CRANDON - One of the spectators at the Crandon Brush run today hadn't seen the race in 20 years. Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett said she's impressed by the event's draw.
"You've got racers coming from all over the United States, yove got fans coming from all over the midwest and across the country and it's huge for tourism. Toursim is a 16.8 billion dollar industry in Wiscosin, and right here in Forest County, they are bringing them in by the thousands," said Klett.
Racing might not appeal to everyone but Klett says, don't underestimate the economic benefit this sport brings to the region.
"When you host an event like this, you think oh well folks are coming in for the races in Crandon, they're coming in for a couple days. Well, think about the hotel stays, the camping stays, people are fueling up. They're grabbing their coffee, they're buying their breakfast, their lunch, their dinner. You know they're not leaving here without a souvenir!"
Klett said racers she talked to remember every track they've been on, and most told her Crandon is their favorite. As for the spectators, she says Forest county's hospitality goes a long way in bring people back.
"They treat people first class, their customer service is great. So we know that not only are people coming here and spending their money, they're treated well, they're coming back and they're going to do it year after year after year."
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.
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.
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.
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."
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