RHINELANDER - Getting people downtown more often tops the priority list for Downtown Rhinelander Incorporated.
The group surveyed business owners to find out what they would work on.
At the top of their list: Updating streetscapes and facades, and creating a signature event.
It all revolves around people coming downtown and staying there.
DRI's Maggie Steffen says business owners are starting to improve appearances.
"It's just like if you're trying to sell your home," Steffen said.
"You're trying to have the best foot forward to make it look enticing and make it look like you're innovative and moving forward. I think that's something that the businesses downtown need to do. They have, a lot of them have stepped up, and there's a few more that need to do so."
The group is putting together plans to redesign downtown.
That could include wider sidewalks to encourage outdoor seating.
Those plans would coincide with the city's upcoming utility work.
"We're working on getting a planning grant that gets submitted by the city," Steffen said.
"We're the ones instrumenting that move. That will also help us determine what we're going to do. It's a perfect opportunity, it may seem like a negative at the time but it's a perfect opportunity to totally revamp and get the city up to the next level. It's something brand-spanking new."
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - People from all over the Northwoods celebrated Earth Day today. Students at Lac du Flambeau school participated in a natural resources fair today.
Classes, groups and individual students submitted projects to be judged. By doing the projects they learned the importance of Earth Day.
“Polluting could harm the earth and if that harms the earth later on we won't have a better earth to do stuff on like camping, or fishing, hiking and taking walks,” says Sky Risingsun, a Lac du Flambeau student.
35 projects were judged in the science competition. Each student was given a white spruce seed to take home and plant in their own yard.
“It's a white spruce which is a native tree to this area,” says Bryan Hoover, Lac du Flambeau Energy and Air Quality Coordinator. “We've got almost 500 of them and every student is going to take one home so that they can pick a spot in their yard to plant the new tree and watch that tree grow as it matures.”
NORTHWOODS - People in Wisconsin love their beer, but alcohol is a big problem in the Northwoods. Experts want people to remember that alcohol is a drug and should never be abused.
Alcohol is a depressant and slows down the central nervous system. Experts feel drinking here in the Northwoods has become too normalized.
“When you talk to people even from the Northwoods community alcohol goes hand in hand with family gatherings , graduation, prom, hunting, snowmobiling, recreational activities,” says Katie Kennedy, Options Counseling Service Clinician. “It's kind of created this normalized look at alcohol that it's okay to do that in these environments or in these situations when it actually really increases risks.”
It's not just adults that have alcohol problems. Kids under 21 are finding unique ways to abuse the drug. Some have even resorted to snorting alcohol as a means to get drunk faster.
“What happens anytime you ingest a substance as far as snorting like right into your nose it goes into your mucus membrane,” says Kennedy. “So instead of drinking alcohol whereas it's processed through your system it's a process, the alcohol goes immediately into your body into your blood stream it affects you a lot quicker.”
In 2012 Wisconsin was the number one state for binge drinking. That's according to the Center for Disease Control. April is alcohol awareness month.
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