RHINELANDER - The calendar say it's spring but looking around you may not agree. The latest snowfall means a longer wait for one family's annual tradition. It's a story that begins over 60 years ago on the shores of Rhinelander's Boom Lake …
"We came to Rhinelander in 1940 and, at that time, the Lion's Club would put an old, wrecked car off the public landing and people would guess the time the ice would be going out," says Fern Schultz.
Every year, starting in 1939, the Lion's Club hosted a fundraiser. People would guess the date and time, down to the minute, of when the car would sink through.
"The person that guessed closest to the right time that the ice went out would win a boat," said Fern Schultz.
Winning a boat might sound like a great start to getting out on the water. But a sunken car in the lake was not great for the water.
"Environmentally, no one would even think of leaving an old wrecked car right off of the point," said Fern Schultz.
Even though the cars were removed in summer, the Lion's Club stopped the fundraiser in the 60's. So the Schultz's began a new, simpler tradition.
"My husband and I decided that when we moved here, he would write down when the ice went out, when the lake froze up in the fall and it was just kind of a hobby with him, and me. And so that continued right up to the present time actually," says Fern Schultz.
The family records date back to 1966. The Schultz's wrote them on the bottom of an old kitchen drawer. The kitchen has since been redone but the piece of wood still keeps the nearly 50 years of dates.
The earliest ice out date in 47 years of records was March 20 in 2000. The latest ice out was just six years prior on May 10. Last year was the second earliest ice out date and this year could be one of the latest recorded.
RHINELANDER - Emergency first responders save lives and build trust in the community.
And now the Rhinelander Police Department has a new member to do that.
They swore in the new officer Friday morning.
Mark Raddatz and his family gathered at the Rhinelander City Hall for the ceremony.
Raddatz is excited to be in Rhinelander and to make a positive impact in the community.
"I think it's very important for people to know what we do and how involved we are with the community and how much good we do. A lot of times people don't see us doing all the behind the scenes things and good acts," said Raddatz.
Raddatz is the 17th member on the police force, making the department full again. That addition will help with involvement around town as well.
"We have the ability to do extra programming out in the community. Our officers have more time to spend building more positive relationships within the community, instead of just reacting to calls," said Police Chief Michael Steffes.
Raddatz has worked in other departments across Wisconsin and he's looking forward to being in Rhinelander.
MADISON - State attorneys have asked a federal judge to stay a ruling allowing people to vote without photo identification pending an appeal.
U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman in Milwaukee issued a preliminary injunction this week allowing people who haven't been able to obtain IDs to vote in the Nov. 8 election if they sign an affidavit explain why they couldn't get the identification.
RHINELADER - During the summer months, camps look forward to welcoming campers and counselors.
They certainly don't look forward to those hot and humid days that make it hard to enjoy being outdoors.
This week, Rhinelander's Camp Birchrock has focused on keeping their campers cool all day long.
"We've been getting in the water, swimming, kayaking, and canoeing. Doing a lot of fun things to keep us cool," said 11-year-old Genevion Boid.
This is his first year as a camper at Birchrock.
Camp Director Johanna Sommers says the heat hasn't stopped them from doing any activities, but they do remain mindful of the sun.
"We make sure that they're drinking water all day," Sommers said. "Water bottles are a must and sunscreen, especially. We put it on every hour at least."
Luckily at the camp there's a lot of shade created by trees, giving the campers and counselors some relief from all of that heat. In a lot of areas around the camp, they also have water fountains.
In addition to keeping the campers hydrated, counselors also make sure to limit time in the sun.
"We do a little bit less of hiking and sports field activities, because the sports field is kind of open to the sun," Sommers said. "We try not to do too much out there just so they don't get overheated and over exhausted."
12-year-old Eleanor Domnick says she doesn't mind the heat. It gives her a chance to enjoy the outdoors.
"It's really fun to go swimming and just go in the play field and hang out with your friends," Domnick said.
The campers at Camp Birchrock are sure enjoying staying cool, while also having some fun.
The camp offers overnight sessions and regular day camp programs every summer.
LANGLADE COUNTY - A dead crow found in Langlade County last week tested positive for West Nile virus. It's the first crow to test positive in Langlade County since surveillance started for the virus on May 1.
The Langlade County Health Department wants people to be more careful when trying to prevent mosquito bites. The virus is spread to humans through infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes get the virus from infected birds.
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