RHINELANDER - Don't expect to get away with drinking and driving this weekend.
On a weekend when everyone's a little Irish, the Oneida County Sheriff's Office wants you to be more than a little smart.
Oneida County will beef up drunk driving and seatbelt enforcement the entire weekend. They're able to do that thanks to a $12,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
Sheriff's Lieutenant Lloyd Gauthier knows the holiday brings out many more people than an average weekend.
"The possibility of people driving while impaired, and that concerns us," Lt. Gauthier said.
"Our motto at the Sheriff's Office is we're committed to our community. And a big commitment is safety. Wanting people to get out and enjoy the time, have a good time. But take advantage of the programs that are out there through the Oneida County Tavern League, including the Safe Ride Home program."
That Safe Ride program is available at any participating Tavern League Bar. All you have to do is ask a bartender for your free ride.
Lt. Gauthier says people seem to be drinking more responsibly the last few years.
But he also points to a disturbing statistic: more than 500 traffic deaths in Wisconsin last year.
"That's why the DOT is so focused on getting these grants out each year," Gauthier said. "They see that there is a positive side to it with additional enforcement that those numbers are coming down."
The DOT gives out the grants based on where they see roadways that could be safer.
This grant is broad. That means Sheriff's Patrols could be on any road, both county and city or town.
TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk High School sporting events got an attendance boost this winter. At the same time, local charities benefited from the community's generosity.
The school's Varsity Club sponsored six nights of special events, one for each winter sport. The Varsity Club gave out T-shirts printed with team rosters. Meanwhile, fans brought donations for local charities.
"Each kid would walk in and they'd put on their T-shirt," said Varsity Club member Jackie Elliott. "When we got our student section going, they were all together, and you just had this block of white. It was awesome."
RHINELANDER - Cracked concrete, twisted rebar, and overgrown trees and bushes don't paint the most ideal picture for a park. But a Rhinelander alderman sees the perfect chance for a peaceful place to enjoy nature.
Alderman Alex Young hopes to turn an old snow dumping dock site into a "pocket park." The site sits where Norway Street runs into the Wisconsin River behind Ripco Credit Union and the DNR Service Center building.
RHINELANDER - People lived through detours, dust, and demolition throughout most of 2016 in downtown Rhinelander. Residents won't see that kind of work in 2017, but the city is planning more closures and road work to finish up the Streetscape Project.
Crews will start with the Davenport Street Bridge shutting down for a month in starting April 17. Public Works Director Tim Kingman says some sections of concrete, sidewalk, and asphalt pavement shifted, settled and cracked over the winter.
WAUSAU - A contractor fell from a ladder and died at the construction site of the new Hilton Garden Inn in Wausau last week. Now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death.
Marathon County Sheriff's Captain Dale Wisnewski said Shane J. Cash, 45, of Wisconsin Rapids was drilling holes in the ceiling on Thursday when he fell from his ladder and died on scene.
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Rockfleet Broadcasting / Northland Television, Inc. and By Request Web Designs shall not be held responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, or misprints.