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.
RHINELANDER - For better or worse, drivers in Rhinelander will get an extra week to use the Davenport Street bridge. The city's contractor for its downtown reconstruction project delayed closing the bridge for repairs to May 8th.
Crews first planned to close the bridge in mid-April, then pushed that back to May 1 due to weather. Now, weather has further delaying the month-long repairs to the concrete decking.
This is part of a larger project to finish up the downtown reconstruction, which began in March 2016. The city reconstructed 21 blocks, replacing underground utilities and modernizing the downtown area.
ANTIGO - Pushups, wall sits, and sit ups may sound like a tough workout for most of us. But dozens of kids from the Boys and Girls Club of Langlade County did that and more as part of a national fitness competition Friday afternoon.
Boys and Girls Clubs from around the country are teaming up to help kids become more active with the Nestlé's National Fitness Competition.
MINOCQUA - Police officers often meet people on their worst days: after a death, crime, or other bad situations. The Minocqua Police Department hopes some unpaid additions to their staff can help victims, families, and officers cope with those situations a little better.
The department is looking to add a team of clergy members to form a chaplain program. The chaplains would be on call and show up to scenes when needed. Chief David Jaeger had been considering the idea for a while when he heard about police in Oneida County using the same program.
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