RHINELANDER - We see them up and down the sidelines of some of our favorite sporting events. Big stuffed birds, dogs, and some things we wouldn't even know what they were, unless they were our very own.
The Rhinelander Hodag is in a national mascot competition where the winner will be named...
"The Best High School Sports Mascot in America"
It all started with a phone call from USA Today to Rhinelander School District's Activities Director Charlie Laham.
He was asked to describe the story behind the unique Rhinelander High School mascot.
"It's my recollection that the hodag would eat white bull dogs. That's how the story was around the campfire and as I was told. So I shared that with him and got quite a chuckle."
The Hodag was selected along with five other Wisconsin mascots to compete nationally for the best mascot title.
The competition will last throughout the month of March with several winners advancing through different rounds.
In the end only one, enthusiastic, person-stuffed suit can win.
"This fictitious, prehistoric creature, from the woods that is one of a kind and just seeing it, I think you'd have to vote for it."
Voting for the first round of the competition ends in six days. You can help the Hodag win by following the link under this story on our webpage.
ROSENDALE, WI - An explosion and fire at a cheese plant in Fond du Lac County sent one person to the hospital.
The sheriff's office says 36-year-old Travis Klotzbach, of Brandon, was using a cutting torch on an empty 55-gallon barrel in the auto shop at Knaus Cheese near Rosendale when the explosion happened just after 7 a.m. Friday.
UPDATE: The suspected shooter from a homicide in Tomahawk has been identified as Eric Lee Moen, 32. Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins confirmed Moen is being held in the Lincoln County Jail for a 1st-degree intentional homicide charge.
The Lincoln County Clerk of Courts reports Moen is being held on a $1 million cash bond. He has yet to appear in court, but an initial appearance has been set for Monday at 1:30 p.m.
Online court records show Moen was convicted of various traffic offenses. He was also convicted of misdemeanor battery in Portage County from a 2002 case.
Elvins plans to release more information Friday afternoon.
Tomahawk police identified the victim in the city's first shooting homicide in years. Friday morning, Police Chief Al Elvins announced Charles K. Ramp, 52, was shot and killed outside his home on W. Mohawk Drive Thursday night.
Police arrested the suspected shooter, a 32-year-old man from Wausau, but did not identify him. The suspect was found about 130 miles away in Lake Hallie, which is near Eau Claire.
RHINELANDER - Snow plows can't do their job very well when cars sit in their way. That's why Rhinelander's winter parking ban will return in just a couple of weeks.
Starting December 1st, cars can only park on designated sides of the street during the day. On even-numbered days, cars park on the side of the street with even addresses. On odd numbered days, cars must park on odd-numbered sides of the street.
EAGLE RIVER - Americans eat more than 46 million turkeys on Thanksgiving Day. That much thawing, handling, and cooking of turkeys means people can make mistakes.
The Vilas County Public Health Department wants to help people avoid exposing themselves to dangerous bacteria. It says frozen turkeys should always be thawed in the refrigerator or under running water.
"You don't want to set them out on your countertop for any amount of time to thaw them because that's when they're going to be in the 'danger zone.' The 'danger zone' is between 40 and 140 [degrees Fahrenheit], and that's when pathogens can grow," said Vilas County Registered Sanitarian Amy Springer.
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