NEWS STORIES

Remembering a hodag legend - behind the microphone, in the communitySubmitted: 06/25/2013
Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


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.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS
Chimney fire significantly damages Conover homeSubmitted: 11/27/2014

CONOVER - Firefighters blame a chimney fire for damaging a Conover home, according to the Vilas County Sheriff's Office.

The fire happened around 4:49 p.m. Thursday at 3950 E. Pioneer Rd. That's south east of Conover near Pioneer Lake.

The sheriff's office says the fire significantly damaged the house.

No one was hurt.

+ Read More
National forest seeking committee membersSubmitted: 11/27/2014

RHINELANDER - Federal officials are looking for people to join two Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest advisory committees.

One committee serves the Chequamegon portion of the forest in northwestern Wisconsin. The other serves the Nicolet portion in northeastern Wisconsin. Both panels work to improve relationships between forest users and advise forestry officials on which projects to undertake and spending.

Each committee is made up of 15 members who represent diverse interest groups. Members must be Wisconsin residents and be willing to serve a four-year term.

+ Read More
Bundle Up program aims to keep families warm; how you can helpSubmitted: 11/27/2014

Play Video

RHINELANDER - You can help families stay warm this winter by donating your extra winter clothing to the Big Bundle Up Campaign. Tourism groups across Wisconsin are looking for mittens, scarves, coats, and other winter gear.

"Those would be really helpful for a lot of people in the area," Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dana DeMet said. "And I think the biggest challenge in the Northwoods is that it's just not as visible, so it's a little harder sometimes to garner that support if you are not faced with it on the streets every day."

+ Read More
List of holiday events around northcentral Wisconsin this weekendSubmitted: 11/27/2014

NORTHCENTRAL WISCONSIN - Here is a list of some of the special holiday events going on around northcentral Wisconsin this weekend.

FRIDAY
Boulder Junction
26th Annual Christmas
5-8 p.m.
Downtown Boulder Junction

+ Read More
People Across the Northwoods are thankful for many thingsSubmitted: 11/27/2014

Play Video

NORTHWOODS - Aspects of your life that you are thankful for always seem to standout on Thanksgiving.

It did not take long to find people in Eagle River who were thankful for something's.

"I'm thankful I've got a house, I have a roof over my head I can eat every day, I have a job," said Eagle River's Brad Pagels. "There really isn't much I want for or lack for anything."

"I'm thankful for many many things but the one thing I can think of in particular is having the kindest wife in the world someone who I can love and respect for all my days," said Peoria, Illinois Native Ben Prichard.

+ Read More
St. Theresa Catholic Church serves free Thanksgiving mealSubmitted: 11/27/2014

Play Video

THREE LAKES - You could get a fair share of turkey in Three Lakes Thursday.

St. Theresa Catholic Church served a free Thanksgiving dinner for the community.
The church's goal was to make sure everyone in the area had an opportunity to enjoy a good meal.

This was the first Thanksgiving meal served in a couple

+ Read More
UPDATE: Wisconsin Rapids Police find missing 21-year-old manSubmitted: 11/27/2014

WISCONSIN RAPIDS - Police in Wisconsin Rapids have found a 21-year-old man that had been missing.

Friends and family of Patrick E. Howard hadn't seen him since Tuesday afternoon.



+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here