Hodag could be named 'Best High School Sports Mascot'Submitted: 02/27/2013
Story By Ryan Michaels

RHINELANDER - We see them up and down the sidelines of some of our favorite sporting events. Big stuffed birds, dogs, and some things we wouldn't even know what they were, unless they were our very own.

The Rhinelander Hodag is in a national mascot competition where the winner will be named...

"The Best High School Sports Mascot in America"

It all started with a phone call from USA Today to Rhinelander School District's Activities Director Charlie Laham.

He was asked to describe the story behind the unique Rhinelander High School mascot.

"It's my recollection that the hodag would eat white bull dogs. That's how the story was around the campfire and as I was told. So I shared that with him and got quite a chuckle."

The Hodag was selected along with five other Wisconsin mascots to compete nationally for the best mascot title.

The competition will last throughout the month of March with several winners advancing through different rounds.

In the end only one, enthusiastic, person-stuffed suit can win.

"This fictitious, prehistoric creature, from the woods that is one of a kind and just seeing it, I think you'd have to vote for it."

Voting for the first round of the competition ends in six days. You can help the Hodag win by following the link under this story on our webpage.

Related Weblinks:
Vote Here!

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Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com

What We're Working OnSubmitted: 10/27/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

For months people around Squash Lake near Rhinelander have debated who should pay what to have DNR divers clear Eurasian Water Milfoil. This morning, the Crescent Town Board passed a resolution to approve forming a Squash Lake District. But some people who live near the lake aren't sure they want a district. Tonight you'll hear from people on both sides of the issue.

An anonymous woman donated $10,000 to go towards a new dog park in Rhinelander. We talked to a dog park advocate to find out what the donation means for the project.

And the Antigo Red Robins put up 56 points in winning their playoff opener against Fox Valley Lutheran last Friday. But the road only gets more difficult from here. We'll take you to the Robins' practice tonight as they get ready for tomorrow's Level 2 game.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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WOOD COUNTY - We now know the names of the people involved in a Wood County Crash that killed two people Tuesday afternoon.

The Wood County Sheriff's Department says the cars crashed head-on along Highway 80 in the Town of Dexter around 3:30.

71-year-old Barbara Baldwin of New Lisbon was driving one of the cars, and died in the crash.

Her passenger, 74 year old Louise Hemenway of New Lisbon, also died.

Another passenger in the car, 72-year-old Dona Sharp, was hurt....as was the driver of the second car, 30-year-old Greg Kopelke of Wisconsin Rapids.

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BISMARCK, ND - Authorities have begun arresting some Dakota Access pipeline protesters at a camp the demonstrators set up on private land in the path of pipeline construction.

An Associated Press reporter says law enforcement officers formed a horseshoe-like loop around the camp in North Dakota.

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TOMAH - The Tomah VA Medical Center will end a lease agreement for a shelter for homeless veterans.

The Veterans Assistance Foundation has operated the shelter for nearly 20 years.

Tomah VA spokesman Matthew Gowan says there have been more than 30 incidents involving shelter residents recently.

They include a suicide attempt, a drug overdose and criminal violations.

The center has given the foundation notice that it will end the lease in January.

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MILWAUKEE - A Milwaukee police officer whose fatal shooting of a black man sparked a weekend of violent unrest in the city has been ordered to stand trial on unrelated sex assault charges.

Dominique Heaggan-Brown appeared in Milwaukee County Circuit Court in handcuffs Wednesday as he waived his right to a preliminary hearing. The 24-year-old man is facing five charges that accuse him of sexually assaulting two men and soliciting sex from two others. He's jailed on $100,000 bond.

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MERRILL - People know Helene's Hilltop Orchard in Merrill as the place to go to get your fall season fix.

The pie makers and apple peelers come in early to crank out caramel apple pies fresh throughout the day.

When people come to Helene's, they are usually greeted by the smell of the pies before they even see them.

"I love being out in the parking lot when people step out of their cars and smell the air. It doesn't smell like a lot of other farms. It's distinctly the cinnamon sugar you smell," said Helene' Hilltop Orchard baker Olivia Telschow.

Helene's is only open for six weeks from mid-September to late October; however, Telschow works alongside her mother Helene throughout the entire year.

Even in the winter, the apple orchard is checked on.

"February is pruning season. Think of me when it's minus ten and it's snowing and windy and snow drifts because I will be out there," said Telschow.

The orchard is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through October 30th.

Helene's will close Sunday for the season, but pies will be available to order for Thanksgiving.

Call (715) 536-1207 for more information.

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MERRILL - A former Merrill High School choir teacher will go to jail after a judge found him guilty of sexual assault last month. 

26-year-old Chase Tonar will spend three years on probation and 15 years on a sex offender registry. As a part of that probation, Tonar will serve four months in jail.

Tonar had sex with a student both while he was a teacher at Merrill High School and after he resigned last May.

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