of 2013 will be the 2013 Buick Encore. “This vehicle is brand new in the Buick lineup and will offer customers who are looking for a smaller crossover vehicle an option with the Buick quality,” said Nieckula. “It comes with a standard four-year, 50,000-mile bumper-tobumper warranty, is available in allwheel or front-wheel drive, offering 33 mpg on the highway on the front-wheel drive, and a low price tag.” Parsons’ customers also can see the completely redesigned 2014 Chevy Impala. “With many of the same head-turning style features and technology as the new Malibu and Camaro, the new 2014 Chevy Impala will be a definite crowd pleaser,” said Nieckula. The Impala uses an enhanced version of the premium global platform used by Cadillac XTS and offers a 3.6L V6, the new 2.5L, or a 2.4L engine with e-Assist power. “Impala also has introduced many firsts to keep you safe before, during and after an accident,” said Nieckula. Safety features include forward collision alert, lane departure warning, side blind-zone alert, rear cross-traffic alert,

Parsons of Eagle River renovated its dealership in 2012, offering sales personnel a state-of-the-art facility to display the Chevrolet and Buick lineup.

Customers visiting Parsons of Eagle River will find a renovated automotive center featuring a new lounge with coffee bar. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTOS

rear-vision camera, rear park assist and 10 standard air bags. Another new vehicle launch for Parsons in 2013 will be the arrival this summer of the redesigned 2014 Chevy Silverado. The exterior of the Silverado now has a more modern and aggressive look along with improved aerodynamics reducing wind noise, according to Nieckula. GM has added an available 6-foot, 6-inch pickup bed to the 1500 crew cab for more versatility along with a corner-step rear bumper, ez-lift and lowered tailgate, and available upper tie-down hooks on all Silverados. “Although the exterior of the Silverado will share some small similarities with the previous year, the interior is completely different,” said Nieckula. Some of those new features include an upright instrument panel with larger knobs and buttons for a modern look, a higher-mounted integrated brake controller and an optional Chevy MyLink Infotainment System with high resolution color touch screen. “ says the new 2014 Chevy Silverado promises to be ‘even stronger, smarter and more capable’ than ever before,” said Nieckula. Community involvement Parsons of Eagle River and its employees take pride in their community involvement, and that commitment showed in 2012. Together with their customers, Parsons raised money for many different organizations and participated in many local events, including Relay For Life, Angel On My Shoulders, Salvation Army Toy Drive, Take Pride and Ride, Pond Hockey, Falcons hockey team, Eagle River Derby Track, St.

Germain Radar Run, Cranberry Fest, Journey’s Marathon, Lions Club and various snowmobile clubs. Parsons also showed their community support for the local school district with donations with various school sports sponsorships, the School to Work program, and the driver’s education program vehicle. In October, Parsons and The Beauty Resort teamed up to garner support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Parsons collected donations for the American Cancer Society by selling tickets for one individual to win a full-day spa treatment package donated by The Beauty Resort. Parsons of Eagle River also shows its support through the Welcome Wagon to individuals and families new to the community and welcomes babies through the Bundles of Joy program. “Of course, Parsons plans to continue this same community support and involvement in 2013,” said Weber, who noted Parsons has been involved in North Woods communities for nearly 20 years. Since 1994, the Parsons and Weber families have owned and operated the dealership. “We believe in treating customers with respect and fairness and share that vision with our employees,” said Weber. “Whether you are being helped by our sales, service, parts or collision departments, you can expect a ‘no pressure,’ ‘always there for you’ attitude and a pleasant atmosphere. It’s because of our service, sales, parts and collision customers that Parsons is where we are today,” said Weber. Parsons of Eagle River is located at 5353 Highway 70 West. The telephone number is (715) 479-4461

Page 8

Progress — 2013

Getting It Together For You Since 1887

Quality — Price — Service Homes - Garages - Additions - Decks - Docks - Storage Sheds Lumber • Plywood • Roofing • Paint • Insulation Windows • Treated Lumber • Concrete Blocks Vanities • Doors • Molding • Siding • Gutters Plumbing • Hardware • Kitchen Cabinets FIND WHAT YOU NEED AT

FREE ESTIMATES Visa, MasterCard & Discover are considered cash.

Hwy. 45 N., Eagle River 715-479-6408 Lamperts reserves the right to limit quantities and change prices.

Mon. thru Fri. 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m. - noon; closed Sun.

Progress — 2013

Page 9

Rennes Health and Rehab Center prepares to open in Rhinelander ___________ BY GARY RIDDERBUSCH NEWS-REVIEW EDITOR


The new Rennes Health and Rehab Center of Rhinelander — dedicated to providing a full range of rehabilitative therapies that bridge the gap between a hospital stay and the return to home — will open March 1. Located at 1970 Navajo St. in Rhinelander, the facility will serve clients across northeastern and north central Wisconsin. Licensed as a skilled nursing facility, the Rhinelander center’s focus will be to meet the needs of individuals recovering from an illness or injury. The new state-of-the-art facility will offer 24-hour nursing services as well as first-rate physical, occupational and speech therapies. “Our goal is to provide innovative care and personalized attention needed to ensure the best possible recovery,” said Kelsy Bontz, administrator of the new Rhinelander facility. “While we do offer long-term care, our focus is on the short-term services and continuing outpatient services.” Bontz was born and raised in Rhinelander and has been with the Rennes Group since 2011 as an administrator. She is a licensed nursing home administrator and has extensive experience in working with seniors in a variety of settings. “Growing up in Rhinelander and having such a passion for the healthcare industry, I am proud to be a part of a great organization that is driven by compassion and will offer options to better serve the Rhinelander and surrounding areas,” said Bontz. Bontz, who is currently the administrator at Lillian Kerr Healthcare Center by Rennes, has been actively coordinating the relocation of all resi-

The new Rennes Health and Rehab Center of Rhinelander is designed to meet the needs of individuals recovering from ill-

dents at Lillian Kerr who are transferring to the new facility in Rhinelander. Rennes Health and Rehab of Rhinelander will have approximately 120 professional, dedicated staff members to provide quality care. The new facility will have 72 beds, all Medicare/Medicaid certified, consisting of both private and deluxe suites. All rooms are spacious and have

The new Rennes Health and Rehab Center in Rhinelander will open March 1, offering 72 beds for short-term and long-term care.

ness or injury. Amenities include fireplace lounges and even an in-house beauty shop. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTOS

private bathrooms with large walk-in showers, private phones, flat-screen TVs with cable, and wireless Internet throughout the facility. “A wide array of convenient amenities are available for our residents on site so that they have privacy, feel at home and can welcome family and friends to a visit in a beautiful environment,” said Bontz. Other amenities include dining options, selected menus, fireplace lounges, private family areas, transportation, activities, outings, whirlpool spa room, beauty shop, religious services and more. “Most important is the quality of care and the nursing and rehab specialties offered at Rennes,” said Bontz. The rehab services are offered as long as a patient needs them, following a plan of care and rehab ordered by a physician. The emphasis at Rennes is on a short-term rehab program with the expertise of professional and innovative amenities. “We are unique in that we implement the most advanced equipment, an in-house therapy team, private

rooms and settings,” said Bontz. “As the population ages and is living longer, there is a need to provide these types of settings so that patients can recover and resume their quality of life.” Nursing and rehab specialties include 24-hour nursing; wound care; IV therapy;dedicated rehab wing, inhouse therapy staff; occupational, physical, speech and Vital-Stim therapies; one-to-one resident-to-therapist treatment; outpatient rehab; state-ofthe-art rehab equipment; comprehensive discharge planning; and free transportation at admission. For those who require a long-term stay and cannot return home, Rennes also provides the same amenities and services. Rennes accepts a variety of payor sources, including Medicare, a variety of Medicare replacement policies, private insurance, Medicaid, and private pay. An open house at the new Rennes Health and Rehab Center of Rhinelander is being planned for June 2013.

Page 10

Progress — 2013

Renovations Complete!

Soon: GM Certified Pre-owned Coming 2013

S Rigorous 172-point inspection S 12-month/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty S 5-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty S Owner Care Program: 2-year/30,000-mile maintenance plan Download our Free Mobile App to: – – – –

Search our inventory Schedule service Check out our collision center Request a price quote – GM-Certified technicians – Free shuttle service – Detailing Department

5353 Hwy. 70 West, Eagle River, WI 54521

Buick Encore 2014 Chevy Impala 2014 Chevy Silverado


of Eagle River “Striving to do what’s best for you!”

Phone (877) 671-3841

Progress — 2013

Page 11

Peter Christensen Dental Clinic opens new state-of-the-art facility The new state-of-the-art Peter Christensen Dental Clinic in Lac du Flambeau opened in mid-February. The new 36,000-square-foot facility will replace the current 2,000-square foot dental clinic in the William Wildcat Tribal Center. Tribal members approved a referendum in 2011 to borrow $4.7 million to pay almost half of the $9 million to construct the few facility on Old Abe Road in Lac du Flambeau. Health director Dr. Paco Fralick

said he is excited about the move to the new facility because dental professionals will be able to provide more and much-needed services to the community. “It will have very, very high-tech equipment and of course we will have much more space,” said Fralick. The clinic will expand from its current 10 dental chairs to 20 chairs, and Fralick said more services will be available as the clinic develops over time.

The 36,000-square-foot Peter Christensen Dental Clinic features 20 state-of-the-art exam rooms and six dental chairs for classroom training.

“There will be a lot more room for consultation spaces, more room for staffing in general and more room for high-tech equipment,” said Fralick. “We’ll have the capacity to more than double our patient visits.” Nicolet College also will be making use of space in the new clinic for students enrolled in the school’s recently developed dental care offerings. Students from the Marquette Dental School also will be training at the new clinic. Fralick said the new space allows for six additional dental chairs for classroom training. “I think it’s a good partnership just to promote developing the workforce locally,” said Fralick. “Having a school environment adds energy. It’s a whole new feeling, more than just the clinic setting.” The new clinic features a tree-lined pathway to the main entrance and there are tribal accents in interior design. “I think this is a very beautiful clinic. It shows the cultural side of the community, but is still modern and high-tech,” said Fralick. “I thank the tribal council for their support and faith and allowing a project like this to become a reality.” Services provided at Peter Christensen Dental Clinic include teeth cleaning, plaque removal, x-rays, exams, fillings, teeth whitening, caps, crowns, dentures, implants, root canals and more. Fralick said the goal is to expand the services at the clinic, reducing the need for patients to travel elsewhere for dental procedures. He said the immediate plan is to add oral surgery and

periodontal services. “Down the road, hopefully, there will be other specialties we can add,” said Fralick. “When you’re under one roof, there’s more collaboration and better treatment because you’re sitting at one table looking at the information together.” Fralick said the need is growing for dental care in the North Woods and he expects another 30 positions will be added to the clinic’s current 54-member staff once the clinic is fully operational. “We want to be able to meet the needs for dental care in the area and we want to be able to train students from our area for jobs in the dental field,” sid Fralick. The new clinic also will feature a dental lab, allowing staff to make dentures and crowns, services that were previously sent out to other facilities. The clinic provides treatment for all patients, tribal nontribal, and new patients are welcome, noted Fralick. “We will care for tribal and nontribal patients, including those with Medicaid or BadgerCare,” he said. Fralick said the new dental clinic is an exciting and needed development for Lac du Flambeau as well as the entire North Woods. “The patients are there, the need is there,” he said. “It is just a matter of creating the infrastructure.” The Peter Christensen Dental Clinic is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. People can phone (715) 588-4269 or (855) 588-7232 for an appointment. They also can visit for more information.

A massive, covered outdoor entry welcomes patients to the Peter Christensen Dental Clinic in Lac du Flambeau.

Page 12

Progress — 2013

14 Oil Changes $


for 72 mos. on select models!

Our friendly staff is ready to help!


*5-qt. maximum

Check out the newest dealership in the Northwoods 3620 N. Hwy. 47 715-420-1555 V Full-service auto/truck repair V Huge indoor showroom Vall ey Ct

South Pine Lake

Boom La

Thunder Lake


Bass Lake NS tev

s St en

River St


ber Dr E Tim



8 Green Bass Lake

Emma Lake

Lincoln St

47 17 Julia Lake


Chrysler Dodge Ram Jeep

Progress — 2013

Page 13

CornerStone completes 22nd year Innovative builder adjusts to current trends CornerStone Custom Builders Inc., has recently completed its 22nd year building and supplying custom-built homes varying in style, size and function to fulfill their customers’ visions throughout the North Woods. “We always have prided ourselves by being an innovative business able to adjust to the current trends and desires of our clients,” said Glenn Schiffmann, president of CornerStone. This year, CornerStone has developed a Cottage Series of homes that offer a turnkey price at the low cost of $150,000. Included in this series are seven unique floor plans. These homes include an 8-foot poured basement, 2- by 6-inch exterior wall construction, vinyl siding and Pella® Encompass vinyl windows. Also included in this package are allowances for private utilities, a 6-inch drilled well up to 50 feet deep and a standard two-bedroom septic system. The buyer will have the flexibility to select all of the interior colors and finishes with options to upgrade, including the additions of a fireplace, garage and covered porch or deck — the possibilities and choices are endless. CornerStone has prepared a booklet with these home designs and the building specifications. These booklets are available at any of the three CornerStone locations in Eagle River, Minocqua and Rhinelander. The Cottage Series can be used as a tool as people plan their deep woods cabin retreat or lakefront cottage Eco-friendly homes CornerStone continues its commitment to build more socially responsible and eco-friendly homes, according to Schiffmann. “Based off of our standard building specifications, we have created a new set of green-built specifications that allow our homeowners a healthier, more comfortable and energy-efficient home that will last a lifetime,” said Schiffmann. There are many options available to the homeowner when making the commitment to build green. This could mean incorporating such products as Water Sense plumbing fixtures, EnergyStarTM appliances and lighting fixtures, the installation of a professionally designed heating and cooling system, or could be as simple as selecting locally grown and regionally manufactured materials native to northern Wisconsin, such as oak or maple hardwood flooring. The cost of home ownership at the end of the day will be less for those homeowners willing to practice sound, efficient operations. The U.S. Depart-

CornerStone Custom Builders Inc. has introduced the Cottage Series of homes that offer a turnkey price of $150,000. Corner-

ment of Energy data shows that for every dollar invested in energy efficiency, the homeowner will see a return of $4 in the next seven years. CornerStone’s new model home, which was constructed at their Minocqua model office location, showcases the many options available in green alternatives. The GreenStone model has been certified by the National Association of Home Builders, the Wisconsin Energy Star Home Program and the Focus on Energy New Homes Program. “A quick tour of the GreenStone model home will show you how easy it is, at little or no additional cost, to build green and become a good steward in the conservation of our natural resources,” said Eric Klein, project manager in the Minocqua office. Show team on go The CornerStone show team has a busy schedule this winter season. The team had their exhibit at the Lake Home and Cabin show a few weeks ago in Madison. In February, the CornerStone team will again be attending the Lake Home and Cabin Show in downtown Milwaukee in the Delta Center Feb. 15-17, as well as in the Schaumburg Convention Center in Illinois Feb. 22-24. People can save themselves

Stone has designed a variety of floor plans and many upgrade options for the customer. —Contributed Photo

a trip up north and meet with the staff at the show. They will be able to answer questions and assist customers with their individual plans close to their home. “The past few years, we have used this as a great way to get out and meet with our prospective clients,” said Jeremy Oberlander, a project manager in Eagle River. To assure individual attention, people are welcome to call ahead, (715) 479-0001, and make an appointment to speak with a project manager during the show to discuss any building plans. Backbone of CornerStone The backbone of CornerStone’s business is the building of single-family homes. “We are uniquely equipped to build the home that matches your lifestyle. Our homes are custom built with unlimited options available,” said Steve Schmutzer, a project manager in Minocqua. To assist customers in their design decisions, guests are invited to tour one of CornerStone’s eight model homes to spark ideas and generate questions as they start their home building journey. “Our model homes are a great tool to use when sitting down in the planning

stages. The ability to see a vaulted ceiling, the size of potential room or kitchen layout is invaluable,” said Bruce Stefonek, project manager of the Rhinelander office. CornerStone’s originality allows customers to build from their own home plans or sit down with their talented designer and bring a sketch to reality. “Several of the homes we built are a mixture of several home plans or a combination of our model home floor plans. We have many options to get you started,” said Darren Rubo, project manager of the Eagle River offices. The welcome mat is always out for potential customers visit to any of CornerStone’s eight unique model homes. Every location is staffed with a project manager who will be responsible for the construction process from start to finish. The models are available for viewing in Eagle River at the intersection of highways 45, 17, 70 and 32, in Minocqua three miles south of the bridge on Highway 51 and in Rhinelander at the intersection of highways 47 and K. To speak to a project manager, call ahead to make an appointment at Eagle River, (715) 479-0001; Rhinelander, (715) 362-7888; or Minocqua, (715) 356-0001.

