RHINELANDER - People in Rhinelander knew him by voice alone.
But Todd McEldowney, the longtime voice of the Hodags, was much more than that to the community.
He died late last month.
"He was synonymous with Hodag sports. He was the voice of the Hodags," says Todd McEldowney, Todd's son.
The senior McEldowney became almost as much of an institution for Rhinelander athletics as the Hodag itself.
His 33 years behind the radio microphone and as a teacher at Rhinelander High School inspired, as well as entertained.
"People left him feeling better about themselves and better about the world they lived in, because he truly loved what he was doing," his son remembers.
Football to basketball, softball to snowmobile derbies, WOBT radio to a stint here at Channel 12, and the microphone to the classroom, the Rhinelander community knew and loved him.
"All in all, we had an excellent time together," says his longtime partner, Paul Ebert.
Ebert was with him in the booth for decades.
"I probably preferred basketball on the fact that it was indoors and warm," Ebert laughs.
"If I wasn't with him broadcasting, we were probably fishing for walleyes on the weekend," he says.
Many people thought he could go even bigger than the Northwoods.
"I would think he would have been network caliber," says Ebert.
"He decided that teaching was so important to him, and he loved being around the kids so much, that he was going to stay here in Rhinelander, support his Hodags, and teach for Rhinelander High School," says the junior McEldowney.
Stay, support, and teach - and be vital member of the Rhinelander community.
"He always thanked people that were listening. He mentioned specifically the shut-ins and the people that couldn't get to the games," says his son.
McEldowney signed off with his signature line for the last time in 1988.
"Win or lose, it's always a good idea to back your Hodags," he would say.
But that didn't end his love for Rhinelander.
"He was so proud and so loyal to the Hodags, and that's something he took with him until the day he died," his son says.
He died on May 26th, loving every minute of life.
"He always said in his closings that he hoped people enjoyed the broadcast as much as he enjoyed bringing it to them."
You can help remember McEldowney by aiding in building a new press box at Mike Webster Stadium, Rhinelander's football home.
Make donations out to McEldowney Memorial.
Send them to O'Melia, Schiek, and McEldowney, 4 South Stevens Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501.
TOMAHAWK - Car enthusiasts flocked to Tomahawk Sunday for the Main Street Memories car show.
The 22nd annual car show attracted cars and visitors from all over.
The streets of Tomahawk were filled with more than 200 cars of all different kinds. Main Street Memories car show is a Memorial Day tradition.
"You know 22 years going strong, and we're proud of it," said Tomahawk Main Street director Christine Vorpagel. "Tomahawk Main Street, we're all about historic preservation and sustainable development."
For many spectators, car shows are another way of learning about American history.
MARATHON COUNTY - Firefighters call a Town of Berlin house a total loss after a fire destroyed it early Sunday morning.
According to the Marathon County Sheriff's Office Facebook page, crews got a call around 1:40 a.m. to the 11,000 block of Naugart Drive. When they got there, the house was totally up in flames.Several surrounding fire departments were called in to help.
No one was hurt. The house is valued at more than $100,000.
Investigators don't think the cause of the fire was anything suspicious, but they are still investigating.
MARINETTE COUNTY - A 90-year-old man died in an ATV crash in Marinette County late Saturday afternoon.
According to the Marinette County Sheriff's Office, it happened private property north of Newton Lake in the Town of Athelstane.
90-year-old James Bosanny was driving the ATV with his 64-year-old son, James Bosanny, Jr., on board. He lost control on a small hill after hitting a plow before the ATV accelerated and hit a tree. They both were thrown off the ATV. The 90-year-old died at the scene.Crews took the son first to Bay Area Medical Center in Marinette and then later taken to a hospital in Green Bay for serious injuries.
The sheriff's office says neither was wearing a helmet. Police don't think alcohol or speed played a part in the crash.
Crews are still investigating. James Bosanny, Sr., was from Monroe, Wisconsin, and his son, James Bosanny, Jr., was from Hortonville, Wisconsin.
CONOVER - The rain fortunately stayed away in Conover for a part of Sunday afternoon just in time for the grand opening of the Conover-Phelps bike trail.
The project has been years in the making, and now it's ready to ride. A couple hundred people and local leaders came out in support of it.
"There's a real feel for people being enthusiastic about this," said Jeff Currie, the President of Great Headwaters Trails, which helped lead the bike trail project.
It's supposed to connect Conover to Phelps through nearly 11 miles of paved trail. The first part is open and goes from Conover Community Park to Muskrat Creek Road.
"3.2 miles on the ground and ready to be ridden on biked or hiked," said Brian Blank, the chairman of the Conover-Phelps Trail Capital Campaign.
"When people hear about a town and then when people say, have you seen their bike trail, it's just, right away it's like there's more to that town than I thought there was," Currie said.
While not yet complete, project leaders are hopeful the trail will be finished soon. Project leaders say the second part of the trail, about five miles long, is fully engineered but about 60 percent funded.
"We're about $200,000 away from completing the remaining five miles," Blank said.
"You know that funding could come, and when it does, five miles of trail in two or three months will be on the ground," Currie said.
"I have no doubt in the next couple years this trail will be completed all the way to Phelps," said Gary Meister, the vice president of Great Headwaters Trails.
The trail is non-motorized so, no ATVs allowed, but it will be a snowmobile trail in the winter.
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