PHELPS - Take a scavenger hunt. Give it a 21st century twist, and you get Geocaching.
"Geocaching is a very inexpensive opportunity for the people in town to get together with their families and do something else without having the computer screens always in front of the kids," says Arlyne Becker, Phound It in Phelps co-coordinator."
Arlyne and her husband recently organized a free Geocaching event in Phelps.
Treasure hunters take a list of coordinates and use their GPS's to find containers like this called Geocaches.
"They have little trinkets and stuff in there that you can trade," Becker says.
Once you find a Geocache, you take a trinket out, and put one in.
That way the Geocache remains full for others.
"It's fun to do that because I really like finding things," says 6-year-old Abraham Meinka.
Abraham and his dad, Kevin, play this never-ending game in Wisconsin and their home state of Michigan.
"I like to get him out into a wild area to have him experience nature. I think he has a good time finding things and looking for them," Kevin says.
Geocaching isn't just a fun, inexpensive way to get the family outdoors.
It also helps them find some of their new favorite places.
"You get out into these parks and wild areas that you would not know about except for you're there geocaching and some of them, you know, we now regular because they're just such interesting, neat places," Kevin Meinka says.
The 21st century scavenger hunt started in 2000 in Oregon.
Since then, it's expanded worldwide.
Now there are more than 2 million Geoecaches located around the world.
Arlyne lives in West Bend now but decided to organize the event in her hometown to show people what Phelps has to offer.
"The people that have come in here, a lot of them have been, 'We've heard about it. We don't know what it is. We're from Chicago. You know, get us going on this. And what a perfect opportunity for them all to get to try it," Becker says.
Those geocachers can now put Phelps on the worldwide geocaching map.
RHINELANDER - A large open lot on Rhinelander's east side could soon fill in with a chain restaurant.
Cory Moritz-Hoffmann and her husband hope to build a Pizza Ranch next to Kwik Trip on Eisenhower Parkway. The pair of former Pine Lake firefighters got the idea about six years ago when they first went to a Pizza Ranch in Iowa.
They considered pursing a franchise then, but it was more than they could afford at the time. About two years ago, the Hoffmanns contacted an investor and saw an opportunity to turn their dream into a reality.
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander factory that makes smoke flavoring caught fire early Monday morning.
Shortly before 6:00 a.m., Rhinelander, Crescent and Newbold Fire Departments responded to a fire at Red Arrow Products on Rhinelander's west side.
An employee says there were about eight workers inside at the time.
No one was injured.
"Flames were coming out of a conveyor area as high as the roof. We made an interior attack and knocked that flame down. Came in from the other side of the partition wall, then made another interior attack and knocked that down," says Chief Terry Williams.
As of 7:30 a.m. Monday morning, firefighters were still working to make sure the flames were out.
RHINELANDER - The Oneida-Vilas Transit Commission will get its long-awaited federal funding installment by October 4.
The timing means no Northwoods Transit Connections drivers will have to voluntarily furlough their pay, but the requirement of 24-hour advance notice for rides will stay in place.
Transit Commission Chair Erv Teichmiller learned the news over the weekend.
The commission is waiting on an expected payment of $300,000 from the federal government. In 2016, that money came in early September. As of last Friday, the commission wasn't expecting the payment until as late as November.
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