Page 14

Progress — 2013


Professional Landscape & Irrigation Design & Installation • Property Management • Spring/Fall Cleanup • Boat Lift Install/Removal • Dock Install/Removal • Snowplowing • Irrigation Startup/Shutdown • Holiday Lighting Installation

1144 Hwy. 45 South Eagle River, WI 54521 715.479.6762 1/4 Mile South of Eagle River • Look for the Waterfall

Progress — 2013

Page 15

The new Rhinelander Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealership, located at the intersection of Highway 47 and County Highway K opened in May of 2012, offering new

and used auto sales and a parts and service department. The dealership has an inventory of cars and trucks. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTOS

Customer satisfaction is priority at Rhinelander Chrysler dealership ___________ BY GARY RIDDERBUSCH NEWS-REVIEW EDITOR


Whether a person is ready to experience that “new car smell” or is shopping for a pre-owned certified automobile, people can find both at the new Rhinelander Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealership in Rhinelander. General manager Mark Klewer was recruited to open the new dealership last May on Rhinelander’s west side at the intersection of Highway 47 and County K, the site of a former auto dealership. Klewer, who came to Rhinelander after managing an auto dealership in Eau Claire for the last several years, has 21 years’ experience in the auto sales business. “I never built a dealership from the ground up like this before,” said Klewer, noting he used local contractors for all work, including plumbing, electric To CHRYSLER, Pg. 16

The new Rhinelander Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealership features an indoor showroom, allowing visitors to view the

new line of cars and trucks. A team of 20 employees is ready to assist customers at the new dealership.

Page 16

Progress — 2013

Chrysler FROM PAGE 15 and heating, ventilation and cooling. “We’re all really excited to see it all come together.” The dealership opened May 14, 2012, offering new and used auto sales, a parts and service department, accessories and financing. The facility currently has 20 employees. “Staffed with experienced sales representatives and top-trained technicians, we’re here to provide a fun, easy and valuable automotive shopping and service experience,” said Klewer. “We pride ourselves in achieving 100% customer sales satisfaction. We don’t use high-pressure tactics to sell a vehicle.” Klewer said the dealership always maintains competitive new and preowned inventories of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicles. “Stop in and browse our new and pre-owned inventories,” said Klewer. “If you can’t find your dream vehicle, we’ll begin the search for you.” Klewer said the inventory of preowned cars, trucks, minivans and sport utility vehicles is constantly being updated. “The sales staff is here to answer your questions related to inventory, financing and more,” said Klewer.

Parts and service With a comprehensive inventory of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram parts and accessories in stock, dealership technicians are prepared to answer customers’ parts inquiries. “We have a very large parts and accessory inventory,” said Klewer. “Should we not carry a part that you request, we can most likely order that component and receive it within a timely manner.” In addition, Klewer said the team of highly-qualified service technicians is focused on providing exceptional service in a timely manner. The service department, which includes a Level 4 certified technician, is under the direction of service manager Deb Schultz. “Whether changing your oil or replacing your brakes, we always maintain the highest standards for delivering the best service possible, every time,” he said. “We are in the top percentile for service satisfaction. Stop in and meet Deb; she always has a smile and is ready to help the customer.” He said the service department always has specials and promotions. Currently, the service center is offering a $14.95 oil change, with no appointment required. Klewer said he wants people to be comfortable bringing their vehicle to the dealership for service. “We want people to enjoy coming here, having a cup of coffee and trusting that we’re giving them the best service we can,” said Klewer. “I love customers

Rhinelander Chrysler has a team of highly qualified service technicians and a fully stocked parts department. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTO

to come in and hang out and see that we have a fun staff, professional but still enthusiastic and here to help them.” The showroom and service center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through


Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. Rhinelander Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ramp is located about one mile north of Highway 8 at 3620 Highway 47 North. The dealership can be called at (877) 466-1626.



WE’RE STILL HERE! JUST A NEW NAME… “We can do that” “We fully support Kozar Technologies”

Same location — stop by today!





M.A. and Dave Ogren — original owners of Ogren Electronics

F Whole Home Audio & Video F Home & Business Security Systems F Hi-Definition TV, LCD, LED, Plasma, and Web Cameras 3D TV, Satellite TV F Home Automation F Digital TV Antenna Design & Installation F Security Monitoring



619 E. Wall St., Eagle River

Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sat. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Progress — 2013

Page 17

Addys, Emmys add up for Discover Mediaworks The stars were out and shining brightly at the 2012 Regional Emmy Award ceremony in Chicago in November. And one of the big winners was Discover Mediaworks, an Eagle Riverbased production and marketing communications company. Owned and operated by longtime Vilas County residents Lisa and Mark Rose, the company produces long-running TV programs Discover Wisconsin and Into The Outdoors as well as marketing and advertising communications for a wide variety of businesses and associations. “This past year was especially sweet for us as we received national recognition for not only our television shows, but the work we’ve done for our marketing clients as well,” said Mark Rose. “To get this kind of attention really means we’re doing something right.” While winning Emmys is something Discover Mediaworks has done for years, this past year’s regional Addy win for the company’s work on The Roman Candle Pizzeria website is something the Roses are delighted about. “Our marketing communications division is relatively new to our over 25year-old company, and to receive this kind of high-level industry recognition, especially in the hyper-competitive interactive world, tells us we’re definitely on the right track,” said Rose. “The Addys are the Oscars of advertising. For us to score there is thrilling.” The television show Discover Wisconsin was born in St. Germain by Dick Rose, who passed away in 1994. Today, the Discover Mediaworks headquarters is in Eagle River under the watchful eyes of Mark Rose and his wife and business partner, Lisa Rose. Discover Wisconsin has received a total of 11 Emmy nominations for se-

The Discover Wisconsin team celebrated its Emmy and Addy wins for the production company’s work during 2012. The Dis-

ries and individual categories, but the Rose family was finally able to take home an Emmy for its popular tourism show promoting the Badger State. “What makes it pretty cool is that Discover Wisconsin and Into the Outdoors both won Emmys,” said Mark Rose, a lifelong area native. “They are family-friendly TV shows. Even with the endless choices of today’s cable television, parents are challenged to find family programming that actually

cover Mediaworks team includes 35 employees, eight of which have roots in the North Woods. —Contributed Photos

enriches their and their children's lives. Discover Wisconsin and Into the Outdoors do just that.” Rose said the Discover Mediaworks team includes 35 employees, eight of which have roots in the North Woods. The production offices are located in Madison. “These are definitely team Emmys,” said Rose. “Every single worker is a winner of an Emmy award.” Lisa Rose said the Discover Mediaworks crew was excited that Discover Wisconsin won its first Emmy. The show promotes destinations across the state, including shows that have featured North Woods communities such as Eagle River, St. Germain, Three Lakes, Land O’ Lakes and Phelps. “These destination communities are great partners,” said Lisa Rose. “It makes us proud that these communities believe in our show.” The Discover Wisconsin show is shown in eight states, including Wis-

consin, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, North Dakota and South Dakota. Taking viewers across the state each week, the show “discovers” the places and events that make Wisconsin such an intriguing state to explore. “We show people where they can go and what to do for family fun,” said Emmy Fink, host of the program. “It’s about discovering interesting places while making family connections. And winning this year’s Emmy from the National Academy of Arts and Sciences recognizes the quality of production that we put into each show. It's winwin when you get to make programming that makes people’s lives richer, and then get honored for it.” Discover Mediaworks maintains offices in Eagle River and Madison, and serves a wide variety of local, regional and national clients. For a complete look at the company and the work it creates, visit

Fast facts: Discover

Discover Mediaworks team members Michael Pilsner and Wayne Koenig display the Regional Addy award for The Roman Candle Pizzeria website.

• Offices in Eagle River and Madison • 35 employees • Producers of Discover Wisconsin and Into The Outdoors television shows • Marketing communications capabilities include: — Branding and strategic mar-


keting — Traditional advertising (TV, radio, print, outdoor) — Direct-to-consumer engagement — Graphic design — New media/interactive solutions — Media planning/buying

Page 18

Progress — 2013

Experience the


The Finest Resort on Eagle River’s World-Famous Chain of 28 Lakes Vacation Year-Round!

DISCOVER THE DISTINCTION of a Wild Eagle Lodge Condominium. Nestled on the forested edge of the world’s largest inland chain of lakes, a rustic retreat looks out over the water. A lodge created to embrace nature: aromatic pine air, sparkling clear water and brilliant night skies. A traditional, personal lodge, gracious and fire lit, with views to take your breath away. This is Wild Eagle

1, 2 and 3 Bedroom Lakefront Lodge Homes • Large Living Room • Fireplace • Full Kitchen • Two Full Baths • Deck or Patio • Dockage Space • Private Sand Beach • Indoor Pool • Hot Tub • Sauna • Brand-new Fishing Boats • Brand-new Pontoon Boats • Campfire Pits • Open Year-Round • Blue Heron Supper Club & Lounge (on site)

To contact a reservation specialist, call or email: Toll-Free 1-877-945-3965 4443 Chain O’ Lakes Road Eagle River, WI 54521

Progress — 2013

Page 19

Wild Eagle Lodge on Chain offers all the amenities for family vacation Located in the heart of the North Woods, Wild Eagle Lodge is nestled on 20 acres at the forested edge of the famous Eagle River Chain of 28 Lakes — billed as the world’s largest chain of lakes John Bradley, who works for JP Morgan Chase in London, invested in the Wild Eagle Lodge in early 2012, and talked his father, Curt, retired from the telecommunications business in Europe, to join him as manager. Assisting the Bradleys are four assistant resort managers: Lydia Ivey, front desk; Chris Harmann, engineering and maintenance; Deb Karpinski, special events and weddings; and Tammy Madl, sales and marketing. The assistant resort managers provide support and experience to the Bradleys in running the 76-unit condominium resort. Wild Eagle Lodge, built in 2004 and 2005, is located on a peninsula separating Duck and Lynx lakes, but only being three miles from the heart of Eagle River. Since the Bradleys’ involvement in 2012, numerous changes have taken place at the resort. The whole facility has been resided and painted. Eight new boats were acquired, including six 500 Series South Bay luxury pontoon boats that hold 13 people. “These pontoon boats are very easy to use, are in immaculate condition and are available daily by a quick call to the front desk office,” Curt Bradley. “They are perfect for a wonderful full-day excursion on the Chain. Two brand new fishing boats with all the bells and whistles also have been acquired for the avid fishermen.” All lodge homes are currently being upgraded with painting, new carpeting in many and new furniture, including mattresses. “Other changes are being made to place the lodge homes in wonderful, likenew condition,” said Bradley. “We want to make you feel that you are in a luxurious setting while ‘roughing it’ in the North Woods. The upgrades have been necessary to meet the resort’s goals of ‘exceeding guest’s expectations.’ ” The one-, two- or three-bedroom lodge homes feature a complete kitchen, gas fireplace in the living area, two fullsize bathrooms, high-speed Internet, satellite television that include DVD players and a patio or balcony overlooking the lakes. “You can’t find better access to the Eagle River Chain in the summer, or an easier way to jump on the snowmobile trail right from our resort during the winter season,” said Bradley.

The one-, two- and three-bedroom lodge homes at Wild Eagle Lodge on the Eagle River Chain of Lakes feature complete

Geared to the family Wild Eagle Lodge provides everything necessary for family vacations, according to Bradley. “Our resort amenities include tennis and basketball courts, a sand volleyball court, a playground area, plus a wonderful inside swimming pool that is for year-round use which includes a children’s wading pool, large whirlpool for up to 13 people, and sauna, plus a workout room and massage room,” he said. Paved walkways connect guests easily to more than 1,900 feet of shoreline. Along the walkways, guests will find numerous fire pits with rustic furniture, barbecues and picnic tables. “The campfire pits are a great place for some family fun and ghost stories right on the lakeshore,” said Bradley. Wild Eagle Lodge also offers family activities and specially designed children’s programs, according to Bradley. “Camp Run-A-Muk is a wonderful and special place for children in the summer,” he said. “The children don’t want it to be over when lunch time comes. We’ve partnered with the Northwoods Children’s Museum to bring children an exceptional program that will put smiles on their faces all summer long.” There also are family programs that include: “Are You Smarter than a FifthGrader?” Make Your Own Ice Cream,

kitchens, offering the vacationing family an option when it comes to meal time. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTO

The Amazing Race, S’mores Campfire, Plasma Car Races, Family Twister, Theatre in the Wild, scrapbook making, Squirt-A-Shirt, beach volleyball and bingo. There also are fishing lessons from “Musky Matt,” with other family programs being added constantly. Restaurant, events featured The resort attracted Chicago natives Dave and Patti Black, renown for their Nero’s restaurant, to create a new restaurant in the former Boondocker’s Lounge building on-site. “After an extensive remodeling, we now have one of the new and best restaurants in the North Woods, the Blue Heron Supper Club,” said Bradley. “The Blue Heron Supper Club and Lounge is getting rave reviews for its wonderful meals and superior and friendly service, not to mention the warm and comfortable setting. “We can’t forget Patti and her grand piano, which really takes the restaurant to the top position up North,” continued Bradley. “It has been a wonderful addition to the Wild Eagle Lodge, while still being able to cater to informal family meals for snowmobilers and summer families. We welcome everyone to try the Blue Heron Supper Club and Lounge.” There are numerous special activities and events at Wild Eagle Lodge throughout the year. In February, Con-

gressman Sean Duffy had a special event at Wild Eagle and last fall the Wisconsin Department of Tourism held its annual meeting at the lodge. Wild Eagle Lodge hosts community events such as the Eagle River Classic Transportation Show May 25-26, Fishing Has No Boundaries June 1-2 and the Spring Classic Muskie Tournament June 8-9. The lodge already has more than 20 weddings booked for 2013. “Deb Karpinski, an assistant resort manager who manages special events and weddings, treats each bride as if she were her own daughter getting married. Deb will exceed each bride’s expectations,” said Bradley. “We are able to create a beautiful shoreline ceremony location for a breathtaking wedding memory. And don’t forget that we also have a wonderful meeting setting and are willing to work with groups to ensure their meeting or event comes off perfectly.” Wild Eagle Lodge is open to the public. The indoor swimming pool is open to the public for $5 per person per day. The lodge also has an ice skating rink available to the public on the Duck lake frontage, with a warming house, campfire pit and benches. Wild Eagle Lodge is located at 4443 Chain O’ Lakes Road in Eagle River. For more information, phone (715) 479-3151 or go to

Page 20

Progress — 2013

Manufacturing, welding programs at Nicolet College experience growth ___________ BY TERRY RUTLIN COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST NICOLET COLLEGE


Thanks in large part to $1.2 million state and federal grants, Nicolet College in Rhinelander has ramped up its manufacturing training program. Nicolet College’s manufacturing program had a strong start and has expanded recently with state approval for the college to offer the new twoyear industrial mechanic technician associate degree. “This is fantastic news for students interested in getting advanced levels of training in the manufacturing field and for area employers needing the skills these graduates will have to offer,” said Brigitte Parsons, dean of trade and industry at Nicolet. Nicolet started its manufacturing training program in the fall of 2010 with a short-term, six-credit certificate with the goal of continually adding higher levels of training. The two-year, 65-credit associate degree was recently approved by the Wisconsin Technical College System Board. “The beauty of it is area residents will be able to get this advanced level of training right here in the North Woods,” she said. Classes for the new industrial mechanic technician associate degree started in January. Also new in January was a sequence of welding classes that will allow students to earn the welding technician diploma in eight months. In this accelerated format, students will take classes through the summer and graduate in August. In the past, this diploma took a year to complete. Students interested in the welding program can next enroll in classes that start summer semester. The next round of manufacturing classes start fall semester. Financial aid and grants that pay tuition are available. In the past year alone, more than 100 students have taken manufacturing and related welding classes at Nicolet. This number is expected to continue growing as the manufacturing program expands physically with the grant money. So far, the funds allowed the college to purchase state-of-the-art manufacturing training simulators that students use to learn the exact skills they’ll need in the workplace. “All of our instruction is very hands-

Nicolet College in Rhinelander continues to work closely with North Woods manufacturers to make sure the skills taught in the

on,” Parsons explained. “We’ve worked very closely with area manufacturers to develop curriculum that teaches students how to install, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair a wide variety of manufacturing equipment.”

college’s labs and classrooms are an exact match to those needed in the workplace. —Contributed Photo

Average starting wages in manufacturing in this area range from $14 to $24 an hour, depending on the level of training, and typically increase steadily with on-the-job experience, she added.

