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Hodag Country Festival campsites openSubmitted: 07/07/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson

Hodag Country Festival campsites open
RHINELANDER - The Hodag Country Festival kicks off Thursday.

But some country music fans have already staked out their camping spots.

"Surprisingly for a 4th of July weekend, we've got a very large number of campers in here. We probably estimate about 40 percent of our 5,000 and some campsites are already set up," says Dawn Eckert, the festival's co-owner.

She co-owns the festival with her two sisters.

Eckert thinks the year-round work makes the event a success.

"Year-round we have 2.5 employees in the office. This isn't a business that once one's over we don't worry about it until the next year. It's year round planning, and with all the five of us organizers, it's definitely a part-time job year-round, and full-time for a few months out of the year," she says.

About 20,000 people attend each day of the four-day long festival.

They will have about 75 vendors at the grounds.

But local businesses also benefit from the tourists who come to the festival.

"Those people are all here enjoying the Northwoods, and enjoying this beautiful weather that we're having on the lakes, and boating, and golfing, and taking advantage of all the Northwoods has to offer," Eckert says.

Sixteen groups will perform over the four day event.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/19/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

DNR wardens will start increasing patrols on snowmobile trails in the Northwoods, especially in Iron and Price counties. We talk to a warden supervisor about the number of accidents the last two weeks and how the wardens plan to minimize the accidents.

We'll show you how a new tool for the Woodruff Fire Department will help extinguish a fire even before firefighters arrive at the scene.

And tonight on Friday Night Blitz we'll bring you scores from high school games all across North Central Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following basketball games:

Girls:

Crandon vs. Laona-Wabeno

D.C. Everest vs. Merrill

Mosinee vs. Rhinelander


Boys:

Rhinelander vs. Mosinee



That will be tonight on Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.

We'll bring you this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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WOODRUFF - Six people died in snowmobile accidents since January 5 in Wisconsin. 

Last year, 16 people died while snowmobiling during the whole season. 

DNR Conservation Warden Supervisor Dave Walz says at this rate, Wisconsin is on track to match that. 

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WAUSAU - Police arrested a Tomahawk man and Wausau woman Thursday for going on the run with 290 pounds of marijuana, three guns, and two stun guns.

The Marathon County Sheriff's Office and Wisconsin State Patrol helped arrest 32-year-old Joel Helding near Osseo in western Wisconsin.

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RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander District Library recently added a program to make the library more inclusive. 

"[It's] designed specifically for kids on the autism spectrum and those with sensory processing needs, but any kids and families who feel like they just want a little more laid back, hands-on story time it would be appropriate," said children's librarian Katie Kubisiak.

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RHINELANDER - These days, it can feel like physical stores get overshadowed by online shopping. But that's not completely true in Rhinelander.

A new women's clothing boutique opened today in downtown Rhinelander.

Oak Tree Boutique owner and Rhinelander native Amber Bellile remembers a time from her childhood when downtown flourished.

"Over the years once I moved away and would come back I noticed businesses were shutting down," said Bellile. 

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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander woman facing similar charges for the third time pleaded not guilty to making meth Friday.

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PHILLIPS - When students go to Phillips Elementary School, their classroom might be heated to only 60 degrees. It could also be 80 degrees.

The heating system is old enough that consistency is nearly impossible, and fixes are tough.

"We can't get parts [anymore] for a lot of the heating systems," said Principal Dave Scholz.

Underneath the school on Thursday, he pointed to the support structure.

"You can see all of the floor joists," he said. "Most of them are rotting right out. A lot of breaking off."

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