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"Lights of the Northwoods" almost ready for tonight's ribbon cuttingSubmitted: 12/14/2017
RHINELANDER - 50,000 twinkling lights will bring holiday cheer Hodag Park in Rhinelander Thursday night.

"Lights of the Northwoods" is a drive-through light show packed with more than 32 individual displays.

Vice President Shawn Will says he's excited and a bit nervous to officially share the display tonight.

Those nerves have nothing to do with the amount of snow we got.

"I was thinking as the snow was flying and I was looking at the lights I'm like, 'This is going to be like one of

those Hallmark movies we watch all the time!' It's really going to be pretty on the lake here with the lights

shining off the snow," says Will.





Story By: Natalie Cardona

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MERRILL - For 32 years Battalion Chief Mike Drury walked into the Merrill Fire Department ready to save lives. Friday he walked out of the department for the last time to start the new phase of his life.
"It goes fast it goes really fast," said Drury.
Drury was about 18 -years -old when he walked into the Merrill Fire Department for the first time.
"When you're 18, 19,20 years old and you're looking at 50 something years old you think you're never going to get there," said Drury. 

Drury is one of 184 firefighters to ever work full time with the city of Merrill.
"As a firefighter they spend a lot of time at the fire house so they miss a lot of things," said Drury's daughter Cassi.
After 32 years of missing birthdays, holidays and family time Drury was ready for a change.

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MERRILL - Taxpayers will need to decide if they want to pay more to support the Merrill Area Public Schools.

Wednesday, the school board voted in favor of a four-year referendum for $2.5 million dollars

The district faces a nearly $2 million operating deficit for next school year.

It has used savings to keep the school running for the last few years.

The priorities of the referendum will be enhancing the school's fab lab, addressing maintenance issues, and attracting and retaining high quality teachers and administration.

Wednesday the school board also reviewed budget options if the referendum does not pass.

The referendum question will be on the April ballot. 


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RHINELANDER - It feels a little better about needing to shovel, blow and plow driveways when people know everyone else needs to, too.

Newswatch 12 found a few people around Rhinelander embracing the tasks Wednesday.

Bart Bartholomew has a motto when it comes to shoveling snow.

"Gotta get her done," said Bartholomew.

Bartholomew geared up Wednesday morning on Stevens Street in Rhinelander with not one, but two shovels.

"It usually takes 45 minutes with an average shovel, [but for] me, it only takes 25 if you have two shovels," said Bart with a laugh.

Rhinelander saw around seven inches of snow Wednesday.

The season's first big snowfall brought many people outside to scrape, shovel and blow their driveways.

"I got [a lot to] do over there," said Mathew Bozek.

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RHINELANDER - Golden Harvest store in Rhinelander wants you to meet its newest store greeter.

He stands far above six feet at the entrance of the store.

"[He's the] North American Big foot," said Golden Harvest employee Steve Quade.

This new store greeter has many names according to Quade.

"[The northern] big foot version is a Yeti," said Quade.

This Yeti is being sold as an abominable snowman which Quade clarifies is the same thing as a Yeti.

"The Yeti is from the Himalayan Mountains," said Quade.

But aside from being an attraction the price tag on the big guy is far from cheap at nearly $1,700.

What's more shocking is how fast someone purchased it.

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RHINELANDER - Most people across the Northwoods woke up to several inches of snow on the ground Wednesday. It's a sight many have been waiting for since the start of the season.

But sometimes those snow covered roads make it hard for people to get their jobs done.

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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander couple thought they were empty nesters. However, an experience volunteering made them open their doors back up to kids who need a temporary home.
The Zoerb's adult children moved out years ago. But at any moment they could get a call from social services that make them bring out their parenting skills for another round.
Rick and Danielle Zoerb work together as realtors putting people in homes that are the perfect fit. However, the husband and wife know their home can be a good fit for others too.
"There's no reason for kids to have to fall through the cracks," said Dani.
Rick met a child at a mentorship program a few years ago. It was a meeting that opened a new door for him and his wife.
"There was no hesitation on our part when we felt the situation was deteriorating for this young boy," said Rick. 

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Police believe a Three Lakes man sexually assaulted a child repeatedly over the course of five years.

For the protection of the victim, Newswatch 12 will not share their age or gender. 

The victim told police they were a child when David Teresinski, 59, first had sex with them.

According to the criminal complaint, the victim said Teresinski had sex with them more than 30 times since 2012. 

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