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NEWS STORIES

Hodag Block Party brings the kids outSubmitted: 06/29/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray


Photos By Shardaa Gray

RHINELANDER - A bouncy house, temporary tattoos and music welcomed families to downtown Rhinelander this morning.

This was the second annual Hodag Block Party.

Downtown Rhinelander was blocked off from Stevens to Brown Street along Davenport.

Games and activities for kids lined the streets.

The goal of the event- to have fun and raise funds and awareness of the Northwoods Childrens Museum.

Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce director Lara Reed took the opportunity to show off the town.

"That's kind of what we're always looking at trying to do is create events that gets people to our downtown because while they're down here they will see restaurants that we have," said Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Lara Reed.

"They'll see shops that we have. Hopefully they're kind of checking those things out today as well."

Just before the block started runners took off down the street for the Hodag Run For Your Life.

Tying the two events together seemed like a natural fit.

"It's just a good opportunity to partner up with the Y and have some sort of event that piggybacks all of those folks that were down here." Reed said.

"It's an event that draws in a lot of families."

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MERRILL - The historical society has been working on planning the event since last October.

A transportation theme was chosen for 2015.

"[We're] on our history hunt, and we are learning about where the railroads went around Merrill, how the river was important, where the trolley went, where the old highways go, and all of those thing are included in our packet of navigation," said Merrill Historical Society's Jane Francoeur.

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WAUSHARA COUNTY - A dump truck hit a restaurant in central Wisconsin Friday night. Six people were hurt from the crash.

According to Wisconsin State Patrol, the 62-year-old driver was heading west on State Highway 21 in Waushara County around 7pm. He then hit a car from behind, kept moving, and hit Elmer's Place before stopping.

The driver and five people in the pizza restaurant were hurt. The driver from the Wisconsin Dells was taken to the hospital with life threatening injuries.

The crash is still under investigation.

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LAND O' LAKES - The Phelps community came together Saturday to turn tragedy into something positive.

"Mrs. Johnson was always one of our favorite teachers, you could go to her about anything like troubles at home or bullying, and she'd always be there for us so it's really nice to give back to her," said Phelps 8th grader Alexandria Myszka.

Kim Johnson works as the music teacher at Phelps Middle School. After her husband D.J. was hurt in an accident last month, he's now paralyzed from the waist down.

But the community decided to help the family.

"Originally, this was our 8th grade class fundraiser, but after we heard about Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, we decided to donate all of the proceeds to them," said Myszka.

The Phelps 8th graders hosted a breakfast fundraiser at The Sunrise Lodge in Land O' Lakes. More than 300 people came out in support.

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - Some veterans might be eligible for various benefits, but not all veterans know which ones they can get.

That's why there was a Veterans Benefit Forum held Saturday afternoon in Lake Tomahawk.

Oneida County's Veteran Service Officer Tammy Walters spoke at the forum and answered questions.

"I like, when I have the opportunity to get out there and tell them about benefits because there are a lot of benefits out there and people don't always qualify for them," says Walters. "There's going to be someone that's going to leave here today and they're going to be eligible for a benefit they had no idea they were eligible for."

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WAUSAU - This was the sixth year that the event was held at various places in Marathon County. Volunteers were picking up trash to better their communities at 35 locations. Many local groups were involved.

"Faith Christian Academy and Hope Life Center, and there's other businesses and groups within the city of Wausau," said volunteer Dave Arends.

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LAKE MILLS - A Lake Mills facility will start production again after they euthanize 800,000 chickens. That comes after a highly contagious bird flu spreads in the Midwest.

The Daybreak Foods facility tested the flock every day for the virus after a facility in Jefferson County tested positive ten days ago.

Every test for the Lake Mills facility was negative until they found dead birds this week. The virus also spread to other facilities in Minnesota and Iowa.

Bird flu is believed to spread by waste from birds flying over commercial poultry facilities.

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ASHLAND - An Ashland High School science teacher has returned from a multiple week oceanic research experience to start passing on her new knowledge.

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