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The Hodag to be known worldwideSubmitted: 06/15/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

Photos By Shardaa Gray

RHINELANDER - The Hodag will soon be more famous thanks to a Canadian production crew.

C-M-J Productions is creating a documentary called Boogymen that features small towns with monster mascots.

Rhinelander legend has it that Gene Shepard caught the Hodag and displayed it at the 1896 Oneida County Fair.

Today more than 20 people participated in the reenactment of Shepard and his Hodag.

"Every time you hear about Gene Shepard, one of the first thing that comes out of people's mouths is that he reenacted this thing, the showing of the Hodag way back at the first Oneida County Fairs," said Jerry Shidell.

"And I thought it had to be fun then, let's do it now."

About a dozen people came to watch the fun.

Even one of Shepard's relatives came to see his family legend come to life.

"It's just been fun within my family. Growing up it was more of a family big deal," Gene Shepard's relative, Paula Barbian said.

"It wasn't real big in the area for years, but then it's really grown and grown. I just take a lot of pride in it."

The documentary won't be shown in the U.S., only in Canada.

But if it's picked up by a network in the united states, Rhinelander's legacy could be known nation wide.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 02/21/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

During tax-filing season, there are many scams that taxpayers may encounter. We'll tell you how to avoid some of these scams.

The Vilas County fire department is just starting to use a new system that makes it easier to get extra help from area townships. We'll explain how it works and find out how it's working in Rhinelander where they already have the system in place.

And we tag along with an Athens maple syrup producer who is beginning to tap trees now that the season has started.

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

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MADISON - The head of the state prison system is assuring lawmakers that Wisconsin's troubled youth prison is safe.

Department of Corrections Secretary Jon Litscher told the Assembly Corrections Committee during an informational hearing on Tuesday that the prison outside Irma is safe and secure and is focused on educating inmates.

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NEW LONDON, WI - Eleven people, including at least three children, are being treated for injuries following a crash involving a school bus and semi near the Waupaca County and Outagamie County line.

The sheriff's department says the semi driver was airlifted to ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah Tuesday morning.

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker is recommending spending $803 million on state building projects over the next two years, with nearly $450 million of the funding coming from new borrowing.

Walker says the capital budget he released Tuesday prioritizes investment in current facilities and limits new construction.

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WESTON - A Langlade County man died from a gunshot wound outside a Weston bar last week.

Everest Metro Police say Nicholas Houdek was found face down in a parking lot outside Wiggly Field early Friday morning.

Houdek was from Bryant, which is just outside Antigo.

Police didn't say if someone shot Houdek or if he shot himself.

He was a 2007 Antigo High School graduate.

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ASHLAND - Hearing your medical provider gasp usually doesn't mean anything good.  But Laura Christianson admits the first time she saw one of her hospital's newest piece of machinery it left her stunned.

"It literally took my breath away when I saw it move," Christianson said.

For five years, the radiologic technologist at Ashland Memorial Medical Center captured images of broken bones or torn muscles on machines -- some 16 years old -- often in separate rooms. That changed at MMC last fall.

"You set up an exam and all you have to do it pretty much just push a button and it moves to where you want it to move to," Christianson said.

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PARK FALLS - Two weeks ago, St. Anthony's Catholic School in Park Falls said it needed a "miracle."

Without that financial miracle, the elementary and middle school couldn't make ends meet. It would have to close before next school year.

St. Anthony's didn't get that miracle. Last week, the Parish Pastoral Council recommended the school close for next year.

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