St. Patrick's Day parade returning to Rhinelander in 2013
Story By Lane Kimble
RHINELANDER - Businesses, kids, parents and partygoers. All of them find themselves hoping for great weather in just under two weeks.
Last year, about 30 floats paraded down Brown Street while thousands of people enjoyed the festivities in 77 degree weather.
David O'Melia and Jim Winkler will bring that parade back in two weekends.
They think last year's success can be a good starting point.
"We were very surprised," O'Melia said. In fact, the chief of police estimated up to 2000 people watching the parade in March for the first annual. I hope we can get near that."
About 35 floats are signed up for this year's parade so far. That compares to 30 last year. Organizers expect to get even more.
Winkler says that would be good news for businesses in town.
"They had way more business than they normally do on a Saturday afternoon simply because we got people downtown," Winkler.
"That's part of the whole thing here is to get people into town and then have them hang out for a couple hours and visit the shops and bars and eating establishments and become part of the St. Patrick's festivities."
The organizers will accept float applicants right up until St. Patrick's Day.
You can contact Jim by calling his shop at 715-369-3030.
The Pub Crawl will feature the same pubs as last year and will have extended hours. It will run Saturday from noon to bar close and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. There will be a drawing Sunday afternoon.
VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County finally got what it wanted. For fifteen years, the county had needed someone to act as a full-time Recreational Officer--someone to monitor public safety on the snowmobile and ATV trails as well as the lakes and rivers. Now, Vilas County Deputy Sheriff Randy Schneider will fill that role.
WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling received a record number of phone calls to the helpline in 2014â€"14,731 to be exact. This is a 5.6 percent increase from calls received in 2013.
Some of the callers reported having to file for bankruptcy or having thoughts of suicide. The report from the Council also calculated $47,000 as the average gambling debt of callers in 2014, and $20,000 as the median debt.
PHILLIPS - The Price County Sheriff's Office wants to find out what it needs to do to get a K-9 officer. Sheriff Brian Schmidt believes a new dog would improve the office's ability to find drugs.
The county doesn't have its own K-9 officer. However, they do turn to other departments for help.
"What we would utilize is surrounding counties, and it is at their discretion," Schmidt said. "Like Rhinelander, we utilize their dog on occasion, maybe once or twice a year. But again, it is their dog, so they have their needs come first. So if we have our own equipment, our needs are met with our equipment."
VILAS COUNTY - Many snowmobile trails in Eagle River still need more grooming after all three trail groomers went out of service. The trails didn't get groomed for four days last week because all three of the Sno-Eagles Snowmobile Club's trail groomers need repairs.
The club hasn't had all of their groomers working for a couple of weeks. Sno-Eagles President Ken Storms said the trails took a big hit last week when all three went down. The club says it has made a concerted effort to catch up with trail grooming, and get the trails smoothed out.
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