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Rhinelander Chamber Wins Awards for Hodag MarketingSubmitted: 04/17/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


RHINELANDER - He greets you when you drive into town, and watches over you at nearly every pub, store, even from police cars. Now Rhinelander will get even more recognition thanks to the mythical green monster we all know and love.

The Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce won two advertising awards for its use of the Hodag.

The "What is a Hodag" infographic won the awards from the American Advertising Federation.

The infographic explains the history and mythology of the iconic monster that helped put Rhinelander on the map.


Chamber Executive Director Lara Reed says having a mascot as unique as the Hodag to promote the city with is invaluable.

"It's fun. And I think that really encompasses what we're about. We don't take ourselves too seriously, and we have a lot of fun at what we do. And we hopefully put Rhinelander on the tip of somebody's tongue when they're talking about the Northwoods. 'Oh, do you know what a Hodag is? Yep, and it goes with Rhinelander, Wisconsin'," says Reed.

Locals can even benefit from a trip to the Chamber. The legend of the Hodag is so long, someone who's known him their whole life could learn something new. For example, he eats fish out of the lake but prefers a traditional fish fry with potato pancakes, and his horns can pick up every Milwaukee Brewers radio broadcast.

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Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





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TOMAH - After the death of several veterans, a review of the Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center finds "systemic failures".

A staff report by the Republican majority of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee was released Today.

It found the VA inspector general's office discounted evidence and testimony.

The report says the office also needlessly narrowed its inquiry.....and has no standard for measuring wrongdoing.

The report says the office's failure to publish results of an investigation into the Tomah facility "compromised veteran care."

It also says a culture of fear and whistleblower retaliation continues at the facility.

VA inspectors in 2014 found that doctors were over-prescribing painkillers.

The deaths of three patients remain under investigation.

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CRANDON - When Crandon's Jared Moore first picked up trumpet as a hobby three-and-a-half-years ago, he never thought he would have the opportunity to study at a prestigious performing arts high school.

Now, Jared could study at Interlochen Center For The Arts near Traverse City, Michigan for his four years of high school.

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TOMAHAWK - A Tomahawk police officer pulled an autistic boy to safety after the 10-year-old went too far into a river.

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ABRAMS, WI - Sheriff's officials have searched a golf course in Oconto County as they look for a man who exchanged gunfire with a deputy.

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RHINELANDER - The gloomy weather made it difficult to stay outside for the entire weekend, but the rain brought a lot of people to the Pioneer Park Historical Complex.

The complex opened for the season on Saturday.

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ANTIGO - A group of tractor enthusiasts showed off their work Monday morning at Antigo's Memorial Day parade.

The Northwoods Tractor Club prides itself on refurbishing old tractors to like new condition.

The not for profit group started with just 20 members and has steadily grown to more than 100.

"Northwoods Tractor Club started in 2011 and it's a group of tractor enthusiasts that kinda thought well maybe we should get together and have an organization, maybe help out the community a little bit. So, we got together with 20 guys back then and now we're well over 100 members," says club President Mike McDougal.

Many of the tractors are hand me downs or ones that are too old to be used in the field.

That's why finding replacement parts can be tricky.

"A lot of times it's the family tractor that had been on their parents or grandparents farm. We reworked it and use it for parades such as today. Our whole general purpose of the organization is to raise money and establish an agriculture tractor museum up just north of Antigo is where we're looking at some land right now," says McDougal.

Many of the tractors date back to the 1930s.

Meeting are held on the last Monday of every month at Quinn's Bar in Neva Corners.

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