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NEWS STORIES

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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Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

STAR LAKE - Three people remain in the hospital after a car crossed the center line on County Highway K in Star Lake on Saturday.

The Vilas County Sheriff's Office got the call of an accident around 3:45pm Saturday.

51-year-old Eric Sather of Conover was heading east when he crossed the center line and hit another car. 67-year-old John Schroeder from New Holstein and his wife, Jane, were in the other car.

One male driver was flown to Aspirus Hospital in Wausau, while the female passenger was taken to Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff. The other male driver was taken to Eagle River Memorial Hospital and later flown to Marshfield.

Alcohol may be a factor in the crash.

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RHINELANDER - Many people in the Northwoods got the chance to try out canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards this weekend.

Mel's Trading Post held a paddle demo day in Rhinelander.

Anyone could come out to Hodag Park to try out the equipment.

The store's owner thinks it's good for people to try boats out before buying them. 

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ST. GERMAIN - There might not be snow on the ground right now, but that doesn't mean people can't enjoy snowmobiles. 

More than 5,000 people were in St. Germain on Sunday for the Classic Sled Roundup. 

The Snowmobile Hall of Fame in St. Germain organized the event.

This is the 11th year of the event. 

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WISCONSIN DELLS - A 21-year-old Chicago man who went missing in the Wisconsin River near the Wisconsin Dells remains missing.

Police in Columbia County are using sonar to try and find his body. Police say the man went under water around 7:15pm on Saturday while swimming to shore and didn't resurface.

Divers worked until midnight to find the man. Search efforts continued Sunday morning. Police say the man was fishing on a rock island area and appeared to get caught in a current while swimming back to shore.

Family members and witnesses tried to help him but couldn't. The victim's name is not being released at this time.

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WOODRUFF - Two events in Woodruff helped raise money for two local groups.

On Saturday there was a craft fair and car show at the Woodruff Town Hall.

The Dr. Kate Museum organized the craft fair.

The money made went to a scholarship the museum gives out.

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LAND O' LAKES - The Land O Lakes Area Artisans (LOLA) Center went through some remodeling for its classroom.

After a few months, the classroom is finally finished, and it's being dedicated to a woman who left a big impact on the community.

Friends and family got together to remember Sandra Brown, who shared her love of art with the Land O Lakes community. She passed away in 2010.

Sandra gave her time and skills to areas that didn't have art programs, and they found a way to show their appreciation.

"The space has been enlarged greatly," said LOLA President Lynn Richie. "It was a coffee shop originally. And it's being dedicated to Sandra Hardy Brown, who was instrumental in bringing us money through a memorial fund when she passed away, and it helped kick start our art classes."

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RHINELANDER - The Pioneer Park Historical Complex in Rhinelander opened Saturday for the season.

More than 75 people came to check out the museum in the first two hours it was opened.

It takes a while for workers to get used to working at the complex again.

"We haven't done this since last October, September, you know, and so it's like 'oh okay, how do I do this?'" says Pioneer Park Historical Complex Coordinator Aprelle Rawski.

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