A community reflection on 2013, a pretty good year|
There is a strong superstition surrounding the number 13.
Hotels don’t have a 13th floor, black cats are known to stalk on Friday the 13th and some even avoid major decisions on that day of the month.
But for Antigo and Langlade County, 2013 was a good year.
We have experienced a number of business gains and recent industrial news showing interest in our community and its residents.
— An announcement by Sartori that it has launched $14 million in capital improvements, a nice share of it at the Antigo cheese production facilities.
—The sale of an already strong and growing industry, Merit Gear, to Milwaukee’s Rexnord organization. Rexnord is a massive manufacturer expected to continue the growth that has been a Merit trademark.
— The continued growth of family-owned Volm Companies, a local firm that has scored amazing innovation and expansion over the decades. It is a centerpiece of commerce in the state of Wisconsin, doing business on an international platform in an amazing range of products from sophisticated robotics packaging machinery to bags for fruits, vegetables and more.
On a more localized basis, Parsons of Antigo has done a stunning job of expanding and modernizing its automobile dealership here and the Wood Technology Center, a cooperative program between Langlade County and Northcentral Technical College, is proving to be a stunning success for this area. The award-winning facility is providing training and quickly being established as a Mecca for wood-related industries.
On that same local basis, the handicapped and elderly residents at Park View Manor, a 40-year-old facility on Third Avenue, will benefit from an influx in funding for a major renovation project due to start in 2014. It will keep it a lively and important center for county residents.
Langlade Hospital, which has been in a state of constant construction since ground-breaking on its new facility on Nov. 1, 2010, was completed during the course of the summer, with the new Center for Health and Performance and upgrades to the Aspirus General Clinic. There are already dividends, with the announcement of a new partnership adding to the level of cardiac services available locally.
Of course, where there is good news, there’s always a smattering of bad.
There will be automobile crashes and tragic events that could remind us of the power of the number 13.
If the editorial department picked focused on downside topics, they would certainly include the bath salts epidemic. Not what you buy at Bed, Bath and Beyond, but a dangerous drug imported from Asia that has wrecked careers, destroyed families and did untold mental damage to individuals involved in its use. Some of the stronger people linked to it have recovered, and we salute them. But the Langlade County Safety Building lockup is well populated by the bath salts crowd. Law enforcement officials are doing a commendable job educating the public about the dangers and there are signs of progress.
There are other factors we could cite, including acrimony on the Antigo Unified school district board, but an election looms and that problem simply may vanish.
It has been a year where the residents of Langlade County can count their blessings.
Simply put, we are moving ahead, and there are strong signs that 2014 will be even better.
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