For more information on Nicolet’s manufacturing and welding programs, visit or call the college’s Welcome Center at (715) 3654493, 1-800-544-3039, ext. 4493; TDD (715) 365-4448.

Progress — 2013

Page 21

Kwaterski Bros. Wood Products Inc. upgrades showroom, adds prefinishing ___________ BY GARY RIDDERBUSCH NEWS-REVIEW EDITOR


Upholding their commitment to manufacturing high-quality wood products and providing customer service that is second to none, Kwaterski Bros. Wood Products Inc. continues to improve its facility on Highway 45 south of Eagle River. The most recent improvements include a showroom upgrade in December 2012 and the implementation of a prefinish division in 2011. The latest automation comes in the form of a high-tech machine that prefinishes the wood products the way the contractor and customer want it. It could be a custom color stain, a catalyzed clear topcoat or the European-based Sikkens and Rubio Monocoat brands of wood treatment. Company founders Mike and Jim Kwaterski, who started the wood manufacturing company as a two-man operation in Three Lakes 34 years ago, said the continued technological upgrades allow them to stay competitive in the new world of “mass customization.” “We went from the years of mass production when the market allowed us to stockpile inventory, to a time when many customers want something unique,” said Mike Kwaterski, president and the one who oversees production and purchasing. He said the high-tech equipment they have in place today allows them to adjust more quickly to customized orders, which are now the mainstay of their business. “We basically have a larger reserve of raw material than finished product, because we can change the setup and start running the next order in short time,” said Mike Kwaterski. Customization at Kwaterski Bros. also is aided by a high-tech chop saw that removes defects from boards with the mark of a special crayon, while tracking the exact board feet of quality, finished material that is produced. The computerized optimizing saw fits perfectly into a manufacturing process that turns raw boards into tongue-andgroove flooring and paneling, and puts boards through a new computer-controlled six-drum sander before the final inspector marks them for the optimizer saw. The boards are then ran through an automated end matcher and strapper prior to storage in a climate-controlled area or onto a waiting truck for delivery. “The trend of today is that people want something different,” said Mike Kwaterski. “It might be a different bevel

Kwaterski Bros. Wood Products Inc., located between Eagle River and Three Lakes on Highway 45, uses the latest in high-

on the paneling or saw marks on log siding, but the market demand is for customized products.” Showroom upgrade From a homeowner’s viewpoint, the biggest change in 2012 was the upgrade of the 3,500-square-foot showroom constructed of the tongue-and-groove paneling that brought the firm to where it is today. The showroom features a rotating carousel display which allows customers to mix and match woods by turning a cylinder that stretches from floor to ceiling. The showroom upgrade includes new displays for flooring, paneling, siding and deck material. “This one-of-a-kind showroom is as large as our previous facility — the entire plant,” said Jim Kwaterski. “It gives our customers a much better view of the finished product in a naturally lighted setting. Wood selection is much more spontaneous, because homeowners don’t have to use their imaginations as much.” The showroom also has a log siding display. The Kwaterskis offer many choices in log siding and a variety of corner cuts — from dovetail and saddlenotch to the butt and pass. The company produces wood prod-

tech equipment to produce high-quality tongue-and-groove flooring and paneling. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTO

ucts of such a superior quality that the demand for their lumber continues to rise each year, with orders coming from 350 building contractors in the Midwest and private customers in almost every state. The firm manufactures four groups of products: tongue-and-groove planking for walls and ceilings, hardwood flooring, cedar and ipé “designer” decking, and cedar and Alaskan pine siding. Company growth What started as a two-man operation, Kwaterski Bros. now employs 13 full-time and one part-time workers. It was 19 years ago that the team moved into the 20,000-square-foot manufacturing plant just four miles south of Eagle River. Since that time, they have consistently implemented new, high-tech machinery to improve efficiency and quality of product. A decade ago, the Kwaterskis replaced the central part of their production equipment with a new, high-speed seven-head wood moulder. The moulder, according to Mike Kwaterski, “increased efficiency and quality, and reduced waste and setup times. By upgrading equipment, the time frame in

the manufacturing pipeline has been reduced considerably.” Since 2001, they have utilized a double-end end matcher, which machines both ends of a piece of flooring in one pass. “The old end matcher was a singleend machine, and a bottleneck in production,” said Jim Kwaterski. “This new double-end machine has boosted production fourfold.” At the out-feed end of the machine, the flooring is then packaged by an automatic strapping machine. With an in-floor radiant heating system for increased humidity control and ample inside storage, the Kwaterskis say their business slogan remains the same: “The Place Known for Quality.” Mike Kwaterski said quality control ranges from the use of a seven-head wood moulder, double-sided sanding unit and double-end end matcher to the hand selection of boards. As the purchaser of raw materials from across the globe, he said they keep tight controls on the sawmills that produce the raw lumber for their products. The added space of their current facility was needed to eliminate costly inTo KWATERSKI, Pg. 22

Page 22

Progress — 2013

Kwaterski FROM PAGE 21 efficiencies, the brothers said, such as wet and frozen lumber, snowplowing in winter and “the ultimate waste of having to move product in order to get at a certain bundle, way in the back.” “With 9,000 square feet of indoor storage, our paneling and flooring comes out of an environment that resembles a home, in heat and humidity,” he said. “That in turn improves dimensional stability.” All about quality Mike and Jim Kwaterski attribute much of their success in business to their employees. “We have a great nucleus of dedicated, focused and ambitious people working here,” said the brothers. “Our salescustomer service team is well anchored in product knowledge and experienced. The production team is endowed with years of experience in wood manufacturing with a keen eye for detail. Our people really care about what they do.” Jim Kwaterski, who takes care of the financial management and advertising, said they are constantly searching for new ideas and new products, along with ways to enhance overall quality. “Today, many people entertain a sense of uniqueness, of individuality in

their homes,” he said. “They want something different. For instance, when a customer comes in looking for wood flooring, it’s not just a floor they’re looking for — it’s a reflection of who they are!” To satisfy that appeal, the company has expanded their wood flooring selection, which includes their classic and Artisan collections, and new offerings such as timeworn maple, skip-sawn hickory, burnished white oak and exotic woods like African padauk and lyptus which also qualifies for “green” building material. Other recent product introductions include 3-by-10 tongue-and-groove Scan-log siding in cedar and Alaskan pine. There are also new series of “Old World” mouldings and ipé hardwood decking. Custom-made fireplace mantels are another growing segment of the company. Mantels made of aromatic cedar, walnut, cherry and butternut are replacing the typical pine mantel. One mantel may have hand-hewn corners, and another will have special face contouring or a certain stain color. “Our main philosophy is that when it leaves the door, we won’t worry about it coming back,” said Jim Kwaterski. The need to produce wood products that are free of defects came from the brothers’ experience in building construction, a trade well known to their father, Gene, for whom both worked during high school and for a short time afterward.


9-Unit Goss Community Web Offset

Kwaterski Bros. Wood Products Inc. has incorporated a prefinishing machine at its facility to assist contractors and customers. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTO

“When a builder has to stop working to remove a defect from a piece of lumber, whether it’s a loose knot or irregular dimensions, they are losing money,” Jim Kwaterski said. “We defect all of our wood at the time of manufacturing to

make it virtually 100% usable.” “In today’s manufacturing-marketing economy, you have got to be nimble,” he said. “If a particular item is not selling, remove it and replace it with something even better.”

ichigan Publishers Inc. Continuing a tradition of excellence in the printing of community newspapers for the following co-owners ❖ Vilas County News-Review ❖ Iron County Reporter

❖ L’Anse Sentinel ❖ Tomahawk Leader

Our Professional Staff Plant Manager Jim Perket • Peggy Ebert • Lynette Schnabel • Chuck Olsen Central Printing Plant 340 West Division St., P.O. Box 576, Eagle River, WI 54521 Phone 715-479-6533

❖ 39 YEARS



Progress — 2013

Page 23

Design/Build by Visner continues as leader in design, construction The North Woods of Wisconsin has always been a draw for Jeff Visner and his family — so much that he moved his business here 15 years ago. After 18 years of Design/Build by Visner being a leader in design and construction in the Lake Geneva area, the firm moved to Eagle River in 1998. Visner and his superior staff at Design/Build by Visner continue their excellence in construction, as well as maintain creativity and imagination in their designs. “We have remained very busy despite the present state of the economy,” said Visner. “Our ability to provide solutions in design, packaging and approach has enabled us to assist many.” Design/Build by Visner projects include a wide range of residential work as well as many commercial and community-based projects. “Our projects include both design and construction,” said Visner. “Design has been our trademark and can be seen by visiting our company website at” Visner says that all projects, to be successful, require thought and imagination in a way that bring out both function and beauty while achieving the desires of the owner. “Our involvement with CAD, our computer-aided drafting software, goes back 30 years,” said Visner. “We became involved with Apple computers and a leading architectural software company at that time. The CAD does not do the ‘design,’ but it is a very beneficial tool that allows for easy adjustments, efficiency and professional work.” Design/Build by Visner is also recognized for its quality craftsmanship. “Our staff of skilled craftsmen work in unison together and follow the design criteria to see that each detail is precise and with purpose,” said Visner. “They take care in every step in the process.” Design/Build by Visner has created some of the most stunning projects in the North Woods in log work, mountain architecture, timber frame, contemporary and traditional. During the past 33 years, Design/Build by Visner has received many recognitions from design awards to acknowledgment of business and operations success. The most recent award was received in January of 2012. “Professional Builder,” a prominent national trade organization, selected one of Visner’s homes as one of the top five homes in the country. All classifications and sizes of homes were combined to the

Design/Build by Visner, located in Eagle River, is recognized for its quality craftsmanship. The staff of skilled craftsmen can cre-

top five. “We were honored to have been one of the top five for that year,” said Visner. “The criteria used to evaluate and judge included design, function, character, attention to detail and quality of craftsmanship.” A graduate of Central Michigan University, Visner earned degrees in teaching and industrial technology. A big part of his collegiate career included playing on the Division 1 football team at Central Michigan. Visner said he was fortunate to have had this college football experience and was recognized by his peers when he was named first-team all conference. Visner continues to support, coach and mentor area football enthusiasts. For more information on Design/Build by Visner, stop in the office at 509 East Wall St. in Eagle River, call (715) 479-2110 or visit the company website

ate a variety of stunning looks, including log, timber frame, contemporary or traditional. —Contributed Photos

The Design/Build by Visner team, using computer-aided drafting software, will work with the homeowner to design the interior of the home.

Page 24

Progress — 2013

Ministry Medical Group expands hours in Eagle River ___________

Dunn, M.D.; Elmer Linboom, M.D.; Maria Gonzalez-Cerra, M.D.; Cathleen Zerbe, NP; and Mary Kahl, NP. Rotating providers include James Frimpong, M.D.; Kent Jason Lowry, M.D.; Brian Schultz, D.O.; Gary Chizever, M.D.; Shishir Sheth, M.D.; Heidi Grosskopf, Au.D.; Indravadan Kansariwala, M.D.; Rebecca Fix, NP; Marshfield Clinic cardiologist Michael McGill; and Laura Sherrill, M.D., from Urology Specialists of Wisconsin. To schedule an appointment with MMG in Eagle River, call (715) 4773000.



Ministry Medical Group (MMG) has announced expanded hours to accommodate patients at its Eagle River clinic, located at 930 E. Wall St. Effective Feb. 5, MMG in Eagle River now offers extended hours Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 to 11 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. “We understand how tough it is to take time away from one’s commitments to visit a family provider, so with the extended hours, our providers will be available when it’s more convenient for our patients,” said Kelli Klessig, MMG clinic operations supervisor. “The extended hours showcase our commitment to the community and to Ministry’s Patient Centered Medical Home model.” The clinic has family practice physicians and nurse practitioners who provide comprehensive, compassionate health care for area individuals and families. MMG in Eagle River offers a full range of services, including pediatrics, adult and geriatric care. Medical specialties offered at MMG

Ministry Medical Group, which offers a full range of health-care services, has expanded the hours at its Eagle River Clinic. —Contributed Photo

in Eagle River include orthopedics, cardiology, audiology, otolaryngology, urology, obstetrics/gynecology, behavioral health, women’s health and general surgery. Same-day appointments are available. Today, people want more from health care. They want the best high-tech treatments available, but they also want the personal attention and care of yesteryear, and at the same time, they want a way to reduce health-care costs. What’s the answer? Ministry’s approach to personalized care, said Klessig.

This model helps patients achieve that level of care. But what does personalized care actually mean? It is modeled after the health-care delivery model, Patient Centered Medical Home. But it’s not a physical home. Rather, it is a relationship developed with a primary care provider and his or her staff at one of Ministry’s outpatient facilities. “It is a place where people know you, know your needs and preferences, and know the best way to care for you,” said Klessig. Providers at MMG in Eagle River include Michael Byrne, M.D.; James

About Ministry Ministry Health Care is an integrated Catholic health-care delivery system serving more than 1.1 million people across Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota. Ministry operations generate nearly $2.2 billion in annual operating revenue with 15 hospitals, 46 clinics and nearly 12,000 employees, including 650 physicians and advanced-practice clinicians. Ministry Health Care is sponsored by the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother, which founded hospitals in the United States more than 120 years ago. According to Truven Health Analytics (formerly the health-care business of Thomson Reuters), Ministry is ranked among the top 20% of health-care systems in the country.

