DRI to auction mini HodagsSubmitted: 10/16/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson

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.

Related Weblinks:
Hodag Howl Information

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 10/07/2015

- The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra made its nearly annual stop in Rhinelander Wednesday morning. The orchestra played 200-year-old music for grade school children, but the conductor says Beethoven connects people in ways no other music can. Hear some of the show from him tonight at 5.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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RHINELANDER - Some people like to cozy up next to a fireplace on fall nights, but finding cost-effective ways to stay warm can be risky.

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RHINELANDER - When you think of fundraisers, usually you think of selling candy or gift wrap, but one elementary school is getting more creative with the way they fundraise.

Pelican Elementary School in Rhinelander started their first ever 'Strut for Fund' fun run Wednesday.

Student's family and friends pledge money based on how many laps the kids run around the playground.

The school then gets to use that money.

Organizers say the support is overwhelming in its first year.

"We're really excited, having this be our first year with the amount of support we're seeing with parents who have shown up, and with the enthusiasm in the kids," says Strut for Fund Coordinator Katie Lindner. "I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for all that they're doing to make this a success."

Students got an added treat to help encourage them.

The Hodag came out to help the kids get fired up.

"We had a pep rally [Tuesday]…and the kids were up out of their seats, yelling and cheering," says Lindner. "The Hodag was dancing with them, so they get really excited about it. I had one little boy that came up to me this morning and said 'This is the best day ever,' and was so excited."

Organizers also have other incentives for running like pizza parties and ice cream socials.

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MADISON - A court decision to let the Ho-Chunk Nation offer video poker at its Madison casino will stand after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1jdn78F ) the Supreme Court refused to take case on Monday with no comment. The case was among about 1,600 other cases the court declined to take up.

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MADISON - Republicans who control the state Assembly have introduced a bill that would reshape Wisconsin's campaign finance laws.

The measure would double the amount of contributions candidates for state and local office could accept and calls for adjusting those limits every five years to account for inflation.

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CHICAGO - A suburban Chicago man has been extradited from Wisconsin to face criminal charges in the 2013 carjacking crash that killed an 11-year-old boy.

Thirty-six-year-old Rockie Douglas of Beach Park is charged with murder, aggravated vehicular hijacking with a weapon and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

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MERRILL - The Merrill Police Department runs on the motto: "Serving Merrill With Pride." Tuesday, the people of Merrill returned the favor.

Every penny of the Friendship House Restaurant's proceeds from open to close went to the K-9 unit.

Eros, the German Shepherd, and his handler, Officer Matt Drabek, spent Tuesday afternoon at the restaurant along Highway 51 thanking customers and staff.

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