RHINELANDER - Rhinelander residents love the Hodag.
Soon, they'll be able to see more of them around Rhinelander.
Downtown Rhinelander, Inc. auctions off Hodags painted by local artists every year.
DRI hopes to raise $10,000 this year.
That money will help DRI improve downtown Rhinelander.
"We're trying to create events. We're also trying to do economic restructuring and helping recruit businesses and retain the existing businesses. There's just an organization part where we disseminate information from our office. And there's a downtown beautification piece," says Downtown Rhinelander, Inc. President Mark Gutteter.
This is the first year artists will decorate mini hodags.
DRI decided to make the change after hearing from members of the community.
"The original Hodags were 7 or 8 feet long, and 6 feet tall. There was a lot of interest in those but they're not applicable to everyone - everyone's yard or in front of everyone's business so we had a lot of people interested in smaller Hodags. So this year's Hodag is about 2 feet tall, maybe 2.5 or 3 feet long," added Gutteter.
The Hodags will be unveiled and auctioned off at the Hodag Howl on October 26th.
DRI will auction off five mini Hodags.
Five others will be displayed at local businesses.
PHILLIPS - The Price County Sheriff's Office wants to find out what it needs to do to get a K-9 officer. Sheriff Brian Schmidt believes a new dog would improve the office's ability to find drugs.
The county doesn't have its own K-9 officer. However, they do turn to other departments for help.
"What we would utilize is surrounding counties, and it is at their discretion," Schmidt said. "Like Rhinelander, we utilize their dog on occasion, maybe once or twice a year. But again, it is their dog, so they have their needs come first. So if we have our own equipment, our needs are met with our equipment."
WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling received a record number of phone calls to the helpline in 2014â€"14,731 to be exact. This is a 5.6 percent increase from calls received in 2013.
Some of the callers reported having to file for bankruptcy or having thoughts of suicide. The report from the Council also calculated $47,000 as the average gambling debt of callers in 2014, and $20,000 as the median debt.
VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County finally got what it wanted. For fifteen years, the county had needed someone to act as a full-time Recreational Officer--someone to monitor public safety on the snowmobile and ATV trails as well as the lakes and rivers. Now, Vilas County Deputy Sheriff Randy Schneider will fill that role.
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