Progress — 2013

Page 25

Northwoods Furniture Gallery grows with flagship store and popular outlet Northwoods Furniture Gallery of Eagle River will celebrate its six-year anniversary in April. Allen and Karen Jung purchased an existing furniture store in April of 2007 and their business has continued to grow. “We’re constantly changing things up. Just when we think that we can catch our breath a little, one of us comes up with a great idea and we start into another improvement project,” said Allen Jung. “Customers often comment about how the store looks different every time that they visit. They like to stop in and see what’s new.” The Gallery store is the Jung’s flagship store, with quality merchandise offered at competitive pricing. Last spring, the Gallery qualified to become a La-Z-Boy Comfort Studio. More than 3,000 square feet of the store is dedicated to La-Z-Boy furniture. The store also is a Smith Bros. of Berne Upholstery Gallery, offering hundreds of fabric options. New to the store are the ultra-comfortable Fjord Norwegian chairs. “The Gallery specializes in unique furnishings. Many of our items are crafted by smaller family-owned workshops,” said Karen Jung. “That means that we can offer our customers something truly special. They can choose their wood species, finish colors, hardware and more. Custom sizes are an option on much of our furniture.” In 2011, the Jungs wanted more showroom space for the Gallery store and relocated their warehouse to Highway 70 West in Eagle River. The next step was to open Northwoods Furniture Outlet Store. Originally open only on weekends, it quickly became a sevendays-a-week operation. They recently purchased that location and said they look forward to revamping the buildings. “Our business has improved every year since we started and we are very grateful for that. We recognize this wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our great staff at both locations. Everyone pitches in to help,” said Allen Jung. “Our sales staff are not paid commission, but are very self-motivated to assist customers in finding the perfect furnishings for their home. We also have an on-staff interior designer who is fantastic at space planning and color coordination.” The Jungs said they wouldn’t have reached their sixth year in business without their customers. “And another huge part of our success is our customers. We thank them for their continued patronage and referrals. So many customers have truly become friends,” added Karen Jung. The Jungs said their to-do list contin-

Northwoods Furniture Gallery of Eagle River continues to make improvements since relocating to Highway 70 West in 2011,

ues to grow. Recently, they contracted with a website developer sponsored through the Vilas County News-Review. The new website should be ready to go live soon. “We are very excited about this new venture. We’re already seeing big improvements while working on the site’s redesign,” said Karen Jung. “We know that a business needs to have a presence on the Web — it’s the way many shoppers do their beginning research.” The Jungs said they are looking forward to meeting more North Woods residents and visitors in their stores. “Again, we would like to thank all of our staff and customers for supporting our business. We are so fortunate to live in this beautiful area,” said Karen Jung. “It’s really a pleasure for us to help our customers furnish their homes and know that they are enjoying life in the North Woods.” Northwoods Furniture Gallery is located at 630 Highway 45 S. and the Northwoods Furniture Outlet Store is located at 1171 Twilite Lane off of Highway 70 W. Phone the Gallery at (715) 477-2573 and the Outlet Store at (715) 479-3971.

which provided more space for the showroom. The business will soon enter its sixth season. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTOS

The Gallery, the Jungs’ flagship store, specializes in unique furnishings crafted by smaller family owned workshops. Custom sizes are an option for many pieces.

Page 26

Progress — 2013

Looking for a Great Dentist? Check out our “Excellent Team” of Providers!

Premier dentistry right here in the Northwoods! • Family & Cosmetic Dentistry • New Patients Welcome • Most Insurances Accepted • Accepting Medicaid & BadgerCare • Convenient Hours for Busy Patients • Emergency Patients Welcome


• 8 Professional Dentists on Staff

Come see what everyone is smiling about at…

Peter Christensen Dental Campus 128 Old Abe Rd., Lac du Flambeau, WI 54538 Toll free (855) 588-PCDC or (715) 588-4269 7232

Monday-Saturday 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Progress — 2013

Page 27

Page 28

Progress — 2013

Page 29

Page 28

Progress — 2013

Page 29

Page 30

Progress — 2013


ACE IS THE PLACE When you need quality products and friendly, professional service. NTS & STAINS I A P



Depend on the people at Nelson’s for all your needs. • Hallmark Cards • Lawn & Garden Supplies • Hand & Power Tools • Carhartt Clothing • Vast Battery Selection • Plumbing & Electrical Supplies & Fixtures • Automotive Supplies • Keys Duplicated • Cleaning Supplies


Open 7 days a week to serve you


606 E. Wall, Eagle River 715-479-4496

Progress — 2013

Page 31

New coverage areas, steady growth are the hallmarks of SonicNet Inc. Internet provider offers unlimited data New coverage areas, continuous growth and unlimited data are the hallmarks of the past year for one local fixed-wireless Internet service provider. SonicNet Inc. has been helping provide the North Woods with high-speed Internet since 2007. Founded by Lori and Jeff Collins of Phelps, SonicNet initially served the Vilas County areas of Phelps, Land O’ Lakes and Eagle River. The company acquired Stealth Net LLC of Iron River, Mich., in late 2010 and began a proactive strategy to bring high-speed Internet to the underserved residents of northern Wisconsin. Stealth Net founder and owner Adam Holroyd assumed the role of vice president of network operations for SonicNet and manages the technical side of the business. Holroyd oversees the technical support and network management while working in concert with SonicNet President Lori Collins, negotiating new tower and coverage area expansions for the company, now in its sixth year. “This is more than a business venture for us,” said Collins. “The economic well-being and continued success of our communities are tied to high-speed Internet access. We’re continually working toward extending coverage to as many geographic markets as possible.” In the FCC’s “Broadband Adoption and Use in America” report, it was noted that “Fifty percent of rural residents have broadband, a rate that reflects in part the older and less wealthy rural population, but also the lack of available infrastructure. One in 10 rural nonadopters say they cannot get broadband where they live. That is more than twice the average. Rural Americans with broadband, meanwhile, are as active as their urban and suburban counterparts in using the Internet for shopping and taking classes online, suggesting that they use broadband as a way to virtually access the benefits associated with urban or suburban living.” In 2012, SonicNet increased coverage in a number of local communities, including the St. Germain, Cloverland and Lake Buckatabon (Conover) areas. Much of this growth has been possible because of collaborations with town and county government, as well as zoning boards. In June 2011, the revised Wireless

The SonicNet Inc. staff includes, front row from left, co-owners Lori Collins and Adam Holroyd; and back, tower manager Dan

Communications Ordinance was issued allowing companies and individual landowners to erect smaller remote towers under 100 feet in height without a zoning variance. Towns, such as Minocqua and St. Germain, have worked with SonicNet to provide land and towers in order to reach their residents. “These local partnerships have been vital to our ability to increase our coverage areas,” reported Holroyd. “Lori and I also work closely with Grow North and the Vilas and Oneida county economic development corporations, which are striving to assist in the improvement of broadband Internet service for the North Woods.” In 2012, SonicNet made one change to its policies that truly make it stand out from the competition, according to Collins. The company removed the dreaded “data limits” imposed by most

Holroyd and lead installer Jim Egan. SonicNet has been providing Internet service since 2007. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTO

Internet providers. The company also has introduced a new product that brings the Internet to resorts, campgrounds, hotels and other large business property owners — wireless networks that provide WiFi access over an entire property. “Being local makes a huge difference in our decision making at SonicNet,” said Collins. “We don’t just hear from our clients when they call. We see them grocery shopping, having lunch or just out at local events. We get to hear what they want face-to-face. Re-

moving the data limits was a direct response to what we hear from our friends and neighbors.” Monthly subscription fees have remained steady since the company’s inception in 2007. With a number of packages to choose from, including resort, business, seasonal and individual annual packages, the company’s website, offers a selection tool that guides clients to the package that best suits their needs. SonicNet can be reached at 1-(888) 631-9666 or

out into cyberspa g n i r u t ce? Check us out ven on the World Wide Web!

Page 32

Progress — 2013

Marshfield Clinic fares well in Consumer Reports ratings ___________ BY AMBER WELDON MARSHFIELD CLINIC NORTHERN DIVISION PUBLIC RELATIONS


In a special edition of its magazine, Consumer Reports publishes ratings of 19 Wisconsin medical groups which, when combined, serve nearly half the state’s patients. The ratings are the result of a collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ), with which the medical groups have voluntarily shared their performance data. Two groups — Marshfield Clinic and ThedaCare Physicians — earned the highest rating on all but one individual measure. The Marshfield Clinic system includes the Eagle River Center. The ratings include one overall score and seven measures based on data that the groups themselves collect on how well they provide essential care, such as screening for certain cancers and vaccinating against pneumonia, and how well they treat people who have heart disease. “We are so pleased with the results of this independent rating of health-care quality,” said Laura M. Nelson, M.D., MBA, chief medical officer of Marshfield Clinic. “The credit belongs to our physicians and staff who have worked very

hard at a number of initiatives to measure and improve quality of care.” Chief among these were the results of the Physician Group Practice Demonstration Project which showed that Marshfield Clinic was able to improve quality outcomes, and at the same time, decrease health-care costs to Medicare. Marshfield Clinic finished at the top in screening for breast cancer, colorectal cancer, osteoporosis and adult pneumococcal vaccination. The clinic also finished at the top for low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol testing and control in patients with vascular disease. Consumer Reports is producing a special version of its magazine for distribution to subscribers and newsstands in Wisconsin. It will have a different cover, highlighting the story “How Does Your Doctor Compare?” and will feature a 20-page insert with the ratings of medical groups. The ratings of these groups also will be available online. Chris Queram, president and CEO of WCHQ, said the success of the medical groups demonstrates the value of measuring their quality and reporting it publicly.



Haircuts & Styling • Highlights & Color Customized Facials • Makeup Application Brow Shaping & Waxing Manicures • Pedicures

Marshfield Clinic finished at the top of the ratings for screening breast cancer, colorectal cancer, osteoporosis and pneumococcal vaccination. —Contributed Photo

“We know from independent research that clinics engaged in public reporting perform better than those that do not,” Queram said. The ratings are published with the WCHQ, a voluntary consortium of Wisconsin health systems, medical groups, hospitals and health plans, which has publicly reported on health-care quality in Wisconsin since 2003.

An lon

Concept Sa-

Marshfield Clinic Eagle River Center joined the Marshfield Clinic system in 1998 and is staffed by a family practitioner and health-care specialists from Marshfield Clinic Minocqua Center in Minocqua. For more information, contact Marshfield Clinic Eagle River Center at (715) 479-0400. The clinic is located at 500 Commerce Loop.

123 N. Railroad Eagle River, Wis. 715-477-1234

Progress — 2013

Page 33

Kozar Technologies in Eagle River strives to put customers’ needs first ___________ BY GARY RIDDERBUSCH NEWS-REVIEW EDITOR


Kozar Technologies, owned by Scott Lacko, recently formed and is now operating out of the former Ogren Electronics building at 619 East Wall Street in downtown Eagle River. Lacko was a technician at Ogren Electronics with 13 years of service and has more than 25 years of total experience in the electronics field. “The decision to form my own company came out of a concern for my customers who had come to rely on me and my co-workers at Ogren’s,” said Lacko. Lacko expressed that Kozar Technologies has a goal to always care about the customers’ needs first. “We understand that people who call the North Woods home (or second home), have varying needs, and the Kozar team will strive to meet whatever is best for our customers,” said Lacko. Kozar Technologies works with homeowners, architects, builders and electricians to provide the latest hightech systems for residential and commercial customers. The company provides products and services that include networking, home theater, electronic design services, lighting, window shade automation, climate control, gates, access control and camera systems along with electronic security. Security system monitoring can be performed using existing equipment or a new installation. “Security systems allow monitoring to protect you, your family and your property from fire, burglary, home invasion and heating malfunctions whether you are in the next room or miles away from home,” said Lacko. “If you have questions regarding your current security system or wish to talk to someone to find out how our systems can work for you, give us a call.” Additional products and services include television, satellite (DirecTV dealer), traditional TV antennas and telephone systems. About the staff Lacko is a long-time resident of Eagle River, who along with his wife, Kelly, moved to Eagle River in 1992. It was a return home for Kelly, who was raised in Eagle River. Scott and Kelly have two sons who attend Northland Pines High School and the entire family is active in the Eagle River community. Lacko is a member of the Eagle River Lions Club, being a past presi-

Scott Lacko, left, purchased the former Ogren Electronics building and is now operating Kozar Technologies. Guiding Lacko in

dent and officer. He also is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, where he first learned electronics. Lacko has numerous manufacturers’ certifications and is committed to ongoing education and training for himself and his team. “I’m thrilled that three of my coworkers at Ogren Electronics have chosen to join Kozar Technologies and carry on the tradition that originated during our years together at Ogren’s,” said Lacko. Dave and M.A. Ogren, former owners of Ogren Electronics, are supportive of Lacko and his team, and have been offering much advice and guidance. Lackos said he has been encouraged by the process of starting his new business. He added that the support from his co-workers, customers, the North Woods community and the Ogrens “has been amazing and humbling.” Lacko is joined at Kozar Technologies by Mike Hencke, B.J. Slizewski and Bruce Oberlander, all former em-

the business are M.A. Ogren, center, and Dave Ogren, former owners of Ogren Electronics. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTO

ployees of Ogren Electronics. Hencke is the new senior technician at Kozar Technologies. He is a U.S. Army veteran and a long-time area resident bringing more than 20 years of experience to Kozar, including 14 years at Ogren’s. “Mike is known for having very loyal customers and his service to them is second to none,” said Lacko. “He has numerous industry certifications and will continue to attend training courses.” Slizewski, general manager at Kozar Technologies, is an Eagle River native and a graduate of the Northeast Technical College. He brings 12 years of experience from the former Ogren Electronics. “B.J. is often the glue that keeps everything together,” said Lacko. “He coordinates purchases, scheduling and invoicing in addition to numerous other duties. His addition to Kozar Technologies is invaluable, bringing a wealth of knowledge in different tech-

nology products and services.” Oberlander, a Kozar technician, is a long-time Eagle River resident, a veteran of the U.S. Navy and has 10-plus years of experience with Ogren Electronics. “Bruce is able to help with numerous service-related tasks in homes and business, including TV and DVD hookups, satellite TV installation, remote control programming, private cable TV system sales, service and installation along with traditional TV antennas.” Lacko said all Kozar Technicians pride themselves on being able to tackle projects no matter how large or small, and stick by their motto of “We Can Do That.” Kozar Technologies, located across from Nelson’s Ace Hardware and Walkabout Paddle & Apparel in downtown Eagle River, is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Customers can reach Kozar at (715) 479-1110.

Page 34

Progress — 2013

Vilas economic corporation opens first business incubator in county The Vilas County Economic Development Corp. (VCEDC) opened is first business incubator in the county in August 2012 in what was formerly the Cranberry Products building. Board member Barry McLeane was instrumental in transforming the building, located at 413 Hwy. 70 W. in Eagle River, into a usable space for the incubator. The business incubator provides a low-cost solution for working space for start-up and expanding businesses and currently has two tenant businesses. Corporation Executive Director Ken Stubbe and McLeane staff the incubator and provide assistance and counseling to start-up businesses located in the facility. The business incubator provides wireless access to high-speed Internet and is equipped with state-of-the-art video conferencing capability in a shared conference room space available to all business incubator tenants. The VCEDC is currently working on opening a second incubator in western Vilas County in Manitowish Waters. Stubbe said the VCEDC continues to make significant progress in its goal to create a diverse and sustainable business environment in Vilas County through retaining and helping existing businesses expand, while creating new jobs through business start-ups and nurturing entrepreneurs. Formed in 2010 out of the Vilas County Board’s Economic Development Committee, the VCEDC is set up as a 501(c)3 public-private partnership with an all-volunteer board chaired by G. Steven Burrill, a globally recognized ex-

Vilas County Economic Development Corp. members, county officials and business leaders gathered last August to open the

pert in the biotechnology field, chairman and CEO of San Francisco-based Burrill & Co. and part-time Eagle River resident. The corporation is staffed full time by Stubbe, who is a certified economic development professional. Burrill cited the opening of the business incubator as a major success in 2012, but also pointed to helping bring

The Vilas County Business Incubator is supported by the Vilas County Economic Development Corp. and CornerStone Custom Builders Inc.

