Local concert venue may have to limit occupancySubmitted: 06/28/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson

RHINELANDER - The Elbo Room Lounge brings in a lot of people with big-name concerts.

But the building isn't up to code to handle that many people.

For the last two years the fire department allowed the Elbo Room a temporary occupancy limit of nearly 700 people.

Rhinelander Fire Chief Terry Williams says, "[the owner] wanted to first see if this kind of thing would work in the city. And it did. Mr. Mason, then, went and got state-approved building plans to go and do all these upgrades and renovations to the property. But it's gotten to a point where he hasn't done them yet."

John Mason owns the Elbo Room.

Chief Williams says Mason must make the changes or the occupancy limit will go back down to below 300.

Buckcherry is scheduled to perform at Elbo Room July 16th.

The fire department will allow 700 people at that show.

Williams says the concert was already scheduled and there's a lot of community interest.

"Mr. Mason has to have two firefighters and two police officers stand by at the concert to be there for safety concerns with that large of a crowd," says Williams.

Chief Williams says Mason does care about the public's safety.

He also says the Elbo Room Lounge is important to Rhinelander, and he doesn't want this issue to put it out of business.

We called Mason, but we haven't heard back from him yet.

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On Saturday nearly 600 volunteers from the Northwoods decided to help feed some of those children. 

The "Food for Kidz" organization, invited people to Lakeland Union High School, to help package non- perishable goods.

 The packages will be donated worldwide and to nearby food pantries.

Within the past eight years volunteers have packaged one million meals.

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This year volunteers will give 30,000 meals to the Northwoods community.

"It's just the recurring exuberance of the people that come in and do the packing we have many, repeat people that come year after year," said "Food for Kidz" Co-chairman John Breiten. 

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MINOCQUA - By the time most of us finish breakfast, we already start planning what to eat for lunch.

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The Food for Kidz Minocqua committee will lend a helping hand to change that Saturday morning.

Lakeland Union High School's common area will transform into a full-blown assembly line.

Food for Kidz volunteers will pour and pack ingredients into plastic bags.

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Food for Kidz needs more volunteers by tomorrow to meet that goal.

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Walk-in volunteers are welcome to attend either packing shift tomorrow morning.

The first shift is from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The second shift is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

If you can't make it out to Lakeland Union High School Saturday, donations are always welcome.

Call John Breiten at 715-686-7570 for more info.

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