KINGSFORD - How would you feel if your loved one was away for almost a year?
How would you feel if they were in harm's way in Afghanistan?
Now think of how you would feel to have them home safe, once again.
That was the scene in the Upper Peninsula Thursday.
"You cry because you're just so overwhelmed with emotion," says Marissa Hebert, the wife of PFC Peter Hebert.
Their tour of duty in Afghanistan sent them away for almost a year.
But the nearly 90 Guardsmen in the 1432nd Engineering Company came home to something overwhelming Thursday afternoon in Kingsford.
"The level of pride this city shows its service members is overwhelming," says PFC Hebert.
SPC Bobby Richards grew up in Wisconsin's Northwoods.
His mother, Missy, lives in Mercer.
It's the second son she's had come back from service in Afghanistan.
"Glad to have him home. And safe," Missy says.
"It's emotional. It's worth it. It's fun. Glad to see everybody came out," says SPC Richards. From those that kissed...to those that cried...to the ones that just needed a hug...putting words to this homecoming was a tough task.
"You're excited, you just thank God that he's home and in one piece," says Marissa Hebert.
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.
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.
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."
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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