Vilas County Business Incubator at 413 Highway 70 West in Eagle River. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTOS

capital investment to a local business that will allow it to expand and create jobs in Vilas County. In addition, the VCEDC continues to make progress in bringing wider access to broadband by partnering with the Lac du Flambeau tribe to fund feasibility study on providing high-speed Internet access to the majority of the county. “Limited access to the Internet continues to be the No. 1 hindrance of robust economic growth in the North Woods,” said Burrill. In September, the VCEDC hosted a forum on the importance of tourism in Vilas County. Dubbed “Destination Vilas County,” the forum brought together thought-leaders in business and the tourism industry with the goal of exploring how best to increase tourism marketing dollars and enhance regional collaboration to increase visitors to the North Woods and Vilas County in particular. Wisconsin Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett provided the keynote address at the “Destination Vilas County” forum. “The key to continuing the success of a brand, and a consumer’s engagement with a brand, is to provide a strong relationship with significance,” said Klett. “And when it comes to travel, Wisconsin continues to deliver on the No. 1 motiva-

tor — fun.” Klett added that “Vilas County is the gold standard for delivering the fun vacationers desire.” Stubbe told those gathered at the forum there might be a big tourism-related project on the horizon in Eagle River. “We are working with an individual who is considering investing in a yearround conference center to be located in Eagle River which could bring over $5 million in investment and result in 50 jobs as well as increasing dollars from visitors to the county,” he said. With the opening of the business incubator in Eagle River and the proposed space in Manitowish Waters, Stubbe said the VCEDC has stepped up its efforts to help entrepreneurs evaluate ideas and start new businesses. “We have partnered with Nicolet College and the Eagle River Revitalization Program to hold classes and we facilitate a network of professional advisors with specific knowledge and experience,” said Stubbe. “We can also provide financial structuring advice and assistance in navigating the regulatory process to get a business started.” For additional information on the VCEDC, contact Stubbe at (715) 3370061, email or visit their website at

Progress — 2013

Page 35

Miller and Associates LLC offers over 30 years’ experience in realty Office renovated with historic touch ___________ BY GARY RIDDERBUSCH NEWS-REVIEW EDITOR


Housed in one of the oldest buildings in downtown Three Lakes, Miller and Associates Realty LLC continues to offer a warm, friendly introduction to the North Woods. The real estate firm, owned by Mike Miller, jumped into the new year with a renovation project at the office at 1769 Superior St. in Three Lakes. “We are doing some remodeling, but still trying to honor the vintage look of the building,” said Miller. “We added new paint and carpet throughout. We are sprucing it up without losing the coziness. We also selected lights and paneling for the entry area that are sort of vintage, with a bead board ceiling and old cafe lights.” The renovation project also includes updating the lighting, electrical and plumbing in the building, along with a new bathroom and kitchen fixtures and cabinets. Miller has been a real estate broker for more than 30 years and is currently the leader in residential transactions for Three Lakes five years’ running. “Whether you are looking for hunting land, a place to retire in, or an investment opportunity, we can help you find your dream in the beautiful North Woods,” said Miller. An avid hunter and fisherman and former president of the Austin Hunting and Retriever Club, Miller values this area particularly for it access to wildlife and the variety of outdoor activities he enjoys. “We live on the thoroughfare on the Chain, so we really enjoy the migration seasons up here,” said Miller. “I enjoy helping people find that perfect hunting land or parcel for outdoor recreation.” Raised in a horse-loving family in Waukesha, Miller started to ride at the age of 5. He has trained and shown horses professionally in nearly every class, including roping. He competed in the 1978 and 1979 quarter-horse congress, was state champion in 4-H competition, and even went to the World Championship Show in 1993 where he placed in the top 15. With his background in horses, Miller has extensive knowledge of animal husbandry, barn setups and horse

The Miller and Associates Realty LLC office is housed in one of the oldest buildings in downtown Three Lakes. In addition to of-

properties. Business background Even as a youngster, Miller’s business tenacity showed promise when he won the Milwaukee Area Junior Achievement (now FBLA) regional salesperson of the year award. This led to his first sales job at Hall Saddlery. Later, Miller managed various Walmart stores and then worked in the company’s corporate offices. “I was well on my way to a career with that company when my father asked me to help my mother take real estate classes and get her license,” he said. “The two of us studied together and passed the exams with flying colors.” The Miller real estate team went on to be top-selling agents in the Southern Region, including Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. His mother earned her place in the International Hall of Fame and Mike earned two “Centurion” awards and was managing broker of two Century 21 offices in Texas. Miller’s move to Three Lakes in . 1999 was truly like coming home. He

fering real estate across the North Woods, Mike Miller also is a Wisconsin Homes representative. —Contributed Photos

has been an active member in the community, serving as a scout leader, president of the chamber of commerce for eight years and now sits as a town Plan Commissioner, working hard to ensure that Three Lakes remains a unique and attractive town. Miller remains committed to helping people find their perfect place to start their northern Wisconsin dream. “Whether you are looking for a great place to hunt, a quiet home in a friendly neighborhood, a spectacular view of the Three Lakes Chain of Lakes, or just a little information on the area, we can give you the help you need at Miller and Associates Realty,” said Miller. Miller also is a Wisconsin Homes representative, acting as the general contractor who transfers the home from the factory and coordinates all the needed contractors to make it a finished home on the chosen lot. For more information on Miller Associates Realty LCC or properties in the Three Lakes area, stop at the office at 1769 Superior St., in Three Lakes or call (715) 546-4030.


Page 36

Progress — 2013

Another step forward Eagle River end of Three Eagle Trail to open in June 2013 Construction of a new biking and walking trail near Eagle River is nearing completion, according to developers of the Three Eagle Trail. Crews started work last summer with clearing and grading the 2.8-mile route to Eagle River and late last fall it was paved with a surface of compacted limestone, the same material used on the existing Three Eagle Trail. This winter, the 10-foot wide, 660foot-long boardwalk was installed to span Mud Creek and its surrounding wetland floodplain, according to Three Eagle Trail Foundation President Tom Rulseh. The grand opening for the new trail is now being planned for early June of 2013. The off-road trail will begin at the Eagle River Dairy Queen and head southeast a distance of about 1.7 miles along the former Chicago & Northwestern rail corridor. The trail then follows a newly developed route around the west side of the former town of Lincoln landfill before crossing Mud Creek to a remote, wooded upland just north of Section 9 Road. Community-based project The concept for the Three Eagle Trail originated independently in the long-range plans approved by the Oneida County Board in 2002 and Vilas County Board in 2003. The plan specifics came into focus under the direction of the Three Eagle Trail Foundation, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization formed in October of 2003. Its goal was to build a familyfriendly biking and walking path between the communities of Three Lakes and Eagle River. In addition to securing support from the municipalities of Three Lakes, Sugar Camp and Eagle River, the group sought and secured cooperative agreements with landowners whose property the trail crossed and also with the local snowmobile clubs that use portions of the rail corridors in the winter months. Multiple benefits Obtaining local support for building a biking and walking path was made easier because of several factors. Strong evidence for the economic benefits of such a community facility was found nearby in the town of Boulder Junction with the trail started there in the 1990s. “Also, it is known that communities with connecting pedestrian pathways enjoy reduced vehicular traffic congestion resulting in a naturally cleaner and quieter environment,” said Rulseh. Additional backing for the trail con-

The Eagle River end of the Three Eagle Trail features a 10-foot wide, 660-foot long boardwalk spanning Mud Creek and its sur-

cept came from both the Oneida and Vilas county health departments based upon their awareness of the many health benefits realized by trail users. “Safe, family-friendly trails have proven to be effective at motivating people to be more active, thus burning calories while improving cardiovascular fitness,” said Rulseh. “Numerous studies have also shown that vigorous outdoor activities such as biking, running and walking significantly improve mental health as well.” Moreover, the Three Eagle Trail offers year-round outdoor exercise opportunities with a groomed cross-country ski trail and adjacent snowshoe trails, all open to the public at no charge. Private funding In contrast to the original 8.4-mile trail coming north from Three Lakes, which received 80% of its initial funding from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Transportation Enhancement program and 10% from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Stewardship program, funding

rounding wetland floodplain. The grand opening of the 2.8-mile trail is set for early June of 2013. —Contributed Photo

for the Eagle River project has come entirely from private donations. Since fundraising began for the original trail in April 2004, more than 1,250 donations have been received by the foundation for construction and maintenance of the trail. Leading the private-funding initiative for this new project was Tara Lila LLC. The company sponsored unique matching grants that supported not only the trail, but also the Eagle River public library and the Great Headwaters Trails organization. “The grants were very successful. But Amy Jo and I think that our most important contribution to this trail was the involvement of our public properties manager, Mike Robillard,” said Tara Lila owner Richard Aylward. “Mike was a leader on this project from start to finish. Someone has to be there to make things happen. Mike Robillard assumed that role and did an outstanding job.” “The generosity and support we have received from Richard, Amy Jo Aylward and so many other people with

interest in this area has been amazing,” said Rulseh. “Many donation checks arrive with personal notes of encouragement and appreciation. It’s a big part of what keeps us going,” said Rulseh. “Of course, another motivating factor is knowing that our efforts are supporting the local economy, enhancing transportation options and improving the health of all who use the trail.” Some work remains Although completing the Eagle River section of the trail will be a major accomplishment, more work remains to complete the off-road connection between Three Lakes and Eagle River. Separating the original Three Eagle Trail from the new trail in Eagle River is 1.4 miles of town roads. The foundation is continuing to seek solutions to closing that gap at some point in the not-too-distant future. For more information on the trail, go to or write to Three Eagle Trail Foundation, P.O. Box 297, Three Lakes, WI 54562.

Progress — 2013

Page 37

Jensen-Akins in Conover offers more than hardware and appliances With a name like Jensen-Akins Hardware & Appliance, one might think the name says it all about this locally owned business. Hardware and appliances, right? Wrong. There’s a lot more going on in this local institution. Shoppers who walk through the front door of this Conover store will find an expansive hardware store with a complete rental center, an outdoor furniture and gardening section, an electronics department displaying many quality brands, a big selection of docks and lifts, and a huge selection of name-brand appliances to fit any home or cabin. Owners Judi and John Akins have been a part of the North Woods community for more than two decades. Judi Akins’ parents built a home on Stormy Lake in 1960 and John Akins began joining her on adventures “up north” in 1968. “Like so many of our friends and neighbors, we fell in love with the North Woods community and made the move permanent in 2000,” said Judi Akins. Originally founded by Debbie and Roger Jensen in 1980, John and Judi Akins became partners in the business in 2003. Now the sole proprietors, the Akins strive to offer everything the “big box” stores provide while maintaining the quality of service and experience that comes from helping out friends and neighbors. “Our knowledge on the appliances, hardware, electronics, and lawn and garden equipment we sell sets us high above the competition,” said John Akins. “We can help you not only select

A friendly staff is always on hand at Jensen-Akins in Conover to assist shoppers with their needs. The staff includes, from left,

what you need to purchase at any budget, but make sure you’re satisfied after the sale.” With plans for renovations, signage and new sales in the works, JensenAkins is moving full steam ahead in

The sprawling showroom at Jensen-Akins Hardware & Appliance houses a wide variety of appliances and welcoming kitchen displays.

John Schuh, Mike Karpinski, Judy Akins, John Akins, Dave Sala and Ken St. Peter. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTOS

2013. “I’m always looking for new ways to improve and grow our business as well as the local community,” Judi Akins said. “We take our commitment to this community seriously. We hope to offer the local residents a friendly alternative to the national chains with relationship-based service and quality brands.” The Akins’ commitment to the community extends beyond their business. John is active in the local Lions Club and ATV club, while Judi is the Conover Chamber of Commerce treasurer and a member of PEO, a women’s educational philanthropic organization. Most recently, they’ve become involved with the Governor’s Small Business Summits and the Vilas County Economic Development Corp. Jensen-Akins Hardware & Appliance serves customers in Conover, Eagle River, Phelps, Land O Lakes, St Germain, Manitowish Waters, Minocqua, Woodruff, Tomahawk, Watersmeet and Rhinelander with competitive prices on appliances, hardware, electronics, and lawn and garden products, plus takes pride in top-notch customer service.

Jensen Akins is located on Highway 45 in Conover and can be found on the Web at or call (715) 479-8427.

One display shows a matching stove and microwave combination.

Page 38

Progress — 2013


La-Z-Boy Comfort Studio Smith Brothers of Berne Gallery Flexsteel Leather Sealy & Restonic Mattresses



Handcrafted Hickory & Log Furniture Unique Accessories Area Rugs OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK

Introducing Fjord Chairs

630 U.S. Hwy. 45 South, Eagle River 715-477-2573


Your source for bargain buys! OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 1171 Twilight Lane, Eagle River 715-479-3971

For All Your Real Estate Needs, Call a Professional

715-546-4030 Downtown Three Lakes Miller & Associates, LLC is the perfect place to start your search for your northern Wisconsin dream. Whether you are looking for a great place to hunt, a quiet home in a friendly neighborhood, a spectacular view of the Three Lakes Chain or just a little information on the area, Mike can give you the help you need. With more than 30 years of experience in real estate and his broad range of interests, he is a valuable partner in your quest.

Mike Miller Broker/Owner

Progress — 2013

Page 39

News-Review offering complete website design and maintenance ___________ BY NEWS-REVIEW STAFF


Recognizing a need for quality website design and maintenance at affordable prices, the Vilas County News-Review launched a new service in 2012 to help North Woods business owners in today’s technology-based economy. Called DHI Digital, the service offers websites, mobile sites and banner ads. Prices start at just $599 for a sixpage website with full Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and modern, professional design standards that will help retailers reach their customers and prospects efficiently. “Since more than 85% of consumers report that they research a product online before they make a purchasing decision, it’s more important than ever that we help our customers reach their audiences when they are ready to buy,” said News-Review Publisher Kurt Krueger. He said since many retailers still do not have a website, or they are not getting the results they expect from their current website, DHI Digital will serve as a one-stop comprehensive solution serving customers’ online and print advertising requirements. “The websites and mobile sites feature consumer-friendly design, copy writing and search engine optimization so that customers’ sites can be found online quickly and easily,” said Krueger. Customers will have a choice of several options including a basic website package (home page and five interior pages), a custom website package (a home page and up to 12 interior pages), mobile sites and banner ads. The program features a flat monthly fee for hosting and maintenance, which includes unlimited changes. DHI Digital also can offer e-commerce solutions to support customers’ sales and marketing objectives. Eagle River Publications Inc. publishes the subscription-based NewsReview, a total market coverage shopper called the North Woods Trader, and specialty sections such as the Headwaters Area Guide, Vacation Week and Action Tracks. “This is a spin away from our traditional advertising and marketing options, but we feel North Woods business owners need more alternatives in website design, service and pricing,” said Krueger. “Every business can benefit from a well-designed website. Many consumers have come to expect that they can do their research online

and, in some cases, make the purchase online.” Rave reviews Some early customers of the new DHI Digital services have given the program rave reviews, saying they experienced quality design and timely service. Karen Jung of Northwoods Furniture Gallery on Highway 45 south of Eagle River said DHI Digital was very responsive in designing a draft site and in making customized adjustments to meet their specific needs. “I thought it was quite good and our preparation work with logos and photos was probably part of it,” she said. “But I would absolutely recommend them to someone else. Typically we saw next-day response to materials that were sent for changes, which is pretty good for a fully customized site.” The Rev. Lloyd Luedeman at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Eagle River had similar comments about their experience in creating a new website for the church. “Overall, we were really happy with the service DHI Digital offered. They were very open-minded to suggestions on how we wanted the site to look,” he said. “They got the site up and running in a timely manner, and making submittals for changes is really easy. The quality was really great and I thought the price was very reasonable.” Luedeman said they’ve seen good results from the full SEO, which makes the site very easy to find on the World Wide Web. “I would recommend this service to others,” he said. About DHI Digital DHI Digital is the online support team of Delphos Herald Inc. and its group of 13 community newspapers located throughout the Midwest, including Eagle River Publications. “Our customers have used our newspapers and online communications to reach their target audiences for years,” said Krueger. “This service will help them establish effective websites to increase their customer base and gain more sales volume.” For more information and examples of websites, mobile sites and banner ads, visit, or call a marketing representative at (715) 4794421.

