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

Hodag Block Party brings the kids out
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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 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - Nicolet College's Motorcycle Basic Rider Course teaches folks to safely hit the road on their bike.

The class is in full swing for the season.

Nicolet College Rider Coach Mike Murray says even experienced riders can use a "safety brush-up" this time of year.

Riders should always wear their helmet, long pants and shirts, gloves, and boots.

It's also important to keep your eyes moving for critters that come out of the woods,especially deer.

"If you know you're going to hit it: let off your brakes, hit it with your handle bars straight ahead looking straight ahead so that your bike stays straight up," says rider coach Mike Murray.

The course covers the basics about motorcycles and riding techniques.

It's meant to build confidence when you ride, so that you're prepared for emergencies on the road.

"I've been a rider for a long time. When I completed the class, I had to look back and say man there is a lot of stuff I learned here and a lot of things I was doing the wrong way," says program coordinator Mark England.

You have until October to sign up for the Basic Rider Course at Nicolet.

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MADISON - Wisconsin's prisons for young offenders could see some changes in the way they punish inmates.

A lawsuit is challenging punishment methods at the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake prisons in Lincoln County.



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NORTHWOODS - Some people turn to the internet, social media and newspapers to find a job. 

 However, the job hunt can still bring challenges. 

Some employers say it's not easy on their end either.

It is Steven Pletta's first year owning Hoggie Doggies in Woodruff. 

"I haven't had any luck with any conventional advertising, Craigslist, newspapers or the Wisconsin Job Service. None have really produced any quality applicants," said Pletta.

Pletta wants a bigger work team.

 He's not the only local employer that's been looking. Ferron Fisher faces the same problem at Steigerwaldt Tree Farm in Tomahawk.

"We usually bring on eight to 12 [people] in the summer," said Pletta. 

However, they are four people short.

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MADISON - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is urging Republican senators to reject a Medicaid expansion he turned down but that most states accepted under the health care law passed by former President Barack Obama.

Walker said in a statement Wednesday that there are "no excuses" for Republicans in Congress not to repeal the law and not allow the Medicaid expansion to grow.

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STEVENS POINT - Just shy of turning 96, Will Lehner's body doesn't quite work like it used to.

He's done a lot in his years, but on Wednesday, he did the one thing he never thought possible, he traded in his walker for some wings.

"Thank God that I'm here," Lehner said with a laugh.

The Pearl Harbor Navy Veteran climbed into a 1944 Boeing Stearman biplane--with a few helping hands--and took off over the skies of Stevens Point.

"I was anxious to keep going," said Lehner.

Lehner was able to enjoy this flight thanks to pilot Darryl Fisher.

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ANTIGO - Shaughn Novy figured the perfect place to make a big announcement would be, literally, on her high horse.  On a brown horse, Wenesday Novy announced a significant grant to help promote a rodeo dedicated to Antigo's rich equestrian history.

Novy and her family recently opened the non-profit Black Hawk Hill Horse Park in Antigo.  It focuses on teambuilding and leadership, using horses to teach those skills.

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WASHINGTON D.C. - Senate Republicans plan to vote next week on their version of the health care bill next week.

The bill would replace the Affordable Care Act. Many Democrats, including Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), oppose not only the bill but also the way it's been drafted.

Baldwin was a U.S. Representative in 2010 when Obamacare was passed. 

She said both the House and the Senate held dozens of open hearings and Democrats and Republicans were able to make amendments.

"This house passed measure passed the house with no hearings at all despite its far ranging impact on people's lives," said Baldwin.

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