ANTIGO - On a cold night, many like to warm up by a fire.
In Antigo Wednesday night, there was a pretty big fire to keep you warm.
The Antigo Optimist Club held its annual Christmas tree burning tonight at the high school.
There was plenty of hot chocolate to keep warm if the fire wasn't enough at this tradition that's been around for decades.
"It started, back at the fairgrounds when they would have the snowmobile races and some of the optimist club members would pick all the trees up in town and bring them there and light them off and kinda kick off the beginning of the races," said organizer Shane Krueger.
Between three and four hundred trees ended up on the pile tonight.
And it doesn't take long for them to catch fire.
"It's amazing, within an hour it's down to a nice bed of coals and within an hour after that it's pretty much done. It burns quite quickly, especially with the wind today," said Krueger.
The club collected donations to benefit the Antigo Area Food Pantry
RHINELANDER - Cracked concrete, twisted rebar, and overgrown trees and bushes don't paint the most ideal picture for a park. But a Rhinelander alderman sees the perfect chance for a peaceful place to enjoy nature.
Alderman Alex Young hopes to turn an old snow dumping dock site into a "pocket park." The site sits where Norway Street runs into the Wisconsin River behind Ripco Credit Union and the DNR Service Center building.
TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk High School sporting events got an attendance boost this winter. At the same time, local charities benefited from the community's generosity.
The school's Varsity Club sponsored six nights of special events, one for each winter sport. The Varsity Club gave out T-shirts printed with team rosters. Meanwhile, fans brought donations for local charities.
"Each kid would walk in and they'd put on their T-shirt," said Varsity Club member Jackie Elliott. "When we got our student section going, they were all together, and you just had this block of white. It was awesome."
RHINELANDER - People lived through detours, dust, and demolition throughout most of 2016 in downtown Rhinelander. Residents won't see that kind of work in 2017, but the city is planning more closures and road work to finish up the Streetscape Project.
Crews will start with the Davenport Street Bridge shutting down for a month in starting April 17. Public Works Director Tim Kingman says some sections of concrete, sidewalk, and asphalt pavement shifted, settled and cracked over the winter.
WAUSAU - A contractor fell from a ladder and died at the construction site of the new Hilton Garden Inn in Wausau last week. Now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death.
Marathon County Sheriff's Captain Dale Wisnewski said Shane J. Cash, 45, of Wisconsin Rapids was drilling holes in the ceiling on Thursday when he fell from his ladder and died on scene.
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