RHINELANDER - Local businesses need the community's support to stay open.
But if people don't know about them, they won't shop there.
Members of Downtown Rhinelander, Inc. hope to draw more people to the downtown area by showcasing Hodags.
This summer will mark the 6th year of Hodags on Parade.
Even though summer is months away, DRI needs to find artists to start painting six Hodags.
"They can be individuals. They can be groups. They can be schools. [We need them to] just get their creativity going and submit designs. And then those designs, if chosen, will be painted on our Hodags," said Hodags on Parade Chairperson Kathy Brich.
Those Hodags will go on display Memorial Day weekend.
They'll then be auctioned off in October.
Artists get a stipend of $60 for art materials.
They also get 10% of the sale of the Hodag.
The auction brings in as much as $8,000 each year.
"The money raised goes to all the different events and activities that Downtown Rhinelander sponsors...Our goal is to bring people downtown, to get people to recognize the downtown area. And everyone loves the Hodags," Brich explained.
People love seeing the Hodags so much that DRI saved three of the painted ones from last year.
They'll be displayed at downtown businesses during the next few months, and will also go up for auction in October.
Wisconsin water supplies deal with two contaminants during 2013
WISCONSIN - Wisconsin keeps high standards for clean drinking water. On a yearly basis, they do a good job at meeting that standard, but during 2013, more water supplies were found with one of two contaminants.
One contaminant, nitrate was found in more than double the amount of water supplies during the year compared to 2012. The 56 public water supplies found with high nitrate levels is a small number out of the thousands of water supplies in the state, but it can still be a big problem.
MANITOWISH WATERS - Cranberry growers in Wisconsin work hard every year to produce the fruit. But they may not be able to harvest as many berries this season.
Cranberry growers don't expect an overly large crop this year. This comes after several years of great harvests in the state.
The numbers might not be as high, but farmers say they won't be disappointed with this year's cranberry results.
"Overall I think it will be a decent crop," says Bob Winter, owner and manager of Vilas Cranberry Company. "There's been some hail in the southern part of the state and even in western Wisconsin, so that takes its toll, but cumulatively how much that really is remains to be seen. You never know until you get it all in the barn at the end of October."
TOMAHAWK - Treehaven in Tomahawk kicked off its first ever School Garden Symposium Tuesday.
Educators from schools all around the state were invited to attend. It's an opportunity for them to come and learn how to incorporate healthier habits into their schools.
"Some of them are new to gardening completely," said Jasmyn Schmidt, a presenter at the symposium. "So they're learning how to start a garden, what you have to do for a garden, and what supplies are needed to start a garden. Some of them are a year or two into their gardens and are looking to learn maintenance or funding strategies to keep those gardens going."
RHINELANDER - The highway department may need to relocate.
Kwik Trip has made a formal offer to purchase the current highway department for a new highway Kwik Trip location.
If the purchase is approved, the highway department will move facilities. The details of the proposal have yet to be released. But, the county board has discussed the proposal in numerous closed sessions.
RHINELANDER - Some students in the School District of Rhinelander will get Chromebooks starting this school year.
Freshman and sophomores at Rhinelander High School will get the computers to use at school and at home.
Some elementary and middle school students will also get to use them in the classroom.
Leaders think this will benefit students.
"They're not just learning about how to use the tool," says Instructional Technology Coordinator Heidi Catlin. "Digital literacy, digital citizenship, how to use it appropriately, when is it appropriate to use it, and the different resources that are out there."
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