RHINELANDER - People in Rhinelander knew him by voice alone.
But Todd McEldowney, the longtime voice of the Hodags, was much more than that to the community.
He died late last month.
"He was synonymous with Hodag sports. He was the voice of the Hodags," says Todd McEldowney, Todd's son.
The senior McEldowney became almost as much of an institution for Rhinelander athletics as the Hodag itself.
His 33 years behind the radio microphone and as a teacher at Rhinelander High School inspired, as well as entertained.
"People left him feeling better about themselves and better about the world they lived in, because he truly loved what he was doing," his son remembers.
Football to basketball, softball to snowmobile derbies, WOBT radio to a stint here at Channel 12, and the microphone to the classroom, the Rhinelander community knew and loved him.
"All in all, we had an excellent time together," says his longtime partner, Paul Ebert.
Ebert was with him in the booth for decades.
"I probably preferred basketball on the fact that it was indoors and warm," Ebert laughs.
"If I wasn't with him broadcasting, we were probably fishing for walleyes on the weekend," he says.
Many people thought he could go even bigger than the Northwoods.
"I would think he would have been network caliber," says Ebert.
"He decided that teaching was so important to him, and he loved being around the kids so much, that he was going to stay here in Rhinelander, support his Hodags, and teach for Rhinelander High School," says the junior McEldowney.
Stay, support, and teach - and be vital member of the Rhinelander community.
"He always thanked people that were listening. He mentioned specifically the shut-ins and the people that couldn't get to the games," says his son.
McEldowney signed off with his signature line for the last time in 1988.
"Win or lose, it's always a good idea to back your Hodags," he would say.
But that didn't end his love for Rhinelander.
"He was so proud and so loyal to the Hodags, and that's something he took with him until the day he died," his son says.
He died on May 26th, loving every minute of life.
"He always said in his closings that he hoped people enjoyed the broadcast as much as he enjoyed bringing it to them."
You can help remember McEldowney by aiding in building a new press box at Mike Webster Stadium, Rhinelander's football home.
Make donations out to McEldowney Memorial.
Send them to O'Melia, Schiek, and McEldowney, 4 South Stevens Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501.
MILWAUKEE - MILWAUKEE (AP) â€" A federal appeals court says a Wisconsin man who was wrongly imprisoned for 23 years can sue the detective and two dentists he says conspired to frame him with bogus bite-mark evidence.
The Journal Sentinel reported that the full U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 6-4 in favor of Robert Lee Stinson, an outcome that reversed an earlier decision by a three-judge panel of the court.
MERRILL - When you live to be 100, you often often outlive your friends and even family members.
Lenore Ehlert, from Merrill, turned 100 years old on Wednesday.
"Well, actually, it doesn't feel much different, it's just another day," said Ehlert.
While celebrating that milestone, she found herself thinking of her husband who she lost 65 years ago.
Her husband, Merrill Police Captain, Elmer Krueger was shot and killed while on duty in July of 1952.
"July 19th and he died about three days later," said Ehlert.
Records from that time show an officer's death didn't lead to weeks of ceremonies and salutes like it does now.
"After the funeral, everything was just kind of forgotten," said Ehlert.
But decades later, it's not all forgotten. Merrill police officers, members of the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office and other first responders were all at the party to show that they were bonded for life after the tragedy years ago.
"It really is truly, that Lenore is part of our family," said Michael Caylor with the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office.
In addition to law enforcement, Governor Scott Walker, Congressman Sean Duffy and Attorney General Brad Schimel all wrote Lenore letters wishing her a happy birthday.
"It's quite an honor and I know part of it is for my husband and his memory," said Ehlert.
Elmer's memory was seen all throughout Lenore's special day.
"Know that you're part of the law enforcement family. Elmer was a brother, most of us didn't know him, but he's a brother nonetheless," said Lincoln County Sheriff, Jeff Jaeger.
She was surrounded by friends and family helping her celebrate her 100 years.
"If we're all to live as old and to be as loved as yourself, what a wonderful world this is going to be," said Caylor.
When asked for advice on how to live to be 100, Lenore said to keep your mind and body active, and to eat good food.
EAGLE RIVER - Eagle River's Natalie Decker signed with Venturini Motorsports earlier this spring.
When she became a part of the group, she noticed they did a lot of events with PADD, People Against Distracted Driving.
She got involved in that cause by bringing it back to Eagle River for the UTV/ATV Championships.
Her and her family took the annual scavenger hunt and turned it into an event to bring awareness to PADD
Decker thinks her young age can help make an impact on other young drivers.
"It's not like we're 21 yet and drinking and driving. That's another bad thing, but this is becoming even worse. I want to hit all the young kids that follow me, even on my Instagram or Facebook," said Decker.
Once Decker gets across the serious message of PADD, then comes the actual scavenger hunt.
The participants in the event had some funny challenges.
"They had to do crazy stuff like get a picture with a purple sock and a high heel, and all these crazy things and stop at all the bars across Eagle River," said Decker.
If you would like to learn more about PADD, follow the link below.
MERRILL - A $5 million facility that just opened in Merrill hopes to give people a place to learn more about heavy equipment and technology.
On Friday, Nortrax, a division of John Deere, celebrated the grand opening of a facility. Dozens of community members and officials were at the ribbon cutting.The process to open up the location on South Pine Ridge started a few years ago.
MADISON - MADISON, Wis. (AP) - " The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's request to provide federal low-interest disaster loans for individuals and businesses affected by flooding.
The SBA will provide loans for up to $200,000 for damaged homes, $40,000 for damaged property, and $2 million to businesses for physical damage and economic loss because of flooding.
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