RHINELANDER - He greets you when you drive into town, and watches over you at nearly every pub, store, even from police cars. Now Rhinelander will get even more recognition thanks to the mythical green monster we all know and love.
The Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce won two advertising awards for its use of the Hodag.
The "What is a Hodag" infographic won the awards from the American Advertising Federation.
The infographic explains the history and mythology of the iconic monster that helped put Rhinelander on the map.
Chamber Executive Director Lara Reed says having a mascot as unique as the Hodag to promote the city with is invaluable.
"It's fun. And I think that really encompasses what we're about. We don't take ourselves too seriously, and we have a lot of fun at what we do. And we hopefully put Rhinelander on the tip of somebody's tongue when they're talking about the Northwoods. 'Oh, do you know what a Hodag is? Yep, and it goes with Rhinelander, Wisconsin'," says Reed.
Locals can even benefit from a trip to the Chamber. The legend of the Hodag is so long, someone who's known him their whole life could learn something new. For example, he eats fish out of the lake but prefers a traditional fish fry with potato pancakes, and his horns can pick up every Milwaukee Brewers radio broadcast.
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.
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.
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