The Vilas County News-Review, through DHI Digital, launched a new service offering websites, mobile sites and banner ads. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTO

Progress 2013 VILAS COUNTY

NEWS-REVIEW Eagle River Vindicator Established 1886 Eagle River Review 1890 Vilas County News 1892 Publisher KURT KRUEGER Editor GARY RIDDERBUSCH Asst. Editor ANTHONY DREW Lifestyle Editor KATHLYN OGDEN Production Manager JEAN DREW Asst. Production Manager ELIZABETH BLEICHER Circulation Manager ELIZABETH SCHMIDT Accounting Manager TERRY POSTO Photo Technician SHARINA ADAMS Production Technician CARLY RATLIFF


Published by Eagle River Publications, Inc., P.O. Box 1929, 425 W. Mill St. at Eagle River, Wisconsin 54521 e-mail: Phone 715-479-4421 • Fax 715-479-6242

Page 40

Progress — 2013

Vilas continues invasives battle Boater education is primary defense against AIS ___________ BY TED RITTER VILAS COUNTY INVASIVE SPECIES COORDINATOR


Propelled by early detection, proper management and public awareness, Vilas County continues to battle invasive species — both aquatic and terrestrial. While aquatic invasive species (AIS) have been on the forefront of this war, terrestrial invasives also are causing environmental harm to the landscape. The crusade against invasives takes teamwork involving county and town leaders, water-management professionals, volunteers, lake groups, and state and federal agencies. Early detection vital New findings of Eurasian water milfoil (EWM) in three Vilas County lakes during 2012 confirm that AIS are continuing to spread. Although a small population of EWM was discovered in Lac Vieux Desert several years ago, more expansive growth was found this past summer. EWM populations also were discovered for the first time in Anvil and Big (Cisco Chain) lakes. The need for increased citizen monitoring for early detection of invasive plants was highlighted by these new populations all being discovered by professional survey teams who happened to be on these lakes specifically looking for invasive species. This raises questions such as how much longer these populations would have gone undetected by lakefront property owners or lake users if these teams hadn’t come along and how many more lakes have as yet undetected invasive plant populations? Lake organizations are being encouraged to activate volunteer citizen monitoring programs next summer to improve chances for early detection. Milfoil management An exceptionally early spring followed by warm, dry summer weather resulted in low water levels and explosive plant growth in many area lakes this past summer. While growing conditions were unusually favorable to native aquatic vegetation, nonnative lake plants such as EWM and curly-leaf pondweed also flourished to the dismay of lake organizations working hard to control populations of these invaders. There are now more than 25 Vilas County lakes in which management of one or both of these plants is occurring annually, often at considerable expense. Excessive plant growth brought on by unusual weather can be problematic to

the people coordinating those management efforts. Inspections, educations Interaction between transient boaters and trained personnel at boat landings is still regarded as a primary defense against the spread of AIS. The Clean Boats-Clean Waters (CBCW) program in Vilas County has historically relied on volunteers to perform this work. Although Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) grant funding has been available to lake sponsors for hiring CBCW employees, the grants have been perceived by some lake organizations as excessively cumbersome, needlessly competitive and in too many instances, not worth the effort. A new streamlined CBCW grant program was introduced by the DNR late in 2012. It features an efficient application process which can be executed online and submitted in a matter of minutes. Competitive ranking has been eliminated. Properly completed applications are funded immediately with confirmation to the applicants within 14 days. The new grant program, coupled with the CBCW student intern program coordinated by the Vilas County Land & Water Conservation Department and UWOshkosh, will result in the employment of 12 student interns providing approximately 5,000 hours of CBCW services at more than 20 Vilas County boat landings next summer. That, in combination with ongoing volunteer efforts elsewhere in the county, will result in thousands of boaters being educated about preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species. More than 15,300 hours of combined volunteer and paid CBCW efforts in Vilas County during 2010-’12 accounted for 10.6% of the total statewide effort over the same period. It is anticipated that approximately 8,000 hours will be logged during the summer of 2013. The expanding dedication of area lake organizations to utilize the CBCW program to prevent the spread of aquatic invasives is commendable. Purple loosestrife control The first-ever community effort to control purple loosestrife populations in the greater Eagle River area started in 2012. Purple loosestrife is an attractive, but environmentally harmful, shoreline and wetland plant that has been spreading throughout much of eastern Vilas County over the past few years.

A key component in the battle against aquatic invasive species is the Clean BoatsClean Waters program. —Contributed Photo

The Eagle River Chain of Lakes Association assisted the Vilas County Land & Water Conservation Department and Northland Pines High School students with a biological control program involving rearing and releasing beetles to combat purple loosestrife. The beetles are native to the same areas of Europe and Asia where loosestrife plants came from. Having evolved with the plants, the beetles rely entirely on purple loosestrife plants for habitat and food. The entire life cycle of the beetle occurs on loosestrife plants, resulting in population control of the otherwise out of control purple loosestrife populations. Plans are under way to repeat the project in 2013. Other areas of Vilas County, such as Lac du Flambeau and Manitowish Waters, also have citizen volunteers participating in purple loosestrife biological control programs. Terrestrial invasives work The Wisconsin Headwaters Invasives Partnership (WHIP) provides invasive species services throughout Vilas and Oneida counties. The co-op is supported by 14 formal partners representing federal, state and county agencies, plus several local organizations and environmental specialty schools. WHIP’s fiscal sponsor and primary source of funding to date is Lumberjack Resource Conservation & Development, a rural development program focusing on conservation, development and utilization of area natural resources to improve social, economic and environmental conditions in Florence, Forest,

Langlade, Lincoln, Menominee, Oconto, Oneida, Shawano and Vilas counties. Lumberjack grant funding is enabling WHIP projects including surveying of all county highway rights of way for the presence of priority invasive species, development of rights of way invasive species management plans to be adopted by highway departments in Vilas and Oneida counties, technical support to the town of Three Lakes in conducting invasive species surveys along all town roads, and developing town-level invasive species management plans. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT), having the reputation of not being supportive of roadside invasive species prevention and management efforts, chose recently to work with WHIP in the development of DOT-supported rights of way invasive species management plans in Vilas and Oneida counties. It is anticipated that the progress made with DOT here will serve as a template elsewhere across the state. The 2013 annual meeting of WHIP’s formal and informal partners will be Tuesday, Feb. 26, from 9 a.m. to noon. The meeting will be at Trees For Tomorrow, located on Sheridan Street in Eagle River. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. More information can be obtained from the following Land & Water Conservation Department contacts: Vilas County, Ted Ritter, (715) 479-3738,; or Oneida County, Jean Hansen, (715) 369-7837, jhansen@

Progress — 2013

Page 41

Professional staff at Salon & Spa provides relaxing, inviting atmosphere Eagle River salon provides guests Aveda products Life Magazine called Eagle River a “rugged, romantic world apart.” The owners and staff at the Salon & Spa on Railroad in Eagle River are committed to capturing that northern Wisconsin spirit, according to manager Jacki Greene. Located in the heart of Eagle River at 123 N. Railroad St., the Salon & Spa is a rustic building where old-fashioned rugged meets romantic North Woods charm. Antique hardwood floors and brick walls are accented with historic wooden beams, perfectly paired with pure flower and plant aromas of Aveda to create the ultimate in North Country serenity. At the Salon & Spa, visitors will find a relaxing and inviting atmosphere. Guests are greeted with a choice of hot coffee or herbal tea, or refreshing chilled cucumber and lemon water. “The friendly, professional staff includes trained master stylists and aestheticians, who are committed to providing a relaxing, fulfilling experience for their guests,” said Greene. Whether seeking a new hairstyle, a relaxing pedicure or a replenishing facial, a tranquil and nourishing experience awaits, says Greene. “When our guests leave the salon, we want them to leave not just with a haircut, we want it to be a tranquil, relaxing experience,” she said. “We offer complimentary scalp massages with haircuts and hand massages during your color service. It’s a touch above your ordinary salon experience.” The Salon & Spa services include master cuts, innovative color services, special-occasion styles and updos, brow shaping, body waxing, spa manicures and pedicures, and facials. “We have a full-service spa upstairs, where our guests can be pampered and experience their spa services in a quiet and secluded setting,” said Greene. “We also offer the latest trend for your nails, the no- chip manicure.” In addition, the Salon & Spa is a full-service Aveda Concept Salon. Founded in 1978, Aveda has always been at the forefront of natural healing

Visitors to the Salon & Spa on Railroad in Eagle River will find a relaxing atmosphere. The interior of the salon features antique

hardwood floors. The professional staff offers a variety of salon and spa services. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTOS

and cleansing, using organic, nontoxic ingredients in all of its products and does not use animal testing. The Salon & Spa has implemented Aveda’s earth- and human-conscious policies, giving back to the community and the environment. Joining the Aveda Green Concept Solution, the staff at Salon & Spa collect plastic cap containers, along with the recycling club at Northland Pines Elementary School-Eagle River, and send them to Aveda where they recycle them and use them to make the tops for the shampoos and conditioners and color tubes. In addition, the Salon & Spa staff raises money for causes like Earth Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. “At the Salon & Spa, guests will indeed find a rugged, romantic world apart, and will leave looking and feeling as tranquil and beautiful as the North Woods of Wisconsin,” said Greene.

The Salon & Spa on Railroad offers romantic North Woods charm in a rustic, historical building in downtown Eagle River.

Page 42

Progress — 2013


Or if you have a site and are tired of not being found online, we can help! F 6-Page Custom Design - $599 F 12-Page Custom Design - $1,199 F Custom Mobile Website Upgrade - $199* *Upgrade one of the above packages only

¸ ¸ ¸ ¸ ¸

We create all your content We do all the work Free ongoing changes & updates* Your website will be SEO’d Plus LOTS more! *With monthly maintenance and hosting fee

Call a sales representative today! Kurt Krueger • Tammy Klein • Denise Rimmer

Phone: 715.479.4421 • Email: VILAS COUNTY


Powered P owered b byy DHI Dig Digital ital

Progress — 2013

Page 43

Custom Landscaping of Eagle River expands client list, continues hiring Hard work and a dedication to excellence have allowed Custom Landscaping of Eagle River to thrive during the last few years, as the company continues to expand its volume of business and meet new challenges in today’s competitive market. Owner Todd Monge and his wife, Jacqui, have already overcome some challenges since purchasing Custom Landscaping 10 years ago. The couple has worked to upgrade the facilities and landscape displays, including the construction of an eye-catching waterfall and koi pond. They also have worked to expand the business while implementing new procedures, upgrading equipment and getting to know clients. “In the years to follow, we faced numerous other challenges, including the growing pains of expanding the business while still trying to maintain our high level of quality and commitment,” said Monge. As the company grew, it has toiled to keep a rapidly expanding client base satisfied with the quality and frequency of work they’ve come to expect. With the help of its more than 40 dedicated employees, Custom Landscaping took the hard road through the economic recession, according to Monge. “It wasn’t easy and there were some very tough decisions to make, but, with the help of every employee, we were able to survive the down years of 2009 and 2010 without having to lay anyone off or ask for a cut in pay.” And struggling through the economic downturn has paid off, as the business has continued to build on its biggest asset: its clientele. “We’ve built a company that’s dedicated to providing the highest quality service to our clients,” said Monge. “The office staff tracks every lead that comes in, and Custom Landscaping has consistently averaged a very high rate of referrals from past clients. The service and satisfaction we’re able to consistently provide is our success story.” The prosperity experienced by the company is due to the company’s highly skilled and passionate staff, according to Monge. “I can truly say that my success is directly related to the staff that I have,” he said. “My name may be on all of the loan papers, and I have assumed all of the risk, but there would be no reward without the valued team of employees who show up for work each and every day.” Monge added that the employees of Custom Landscaping have gone above and beyond the call of duty in the company’s pursuit of excellence throughout

A growing list of clients are providing positive feedback regarding the work of Custom Landscaping of Eagle River, Inc. Busi-

the past 25 years. “In today’s world, it’s often hard to find the work ethic and values that make a company stand apart from its competition, but Custom Landscaping has a whole team of such dedicated team members,” he said. “Without them, the company would be just another name in the Yellow Pages.” Custom Landscaping has built its business around complete customer satisfaction, which is likely why the business has fared so well throughout the years. “It’s our company philosophy that no matter the size, each project is special to its owner and it’s our responsibility to make sure that their dreams are realized,” said Monge. The company has been rewarded for those efforts through repeat business and customers’ recommendations to others. In one case, a happy customer even threw a party for all of the contractors and their families who worked on his new home. At the start of that party, he took the time to acknowledge the hard work put into his lake house and ex-

ness owner Todd Monge said credit is due to his dedicated staff of professional landscapers. —Contributed Photo

pressed gratitude to the company’s employees. “That type of response from a client is what every landscaper dreams of,” said Monge. “That’s why Custom Landscaping puts the attention and detail into every project that we do.” The business’ reputation for quality workmanship, along with its meticulous attention to detail, has enabled it to develop a client list that remains loyal year after year. In addition to Custom Landscaping’s good standing among clients, the company is a member of the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, Headwaters Builders Association, Wisconsin Builders Association and the National Association of Home Builders. Custom Landscaping also makes an effort to contribute to the local community through sponsoring events, participating in local fundraisers and assisting nonprofit organizations. In 2007, the local animal shelter was in need of a complete landscape makeover when it was constructed. Custom Landscaping donated the mate-

rials for the project and its employees donated their time, giving the shelter some much-needed curb appeal as well as functionality to care for the animals. “It turned into a great opportunity for the employees of Custom Landscaping to give back to the community, as well as giving them a sense of personal satisfaction,” said Monge. The company also took on a project for the Vilas County Economic Development Committee, which had a need for landscaping at its new business incubator. Custom Landscaping donated materials and labor to complete the project at no cost. While hurdling challenges, the company and its energetic employees have continued working in the name of progress for clients and the community, said Monge. “The quality of workmanship that my team knows is expected of them is the what sets us apart” he said. “Custom Landscaping has established itself as a landscape company that solves problems, both big and small, and strives to give every customer 100% satisfaction.”

Page 44

Progress — 2013

Get ready… spring’s coming Northern Lakes Landscaping in Eagle River has a large fleet of snow-plowing trucks for any size snow removal job during the winter. —Contributed Photos

Northern Lakes Landscaping adds on-site garden center, expands gift shop selection Northern Lakes Landscaping, a full-service landscaping company located in Eagle River, was established as a business in 1999. Located at 1075 E. Pine St. in Eagle River, Northern Lakes Landscaping is owned by Rod and Jill Croker. In addition to offering landscaping services to commercial and residential customers, Northern Lakes Landscaping has an on-site garden and gift center. On site customers also can purchase bricks, blocks, timbers, fencing material and topsoil, along with a variety of nursery stock, straw, fertilizer, seed and lime. “Our bulk delivery of landscaping material has really taken off and become very popular,” said Croker. “A large part of what we do for bulk material is our own screened topsoil and variety of hardwood mulches.” Landscaping services include irrigation systems, lawn maintenance, interlocking brick walkways and patios, shrub and tree installation, retaining walls, ponds, lawn installation and shoreline restoration. The landscaping company is fully insured and offers free estimates. In 2012, Northern Lakes Landscaping expanded its gift selection to include more retail gardening and gift items, including jewelry, purses, scarves and home decorations. They also are a dealer of Sierra’s footware and Premier Kites. “We are concentrating on expanding our retail area in 2013 and encourage everyone to stop by and check out our many gifts,” said Jill Croker. Northern Lakes Landscaping also offers winter season services, including snowplowing, snow removal, roof shoveling, and sand and salt applications. Straw bales are available for property owners to put over their private septic systems. “With a large fleet of snow plowing trucks, no job is too big or too small for our plow crew,” said Croker.

Northern Lakes Landscaping Garden & Gift Center

Commercial & Residential Free Estimates — Fully Insured

• • • • • • • • The gift shop at Northern Lakes Landscaping includes Sierra’s footware.

