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DRI Moves to More Visible SpotSubmitted: 04/05/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

DRI Moves to More Visible Spot
RHINELANDER - The group in charge of improving Downtown Rhinelander used to be holed up in a small second floor office.

That made them somewhat detatched from the area they were looking to serve.

Now, Downtown Rhinelander, Incorporated, will have a spacious new setting and visible spot on Brown Street.

Today, they were busy moving their office to the former "Spice of Life" retail store.

"We felt that it was time that we had a presence on the main street, and we would be accessible. This way will just make an awareness, not only just to the community, but also in the summertime and people walking through the street," says DRI Executive Director Maggie Steffen.

The area had been open since "Spice of Life" closed a few months ago.

"It's kind of nice to be able to take a vacant spot, an available spot, and now put our money where our mouth is in that we're investing and trying to make downtown a valuable place, which it is," says Steffen.

Downtown Rhinelander focuses on historic preservation and economic development in the community.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 10/19/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

Merrill Police are looking into several acts of vandalism that happened earlier this week. We talk to the police captain and a man whose garage was vandalized.

And we introduce you to a woman in the Rhinelander area who keeps an eye on homes of people who are gone for the winter to make sure they're safe.

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

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RHINELANDER - One Rhinelander man's love for drumming started in 6th grade.

That passion led him to start making his own drums.

Northland Music Center owner Will Roffers recently started hand-building custom snare drums.

Some of the shells he works with are pre-made, but his "stave" shells are shaped and sanded.

He used to build and race stock cars, so he knew how to weld and mold, but drum making was a bit more challenging.

"Working with wood is tough for me. You cut something wrong and there's not putting it back together ," says Will.

Will eventually wants to hand-build snare drums to sell to the public.

In the meantime, he restores and customizes sets for customers.

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MADISON - The Senate judiciary committee is set to vote on four bills that would impose tougher drunken driving penalties.

The Republican proposals would create a five-year minimum prison sentence for homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and raise the minimum incarceration period for fifth and sixth offenses from six months to 18 months.

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APPLETON - At about 100 feet when fully extended, climbing to the top of the Merrill Fire Department's new ladder truck isn't for the faint of heart.

"It's a pretty cool feeling," firefighter Rick Sparks said.

But both standing 100 feet in the air and flat on the ground, Sparks was happy to look at his new truck from all sides.

"From the first ideas of a new ladder to seeing it here today and being able to go up on that platform was pretty neat," Sparks said.

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RHINELANDER - Tammy Walters works to fight for veterans' rights and benefits every day.

The Oneida County Veterans Service Officer will now do that on an even bigger scale.

Walters was elected as the president of the County Veterans Service Officers Association of Wisconsin.

"I'm a retired Senior Chief from the Navy, so I'm used to being a leader," she said. "It was just an opportunity for me to kind of do what I did in the military and take a leadership position."

The state association closely monitors the state legislature on veterans issues. It gives input on bills and brings concerns to the attention of lawmakers.

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ANTIGO - You won't find any pesticide sprays at one Antigo apple orchard, but you will find pigs.

Grandview Orchard and Nursery Stock sits on the highest point in Langlade County.

Lisa Rettinger bought the orchard two years ago with the plan to manage it naturally.

She's still in the transition process of going organic, but she doesn't use chemical pesticides.

Orchard pigs do some grazing and eat wind-fallen apples.

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RHINELANDER - Dixie Mathews doesn't have the biggest frame or biggest car, but her heart and trunk are full of love this week.

"This is just part of who we are," Mathews said.

Wednesday morning, Mathews and a handful of First United Methodist church members loaded up cleaning supplies and personal items into the back of her SUV in Rhinelander.  Dixie and the supplies are headed for a relief item distribution center in central Illinois.

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