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NEWS STORIES

Boat Launch Moves Forward In RhinelanderSubmitted: 04/22/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray


Photos By Shardaa Gray

RHINELANDER - You might not be thinking about boating just yet, but the city of Rhinelander and some entrepreneurs want you to.

The Parks Buildings and Grounds Committee approved the rebuilding of piers at the Boom Lake landing.

After the piers have been replaced, boat tours will start in July.

The city says they'll help out with the costs, but wants the business owners to pay them back.

President of the Northwoods Chapter "Lets Go Fishing" Sue Koehne says they'll accommodate whatever their customers want to do.

"If somebody wants to go out for a couple of hours to fish, we'll take them," said Koehne.

"We can accommodate both wheel chairs and just people who need seating. We'd also do scenic tours out on the boom lake from the Hodag Park."

Koehne says they'll be looking for volunteers to help them out in the near future.

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Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





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FLORENCE - People in some areas of Wisconsin may take easy access to groceries for granted. People in Florence don't.

Last year, the USDA considered the Florence area a "food desert". There was no grocery store in all of Florence County, and it had been that way for seven years.

That's all changed. Pat's Foods has now been open for a year in town.

A vacant space in Florence looked like a slab of concrete with a roof a year ago. Now, Pat's Foods stays busy every day at the location. The full service grocery store supplies food and fresh produce, meats, and dairy. That convenience means people are shopping steadily at Pat's, and business is good.

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MADISON - The state Senate has approved a raise for state troopers and a new compensation plan for other state workers but has delayed debate on the state budget.

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SUGAR CAMP - There could soon be new regulations for unarmed combat sports. The proposed changes would impact the number of competitors here in the Northwoods.

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RHINELANDER - The Hodag Water Shows team could add some new tricks to its performances. The team is currently working on its barefoot skills with one of the world's best barefoot skiers.

"It's a little more high pace, a little more intense, but it's a lot of fun," says Ben Groen of the World Barefoot Center.

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RHINELANDER - Most of the time when you give blood it's in a clinic. But once a year in Rhinelander, organizers bring the process outside.

Tuesday, tents filled up with donors at Pioneer Park for the 6th annual "Hodag MASH Blood Drive."

More than a dozen nurses and workers with the Community Blood Center interviewed, tested and collected blood from donors.

Organizer Jerry Shidell chose the military theme as a unique way to reduce people's anxiety.  Shidell says it doesn't matter what reason you choose to give as long as you do.

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RHINELANDER - The Hodag Country Musical Festival kicks off on Thursday.

But there are already plenty of people camping out for the big event in the Northwoods.

Those campers benefit businesses in the Northwoods both new and old.

Johnny Nickolaou, who opened his liquor store in Sugar Camp around Thanksgiving, understands the importance of tourism.

"Huge, you know you depend on locals year round and they are great, but if it weren't for them I could never afford to be open," said Nickalaou. "But it's really nice getting this push to hopefully get us through the winter months."

Nickolaou set up a deal in preparation of Hodag Country Festival. He discounted around 10 large orders.

"15 case orders, most of them which is quite a bit I thought," said Nickalaou.


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EAGLE RIVER - If you want a new summer activity, look no further than Eagle River. A new art studio offers many different classes to kids and adults. 

"We've been here for a month, but the organization has been together for about three years," said Summer Program Director Erica Bush. "We're very excited to be in our own building finally."

Classes can cost anywhere from $20 to $50. People can sign up for classes ahead of time or just walk into the center. Program directors think it's important for kids to get involved in art early on.

"It's the creativity that the kids learn about," said Bush. "Creativity can go into all different aspects—math, science—it's everywhere. So enforcing art when they're really young will really lead to a more intelligent future for these kids."

The center offers anything from painting to pottery to cooking. Kids shared why they love to take art classes.
"You could just grab a piece of paper or something and then you can just doodle on it," said 4th grader Nicholas Fluegel. 

"It's really calming, and there's no bad way to do art," said 6th grader Grace Florence.

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