Jill Croker said the company prides itself in meeting the customers’ needs. “Our large repeat of customers has been a real enjoyment to our business,” she said. “Many of our customers have become friends. We look forward to serving them every year and new customers in the future.” Northern Lakes Landscaping can be reached at (715) 479-5852 or visit the company website at

SERVICES: Irrigation Systems Retaining Walls Lawn Maintenance Ponds Interlocking Brick Lawn Installation Shrub & Tree Installation Shoreline Restoration

We Deliver Bulk Landscaping Materials Owners: ill Rod & J r e Crok

1075 E. Pine St., Eagle River, WI 54521 (715) 479-5852 Fax (715) 477-2942

Progress — 2013

Page 45

Northland Pines prepares to open SOAR project-based charter school ___________



Northland Pines School District officials continue to research the most relevant resources and curriculum needed to prepare students to be 21st-century learners and acquire the skills necessary to become engaged and productive citizens throughout their school years and beyond. Northland Pines 1:1 pilot programs continue to challenge and involve both the students and staff in the areas of technology and learning styles, according to District Administrator Mike Richie. “This research will help the district select the best devices for students at every grade level and enable staff to redesign their curriculum for students to develop 21st-century learning skills that are rigorous, relevant, integrated and interdisciplinary, including global classrooms and communication,” said Richie. One way the district will make this paradigm shift into 21st-century education is through a new project-based charter school that will open in the fall of 2013. Called SOAR, the School of Options & Applied Research is the district’s newest opportunity for students entering grades five through seven next year and grades five through eight in 2014’15. SOAR will create an alternative approach for high-quality public education for the families of the Northland Pines School District and surrounding areas, according to Richie. “It will be a powerful integration of project-based learning with an individualized approach to skill acquisition and personal growth and an emphasis on 21st-Century learning skills,” said Richie. Mixed-age groupings and an approach to teaching centered on the student, rather than the teacher, will allow students to move at their own pace, enabling students of all abilities and backgrounds to be successful. “The School of Options & Applied Research will deliver an engaging, rigorous, standards-based curriculum that prepares students to be successful in the 21st century,” said Richie. SOAR will be located in a wing of the current Land O’ Lakes Elementary School and will enroll 45 students at full capacity in the 2013-’14 school year. Northland Pines School District teacher Don Anderson has been hired to prepare the curriculum and be the lead ad-

The new Northland Pines charter school, called SOAR, (School of Options & Applied Research), will be a project-based learning

visor (teacher) next school year, while Scott Foster will be the SOAR principal. “Even though the main focus with SOAR is a change in instruction and how it is delivered, hiring the right teacher is very important,” said Foster. “We have found a great fit in our first hire and look to hire another teacher who has the same passion for student learning that we expect in the Northland Pines School District.” Another advisor/teacher will be hired in the spring to prepare for the school year, according to Foster. SOAR intends to help each student reach his/her full potential so that they become independent, lifelong learners who take responsibility for themselves, for their classmates and for their surrounding environment. During their educational journey, Anderson said SOAR students will lay

environment for grades five through eight based at the Land O’ Lakes Elementary School. —Contributed Photo

the foundation to become 21st-century thinkers with higher-order critical thinking, analytical and collaborative learning skills. On this path of self-improvement and self-discovery, students will learn that they are not alone and that encouraging, supporting and working together with other learners will not only lead to success for themselves, but for their classmates and their society as well. “As they grow to understand their connection to, and responsibility for their world, their appreciation for the gifts others have to offer is increased,” said Anderson. The SOAR curriculum will incorporate higher-order thinking skills, multiple intelligences, technology and multimedia, the multiple literacies of the 21st century, and authentic assessments. Student-directed service learn-

ing will also be an important component. “I am extremely excited to begin my new role as the lead teacher/advisor of SOAR,” said Anderson. “The unique learning community will allow students and families to personally guide their educational experiences and become part of a family-like unit within the classroom and our community. Each student will have the support of peers, teachers, administration and the entire NPSD community. I feel incredibly fortunate in having the opportunity to take part in an experience that students will remember for the rest of their lives.” The SOAR vision SOAR’s vision, mission and guiding To NORTHLAND PINES, Pg. 46

Page 46

Progress — 2013

Design/Build by Visner Scott Foster, SOAR principal, stands next to the Polycom cart, which will be used to integrate global classrooms into the charter school. —Contributed Photo

Northland Pines FROM PAGE 45 principles paint a vivid picture of the learning environment and culture that will be embraced at the school, according to Anderson. He explained each: • Vision — Students at SOAR will be engaged in a world of academic achievement, 21st-century learning skills, social responsibility, conservation and community involvement. • Mission — At SOAR, a diverse team of dedicated, highly qualified educators will foster an environment of commitment to student achievement, teaching curriculum based on the state common core standards, and social responsibility. Students will prosper in a setting that emphasizes project-based learning, 21st-century learning skills, technology, environmental conservation and strong community connections. SOAR prepares students to achieve academically and empowers them to reach their innate intellectual, creative and leadership potentials by educating the “whole child.” SOAR will also prepare students to be responsible, engaged citizens who are prepared to be leaders of the future. • Guiding principles — Rigorous, integrated and personalized. Anderson further explains these principles: — Rigorous: To create a rigorous academic program based on core knowledge standards that students need as a foundation for project based work and lifelong learning; — Integrated: To create a community where academic learning and character development are seen as a common endeavor centered on six core values: respect, responsibility, integrity, courage, curiosity and excellence; and — Personalized: To put the needs of the student first so that each student can soar. Through flexibility and choice, each student will be honored as an indi-

vidual learner, recognizing that each student has his or her own learning style, unique gifts, interests, aspirations and challenges to learning. Each student will be supported to learn in his or her own unique way. “We have had such huge successes in student learning throughout the district with the occasional hands-on, projectbased learning opportunities that it is exciting to be able to offer an entire curriculum based on projects and centered on students’ interests,” said Richie. SOAR partnerships In addition to learning differently, Richie said the charter school will capitalize on the North Woods’ environment and community partnerships. “Much like some of the partnerships developed throughout the district, SOAR will build relationships with Conserve School, Land O’ Lakes Artisans (LOLA) and the Land O’ Lakes Public Library, as well as some service learning opportunities for the students at the area food pantry and community garden,” said Richie. Through project-based learning, students will learn critical thinking skills to design projects to meet their curriculum requirements. “The students will then collaborate with team members in researching and developing these projects so that they can effectively communicate their findings,” said Richie. “The students will then decide what media methods to use to publish their presentation to their peers, parents and advisors. SOAR will provide in-depth learning and multiple literacies (media literacy, cyber literacy, eco literacy, social/emotional literacy, multicultural literacy) for the 21st century.” For more information on the Northland Pines School District’s new charter, SOAR, visit the district’s website at or contact Scott Foster, principal, at (715) 547-3619 or

Kitchen & Bath “CKD”

509 E. Wall Street P.O. Box 1157 Eagle River, WI 54521 715-479-2110

“Details make the Difference”


Progress — 2013

Page 47

Three Lakes School District delivers high achievement at value to taxpayers ___________ BY DR. GEORGE J. KARLING THREE LAKES SCHOOL DISTRICT DISTRICT ADMINISTRATOR


The Three Lakes School District delivers a high-quality education — striving to keep up with student and community needs — at a value to school district taxpayers. In December of 2012, the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance came out with a list of the 25 lowest-taxing K-12 school districts in Wisconsin. The Three Lakes School District was listed as the fifth lowest-taxing K-12 school district. The report also indicated that the Three Lakes School District was among the lowest in Wisconsin with a levy increase of only 29.8% from 1997 to 2012. This increase also was among the lowest in the state. Although the district’s tax rate is among the lowest in the state, district achievement levels continue to rise. The district’s 2012 composite ACT score of 23.9 was among the highest in the state and it was the highest among all 18 high schools in the Cooperative Education Service Agency (CESA) 9 northern region. The board and administration attribute this success to programs developed with the collaborative planning efforts of the board of education, administration, teaching staff and students in the district. District planning In the spring of 2012, the Three Lakes School District completed a fiveyear plan that will take the district well into the future. On April 23, 2012, members of the board of education, administration, staff and students conducted a retreat to complete the district’s long-range plan and goals for the 2012-’13 school year. The long-range plan was developed with information from a community survey, CESA 9 and the Department of Public Instruction, and spans a fiveyear timeframe from 2012 to 2017. The plan focuses on four major areas, including cultural change, curriculum and instruction, district and student engagement and technology. Under each of these headings are several subheadings pertaining to the area of concentration. The planning group set eight district goals for the 2012-’13 school year. The goals are as follows: improve district communications; implement blended learning in grades five and nine; improve student success; focus on meeting individual student needs; continuous curriculum revision; school/

In an effort to lead the way in today’s information revolution, Three Lakes School District has implemented a four-year initia-

community relations; technological improvements; and revising the board policy book. Many of the goals are ongoing based on state mandates and legal requirements. Others, such as the blended learning initiative, are new for this year. The district’s long-range plan and goals are available for review on the district’s website. Six-period day, offerings Based on the data that was gathered over the 2011-’12 school year, the district will be continuing with the sixperiod day for grades nine through 12. With the implementation of the six-period day, academic deficiencies have decreased from slightly more than 2% down to 1% this year. The district also has seen a corresponding decrease in the number of discipline issues. District officials are proud of what the staff and students have done, and believe improvement will continue into the future. In addition to improved academic achievement and a reduction in the district’s already low incidence of discipline issues, the district has been able to offer more courses for students in grades nine through 12.

tive to put laptop computers in the hands of each and every student in grades five through 12. —Contributed Photo

For example, in the 2010-’11 school year, there were 78 course offerings compared to 94 course offerings in the 2011-’12 school year. The number of course offerings is 107 for the 2012-’13 school year. The high school also is experiencing significantly fewer conflicts in course scheduling for all students. This increase in course offerings has been accomplished without any increase in cost to the district. Blended learning Looking ahead, the administration and board realize the current educational system must be changed in order to prepare students for their future. Technology is advancing so rapidly that the Three Lakes School District must lead the way in this information revolution so students will be adequately prepared when they graduate. District officials understand that students need to function in a global, technology-rich environment. As a result, one-to-one instruction and blended learning is at the forefront of developing 21st-century skills for student success. In responding to this necessity, the district has developed a one-to-one ini-

tiative that will place a laptop computer in the hands of each student in grades five through 12. The first phase of this initiative began this year with grades five and nine. The project will be phased in over a four-year period. The focus of this initiative is not only in placing a computer in the hands of each student, but rather one of transforming instructional pedagogy. This new method of instructional delivery will enable staff to provide more individualized instruction for This change makes instruction relevant for a tech-savvy generation and enables instruction to be delivered more efficiently in multiple modalities, thereby enhancing instruction for student learning. In order to accomplish this objective, the staff has and will continue to receive professional development on content design, video lectures, interactive forums and collecting data. This will enable the Three Lakes staff to effectively utilize technology for instructional delivery while engaging students in the learning process. It is important to note that while administration and staff work on proTo THREE LAKES SCHOOL, Pg. 48

Page 48

Progress — 2013

Three Lakes school FROM PAGE 47 grammatic changes for the future, teachers will still maintain the high quality of instructional delivery that they currently have. District communication In order to improve district-wide communication, the district website was redesigned to provide a more userfriendly interface to the general public. The website is threelakessd.k12. In addition to this change, the district established a point-of-contact for the district website, along with protocols for professional staff sites. As a result of establishing the point-of-contact, the lines of communication have opened up, enabling the district to have more daily stories, general announcements and community event reminders. Building relations The district has worked hard to develop school spirit by establishing a Lettermen’s Club run by students to improve participation in co-curricular activities and foster increased school spirit. About 70% of the students in high school currently participate in a cocurricular activity. This participation level has nearly doubled since the dis-

The Three Lakes High School Metals II class recently created and sold a trailer under the instruction of teacher Mike Gorney. —Contributed Photo

trict has developed the Lettermen’s Club. Student attendance at extracurricular events has increased and this has provided a more positive atmosphere for student participants. The district understands there is a direct correlation between extracurricular participation and academic achievement, and the Lettermen’s Club is promoting this

efforts. In addition to promoting school spirit, the community education/recreation coordinator has worked with community groups and members to bring in adult intramural activities such as pickleball, basketball and volleyball. The district is also promoting fitness and adult education classes for the community.

Community engagement The board of education, administration, faculty, staff and students continue to seek new avenues for community involvement in the schools in order to strengthen community ties and enable all taxpayers to utilize district resources to their fullest. The district believes that the level of community support, and support from families outside the district, is a good indication that the district is continuing to provide “personal education and lifetime inspiration” that meets the needs of all students. In addition to community support, the district also enjoys a healthy influx of open enrollment students. At present, more than 11% of the district’s entire population comes from outside the district. This is further evidence that parents outside the Three Lakes School District realize that Three Lakes schools continue to ensure the success of all students. Anyone interested in more information on the Three Lakes School District, or to inquire about open enrollment for a student, can contact one of the administrative offices. School personnel can assist parents with the open enrollment application which must be completed prior to the deadline of April 30. The school district welcomes the opportunity to work with all students and can arrange a personal tour and conference regarding opportunities in the Three Lakes School District.

Progress — 2013

Page 49

Wilderness Lakes Trails nearly complete 40-mile loop system to link Land O’ Lakes, Watersmeet In 2012, after five years of meetings, grant applications, easements, surveys, trail design and more, Wilderness Lakes Trails Inc. (WLT) — a nonprofit corporation formed in 2007 to fund and build a 40-mile bicycle/pedestrian trail system at the Wisconsin-Michigan border — is seeing the fruits of its efforts materialize. The 30 miles of new off-road and onroad bike/hike trails are now in various stages of construction, according to WLT President Alan Piel. Ten years ago, the town of Land O' Lakes developed a 7.5-mile paved bike trail along the County Highway B corridor starting from the east end of town (U.S. 45) and ending at the intersection of Highway B and Forest Lake Road. After considering the viable options to extend the existing trail, WLT leaders decided to work on developing a circular route that travels through the forests, along peaceful roadways and beside many of the pristine lakes adjacent to the proposed trail system. The spring of 2012 saw the completion of a paved 3.2-mile bike trail extension that meanders through the hills and along the lowlands of a scenic sugar maple forest. The new trail enters the woods just west of the Forest Lake boat landing and continues through the forest west to 1000 Island Lake Road. “This section of the trail extension has already become a popular destination for cyclists, runners and hikers due to both the serenity and the natural beauty of the surrounding woods,” said Piel. Additionally in 2012, starting at the intersection of highways B and S in Land O’ Lakes and ending at the intersection of Adams Road and Highway G in Eagle River, a signed “Bike Route”

The Wilderness Lakes Trails includes a 3.2-mile bike trail extension completed in 2012 that winds through scenic harwoods. —Contributed Photo

along town and county roads was completed. The route includes a rest stop at Hunter Lake boat landing. Here, cyclists can get off their bike and eat lunch at picnic tables with views of the lake. The rest stop has outdoor rest rooms, a swing set and a swimming beach for a break midway through the 20-mile ride. At the west end of the 3.2 mile woodland trail, the Wisconsin portion of the bike route continues north along 1000 Island Lake Road to the border where it connects to the extensive Michigan portion of the WLT trail system. Bicyclists then travel a route along the borders of Sylvania Wilderness Area, eventually connecting to the north end of the Agonikak National Recreation Trail. A key component to the Wilderness Lakes Trails system, the Agonikak Na-

tional Recreation Trail is a 12.5-mile fine-gravel surface biking and hiking trail currently under construction which extends from the Ottawa Visitor Center and downtown Watersmeet, Mich., to the Michigan Wayside Park near the Wisconsin border. The trail connects Watersmeet to Land O’ Lakes and completes the 40-mile loop system. The Agonikak trail lies almost entirely within the Ottawa National Forest; it parallels U.S. Highway 45 on the east side, staying in the woods for its entirety. “It provides easy access to numerous outdoor opportunities for biking and hiking users of all ages,” said Piel. “Located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the trail exposes vast tracks of undeveloped woodlands, pristine lakes, wildlife and plenty of solitude if you desire.

