RIB MOUNTAIN - Rib Mountain State Park will get more than $740,000 in upgrades in 2014.
It is part of a project approved by the Wisconsin Building Commission Tuesday.
This project will improve the existing day-use area, including the amphitheater area, and will continue to convert existing campground areas into day-use facilities, according to the Building commission press release.
Steve Krallis, DNR budget analyst, says the park used to focus heavily on camping, but the park is using the upgrades to target more day activities like picnics and hiking.
"The campsites are being converted to day use facilities," Krallis said. "So improved toilet facilities, ultimately there will be some improvements to a shelter area and flush toilets will hopefully be added in the next phase."
This portion of the project will also continue improvements to Park Road at the state park.
The project will also remove the existing Rib Mountain State Park entrance sign and install a new one.
The existing shower building and two outdated and non-accessible vault toilet buildings will be demolished. These structures will be replaced with a new centralized vault toilet facility, according to the press release.
Organizers have not started planning the third phase of the project.
"The parks (department) is going to start working on that in the upcoming biennium (budget)," Krallis said. "I know that they're going to continue to move the park to try to make it a more premiere day use facility."
Project leaders say the second phase of the project will be done by the end of the year.
Park modernization started in 2009 with phase one costing $6,116,900.
RHINELANDER - After the vendors closed up at the end of the first Hodag Farmers Market of the season, several people stayed behind to honor the man who started the market.
That's Douglas Jacobson, and he died last October.
His son, Jonathan Jacobson, said Douglas Jacobson was a big part of the Rhinelander community‚Ä"serving as Lions Club president, being part of many clubs and being a landscape architect for the U.S. Forest Service.
The Jacobson family and Rhinelander city leaders worked to dedicate a bench in his honor in Pioneer Park. That bench went up on Saturday, just off the road that leads into the park.
"He was a pioneer in helping to establish the Hodag Farmers Market many years ago. And from those humble beginnings, the market vendors, the patrons that arrive here, the citizens of Rhinelander, and those in the community have a wonderful place to come to get fresh, home grown, locally grown vegetables," Jonathan Jacobson said. "It was a great event. It was really nice to have everybody stop out and pay attention to what my dad's been doing and acknowledge all the effort he put into the farmers market for many years. And not only that, dad was a great citizen here in the Rhinelander community."
WAUSAU - In the midst of a national push to prescribe fewer painkillers, a new Wisconsin proposal appeared that would let chiropractors prescribe prescription drugs, including painkillers.
After speaking with one of the bill's authors, that notion is not at all true.
John Murray, the executive director of the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association, which supports the bill, said the bill was never intended to cover narcotics, or any drugs not related to neuro-muscular skeletal healing. The bill is in its early stages, having had a co-sponsor hearing on Tuesday, and future drafts of the bill will feature more specific language.
RHINELANDER - You'll likely find some slow-moving guests on the road this weekend. Turtles start laying their eggs in late May and continue through mid-June. But, because of where they like to lay those eggs, it's a dangerous time for the reptiles.
Wild Instincts Rehab Center in Rhinelander treats at least 30 injured turtles each summer. Painted and snapping turtles are most common in the Northwoods. They tend to lay their eggs along roadsides, driveways, and in places with soft sand.
ANTIGO - For the first time since 2013, deer hunters in Langlade and Price counties will be able to target does with an antlerless deer tag in hand.
This week, Wisconsin's Natural Resources Board approved the fall hunt plans submitted by County Deer Advisory Councils (CDACs) all over the state. Langlade and Price counties had had bucks-only harvests in each of the last two deer seasons. But in 2016, some hunters will get antlerless tags as well.
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