“The entire route is wooded and wild – it winds through some of the most diverse forest ecosystems in the Ottawa National Forest including old-growth cedar, old-growth hemlock and pines, vast hilly terrain, hardwood stands, numerous dispersed vegetated wetlands, woodland meadows and undisturbed water bodies,” continued Piel. The entire gravel base of the northern 8.3 miles from Military Road to Watersmeet was constructed by Ruotsala Construction of Ironwood, Mich., during the fall of 2012. Additionally, volunteers have helped in brushing the trail and built a 35-foot bridge that will carry cyclists over Duck Creek just to the south of Watersmeet. This coming spring, the fine gravel surface, trail amenities and turf restoration are scheduled to be completed. The improved trail segment will be open for use this summer. The south 4.2 miles of the Agonikak from the Michigan wayside to Military Road is currently being designed by MSA Professional Services of Rhinelander. These improvements are scheduled to be bid in March 2013 and constructed in the spring and summer of 2013. This segment is expected to be open by Labor Day. Piel said the new biking and hiking trail system offers scenery and more. “So, c’mon up to Land O’ Lakes, at the ‘Top of Wisconsin,’ to enjoy the new trails and experience firsthand the simple pleasures of bicycling and walking through our peaceful forests,” said Piel. “You'll be glad you did.” For complete details of the Wilderness Lakes Trails development plan, a downloadable bike route and trail map and up-to-date progress reports, visit

Great Headwaters Trails to connect communities Vilas County is a go-to destination for visitors and continues to develop bike trails for all ages and riding styles. New trail developments in the last year and new trails planned for the next five to 10 years will attract even more interest from people near and far, according to Jeff Currie, president of the Great Headwaters Trails (GHT). “A good example of that interest came in an email I received this month from Noel Junkunc, a town of Cloverland neighbor, telling me about friends in Hayward who are already fans of the great bike trail system running from Boulder Junction through Sayner and St. Germain, all the way to County O and Highway 70,” said Currie The trail, explained Currie, is almost

30 miles of off-road trail for familyfriendly riding or walking. It goes by two Northern Highlands American Legion State Forest campgrounds on North Trout Lake and Crystal Lake, and has been a big factor in raising the demand for campsites there. “Noel’s Hayward friends wanted to know if there were other such trails up here and I was happy to be able to provide a resounding ‘yes,’ ” said Currie. The Three Eagle Trail from Three Lakes to Eagle River includes three stretches of boardwalks and a bridge over Mud Creek. The northern stretch is new as of this spring and comes right into Eagle River by the Dairy Queen on Highway 70. The Three Eagle Trail website is

The Wilderness Lakes Trails system includes a 12-mile stretch of trail extending from Land O’ Lakes all the way to Thousand Island Lake Road. Much of it is off road asphalt trail, and the last 3.2 miles is a woodland trail that is brand new as of 2012. Currie said the Great Headwaters Trails system will connect Eagle River and Land O’Lakes, thereby connecting the Three Eagle and Wilderness Lakes trail systems. The family-friendly trails of the GHT system also will link Eagle River to St. Germain, notes Currie, connecting all the bike trail systems in eastern Vilas County to the Boulder Junction, Sayner and St. Germain trail system. “We aim to have the entire GHT sys-

tem in place by the end of the decade,” said Currie. He noted construction on the first 3.2 miles (it will be 40 miles overall) is due to be done this summer in Conover. “When the GHT system is in place, Vilas County will have one of the most extensive branching biking and hiking trail systems in Wisconsin, over 110 miles,” said Currie. “Bike trails like the ones here provide great family fun, satisfying ways to get around and special opportunities for enjoying the unique combination of woods, wetlands, lakes and rivers that Vilas County is famous for,” said Currie. More information about Great Headwaters Trails’ plans are available at the website,

Page 50

Progress — 2013

Continuing a Tradition of Excellence . . . Rennes Health & Rehab — Rhinelander Rennes Group is currently finalizing construction on a 72-bed facility on the north side of Rhinelander, located at 1970 Navajo Street off Hwy. 17. Rennes Group has operated Lillian Kerr Healthcare Center since November 2010, one of its 11 facilities in northeast and central Wiscon-

Rennes is a family-owned, Wisconsin-based provider opening in Rhinelander in March Rehab & Nursing Specialties • 24-hour RN Nursing Care • In-house Staff Therapists • Physical, Occupational & Speech Therapy • One-to-One Patient-to-Therapist Treatment • Outpatient Therapy • Advanced Wound Management

Amenities • Private Rooms & Suites • Wireless Internet • Whirlpool Spa • Beauty Shop • Transportation Provided • Scheduled Social Activities • Religious Services and Select Menu

Rennes Health & Rehab – Rhinelander 1970 Navajo Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501 715.420.0728

Progress — 2013

Page 51

Three Lakes continues advancement of 20-year economic development plan A blueprint focused around four cornerstones of technology, tourism, agriculture and cultural arts has helped guide Three Lakes during the past few years, allowing the community to make numerous developmental strides. The progress being measured in Three Lakes today began with the adoption of the town’s 20-year comprehensive plan in December 2009. In the ensuing three years, dozens of volunteers led by the Town Board of Supervisors and the Plan Commission have been busy building the local economy. The volunteers were appointed to committees mirroring the nine main chapters of the 20-year plan. Areas of focus include economic development, recruitment of new business to town, retention of existing business, job creation, building a technology infrastructure, affordable housing for young families with small children to attend the Three Lakes schools, protection of the lakes and forests from invasive species, and a stable tourism economy. The volunteers also have worked to ensure that goals are met while maintaining the same qualities that have made Three Lakes a unique North Woods community. The results speak for themselves. Since 2009, Three Lakes has received more than $1.25 million in grants. The funds have been used for many areas of need, including the total reconstruction of the roads and sewers in the central residential district and building one of the finest boat landings in the region on Townline Lake. Starting in 2013, the town will create nearly $250,000 worth of sidewalks connecting the school campus with homes where children reside as part of the Safe Routes to School program. “When I took office in 2009, there was this attitude that we were on our own in Three Lakes and that going after grant programs in a big way was out of our reach,” said Three Lakes Chairman Don Sidlowski.

Speakers at a recent symposium on broadband Internet held by the UW-Extension Office of Broadband Sustainability (UWEX OBS) and the Three Lakes Economic Development Committee included, from left, UW-EX OBS Communications

“I refused to accept that view and realized that if we could demonstrate a need that was in lockstep with the issues, goals, objectives and policies in our long-term plan, that the funding agencies would see we were on a mission and respond accordingly,” he said. Armed with that vision, the town began the pursuit of every grant dollar

Health Care Pharmacies Inc. “Caring for you, your family and our communities since 1929”


Hwy. B Land O’ Lakes 715-547-3788



ST. GERMAIN HEALTH CARE PHARMACY 252 Hwy. 70 East St. Germain 715-479-7608

and Web Manager Jennifer Smith; UW-EX OBS Community and Economic Development Manager Professor Andy Lewis; UWEX OBS Director Marie Alvarez-Stroud and Three Lakes Economic Development Committee Chairman Don Sidlowski. —Photo By Jan Hintz

for which it could qualify. Having a plan and the will to bring it to life is only part of the process, according to Sidlowski. “You need funds to accomplish all these things, and in a small community there just aren’t enough local taxpayer dollars to do that,” he said. “They have to be supplemented with outside

sources.” Perhaps the most pivotal decision made early on was to transform Three Lakes into an anchor for technology in the North Woods. More than just a slogan, it’s an ongoing program which aims to bring broadband and highTo THREE LAKES PLAN, Pg. 52

Buying Insurance?!

As your local independent Auto-Owners Agent we’ll look at all your insurance needs. Ask us about Safe. Sound. Secure.® protection from Auto-Owners Insurance Company.

There are so many choices and decisions. • Where should I buy? • What’s a good price? • How much coverage do I need? • What types of coverage? It Can Be Overwhelming • Will I have enough?

Because coverage for what took a lifetime to build, shouldn’t be decided by the latest fad.

Some companies want you to believe that the only thing you should consider is cost, but insurance is much more than just premiums. Insurance is about loyalty and teamwork and community relationships. It’s about stability and consistency, and finding the right coverage at the best price.




701 N. Railroad 4169 Hwy. B Eagle River Land O’ Lakes 715.479.8808 715.547.3552

556 Hwy. 155 Ripco Credit Union St. Germain Eagle River 715.542.3949 715.477.0601


Page 52

Progress — 2013

Three Lakes plan FROM PAGE 51 speed Internet, along with cellular phone coverage, to a rural community at capabilities rivaling larger cities. Today nearly 90% of Three Lakes residents have access to as many as four different providers, according to Plan Commission Chairman Mike Kwaterski. “There is a hunger out there for Internet and cellphone connectivity,” he said. “In reviewing the survey responses from our residents and businesses that were used to define the plan, we recognized that the most robust technology infrastructure possible would be vital to everything we planned to achieve for our economy for the next 20 years and beyond.” Part of the reasoning behind creating better broadband and cellular coverage is to provide incentive to seasonal homeowners and other potential residents to either spend more time in Three Lakes or relocate to the town. The effort has paid off. In the process of creating a broadband and cellular coverage map, Three Lakes drew the attention of the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, leading to invitations for board and committee members to participate in the LinkWisconsin project. That, in turn, opened doors with UW-Extension and others. In short, Three Lakes was getting no-

The Three Lakes Town Board worked with the Three Lakes Fish & Wildlife Improvement Association to renovate the boat landing

ticed for its efforts in creating a technology infrastructure, as no other small town had created such a map on its own initiative. “We created the map with the intention of it being a local resource for our realtors and those moving to Three Lakes so they could see where coverage was available,” recalled Sidlowski. “In May of 2012, when I was sitting across the table from UW-Extension Chancellor Dr. Ray Cross and his team in Madison, they were asking me to tell them how Three Lakes had accomplished this. I realized we had become a part of some-

on Townline Lake. The project included new piers, a new ramp and an asphalt parking lot. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTO

thing much bigger.” Today, the story of how Three Lakes has co-branded economic development with broadband is not only the subject of a video produced by UW-Extension, but its Center for Community Technology Solutions has published a white paper based on the “Three Lakes Model” as a resource for other small communities to emulate. Expanding broadband Internet coverage, applying for grants, working on affordable housing, recruiting new business and creating jobs — these are among the things Three Lakes is work-

ing to implement at the start of the 21st century. “Tourism serves as the drawing card to introduce visitors to Three Lakes, where they’re then shown the benefits of relocating here,” said Sidlowski. “We’ve created the technology structure to back it up, we offer tremendous cultural arts, and our cranberry agriculture is a key part of the local economy,” he said. “Add one of the top libraries in the state, our outstanding school district, and the incredible natural resources, and Three Lakes is the total package.”

Progress — 2013

Page 53

Phelps School District is pioneering application of educational technology ___________ BY DELNICE HILL SPECIAL TO THE NEWS-REVIEW


Phelps School District worked to advance its commitment to education in various ways throughout 2012, including the implementation of new technology, improved academics, enhanced safety and better maintenance. The district is already known to be a leader in the use of educational technology, as it has been a 1:1 computing district for the past four years. All of our secondary students have a laptop and all of our elementary students have an iPad. The school also is fortunate enough to have a Smart Board in every classroom. Now, we’re taking technology a step further in Phelps. All teachers are using at least one eTechBook in a class they teach. An eTechBook is a classroom textbook that is completely digital. Students use the information via iPad or laptop. Phelps’ four-year-old kindergarten (4K) through eighth-grade science curriculum is completely digital. All teachers are using eTechBooks from Discovery Education, which is an internationally known company. If a major scientific event happens, our eTechBooks will be updated with the new information within hours, instead of years like the old standard textbooks. Students

Students of all ages partake in science projects at Phelps School District. The school has implemented the use of eTechBooks in its entire science curriculum. The digital textbooks up-

at Phelps always will have the newest information to study and learn. Another advancement in the use of

date themselves electronically to ensure students are being taught the most current information possible. —Contributed Photos

technology in Phelps School District are teacher Web pages. As of Jan. 18, 2013, every teacher in the district has developed his or her own Web page. Each page is linked to the district’s website. Each teacher web page has information about the individual and class curriculum content. Used daily by students and teachers, especially at the secondary level, the Web pages can be accessed from home for homework purposes during extended absence. Substitute teachers also have found the Web pages to be useful as lesson plans to use for the day. Basically, our teachers have developed a useful tool for communication and instruction. Through our Professional Learning Communities (PLC), Phelps teachers have woven the Common Core Standards into their daily instruction. This is not required until 2014-’15, but they decided to implement the new standards early to allow our students to have plenty of time to acclimate themselves to the changes and new expectations.

A big part of Phelps School District's commitment to education includes providing younger students with exposure to advanced technology. The district provides all its elementary students with iPads and all its secondary students with laptop computers.

PLC also has been successful in finishing the Curriculum Alignment Project which fits well with the new Common Core Standards. Teachers are expecting students to achieve higher aca-

demic levels not only in their daily work, but also with state assessments. All of our teachers have been involved in a year-long learning process to develop our district’s Response To Intervention (RTI). The staff has been working with a CESA 6 facilitator during our in-service days and completing tasks through our collaboration time. Elementary teachers and some of our secondary teachers also have attended workshops from CESA 9 to help us to achieve our goals. RTI is designed to help all students academically and implement strategies in the classroom to ensure no students fall through the cracks and they can get the help needed to be successful. All school districts across the state are expected to have an RTI program implemented by December 2014. Phelps School District has been working on a plan for the last couple of years and will have it completed a year earlier than required by the state. In light of recent national events, our district has made concerted efforts to analyze our safety protocols and features. Our Safety Plan has been reviewed and evaluated by the Phelps Fire DeTo PHELPS SCHOOL, Pg. 54

Page 54

Progress — 2013

Phelps school FROM PAGE 53 partment and Vilas County Sheriff’s Department. Updates and revisions have been made as necessary. The Vilas County Sheriff’s Department has committed to the Phelps School District. They will be visible on campus and will make weekly stops and walk-throughs of the school. Our staff and students sincerely appreciate their efforts to be in our school. We also have plans to upgrade our security system to include random silent alarms throughout the school connected directly to dispatch. Teachers are being trained to use emergency equipment and initiate possible responses to an emergency. Last spring, Phelps Safety Committee sponsored its school and community Safety Fair. It was well attended by students and community adults. Many area businesses and emergency groups set up equipment and shared information with students, staff and community members. It was a worthwhile endeavor. The district continues to find ways to lower our energy use. The maintenance staff recently completed a project to install touchless sensor faucets in all restrooms. Additional timed or sensor lights have been added in different ar-

The majority of the workload during the construction of Phelps’ new ice sculpture frame fell on woodworking students at Phelps High School. The students included, from left, Robby Doppke,

eas of the building. We continue to see savings on our electric bill. Phelps School District produced its first school brochure, highlighting the many attributes of the school. Many area businesses and citizens have promoted our district through the use of these brochures. The district is also involved in the Discover Wisconsin show featuring the Phelps community to be aired May 11, for the first time.

Jason Boettcher, Landin Brockman and Ryan Cirese. Missing from the photo was Cameron Galek. —Photos By Sharon Gifford

Our website also is new and improved. Information regarding the school district, including past and cur-

rent events, can be found online at For more information, contact the school at (715) 545-2724.

Internet Telephone Television

118 Spruce St. Eagle River, WI (715) 480-4800

Bringing You the Future at the Speed of Light… Local family-owned business. Keeps your money in the local economy. There is no limit on the range of our service, eventually all of the Northwoods will be able to get ChoiceTEL services. No setup fees Symmetrical download and upload speeds, which make the Internet faster than DSL or cable. Traditional landline-based phone service. Not VOIP. Keep your current phone number.

Progress — 2013

Page 55




As a gardener, I know that you need to be patient with nature. I use that same technique in my medical practice. I listen carefully to what my patients tell me, and I don’t try to rush things. I provide compassionate nurturing. It’s my greatest pleasure to see my patients thrive.

today. tomorrow. together.



930 East Wall Street*, Eagle River


For Appointments 715.477.3000

* Outpatient department of Ministry Saint Mary’s Hospital

Page 56

Progress — 2013

Feb. 27, 2013  

An update on the business climate, recreational resources and family living environment in Vilas and Oneida counties

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you