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36th Hodag Country Festival comes to an endSubmitted: 07/14/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson


RHINELANDER - Sunday marked the end of food, beer and of course lots of country music at the Hodag Country Fest.

The 36th annual festival ended with a performance by Neal McCoy.

Lonestar, Gretchen Wilson, and Lee Brice also performed on the last day of the 4-day event.

The weather helped turnout.

About 20,000 people attended each day.

One food vendor said the weather also helped his business.


"This year it's been really great. I'm up about 22 percent from last year," said food vendor Robert M. Jones II.

We also caught up with some Hodag-goers.

They told us what they loved most about this year's Hodag Country Festival.

"Getting to meet people, and it's a very friendly crowd. We've been to all kids of concerts but everybody likes to help each other out and have a good time," said Amy Jo Plowman while attending her 23rd Hodag Festival.

"We get this same spot every year. We sit here because it's the best people watching spot...the guy that shaved his chest so it looked like a bra," said Sue Slominski at her 6th Hodag Fest.

The EMS team on-site said they have not had as many people in need of treatment.

A few had breathing issues because of the humidity and dust.

The team only had to treat a couple people for heat exhaustion.

Looking forward to next year, one Hodag fest-goer has a piece of advice.

"Never trade your belt for a beer," said Nate Rudis.

The festival hosted 16 bands.

Next year's festival will be held July 10th through the 13th.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 12/09/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

The lakes are expected to freeze soon, and many people are anxious to get out on the ice. However there are things you should keep in mind when heading out on the frozen lakes. Tonight we talk to a DNR warden about tips for staying safe on the ice.

A Rhinelander elementary school will be purchasing $2,000 worth of chrome books. We'll tell you how the students earned the funding.

We'll show you how a Woodruff company decorated the Governor's Mansion in Madison.

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:

Boys:

Antigo vs. Lakeland

Crandon vs. Tomahawk

D.C. Everest vs. Merrill


Girls:

Laona/Wabeno vs. Crandon

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


We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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OUTAGAMIE COUNTY - Two people died when a dump truck drove through a stop sign west of Green Bay Thursday afterrnoon.

The truck hit a car at the intersection of two county roads in Outagamie County.

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RHINELANDER - Cupcakes and donuts might sound like a recipe for packing on some pounds, but a Rhinelander man is blazing his way through social media by showing off healthy spins on those tasty treats.

The man behind the apron is Dustin Chronister, known as "The Flexible Baker" on the social media platform, Instagram.

Chronister has over 30,000 followers from all over the world.

Chronister posts photos of his healthy treats, then the likes and followers flood in.

"It is super humbling because I never expected it, but it's refreshing," said Chronister.

Chronister is a competitive weight lifter.

To maintain a certain weight, he knew he couldn't eat his favorite traditional desserts.

Chronister decided to create recipes using alternative ingredients like adding protein and sugar substitutes.

Many of his recipes are less than 100 calories.

"I had to figure how to enjoy those sweets and maintain that healthy lifestyle. Then this was born. I just wanted to have my cake and eat it too, and kept it rolling after that," said Chronister.

Chronister recently wrote a second e-book with all his healthy recipes, so he continues to post pictures on Instagram every day.

He reminds people to be "flexible" and find balance in their diets.

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MERRILL - As shoppers rush down aisles carrying Christmas lists, Merrill firefighters carry Christmas tags.

"We're just finishing up, wrapping up some loose ends," firefighter Jon Leiskau said.

Leiskau, his chief, and battalion chief spent several hours this week hunting the shelves at the Merrill Walmart, looking to make Christmas a little more special for hundreds of kids.

"Make sure we have everyone taken care of," Leiskau said.

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WAUSAU - Wausau police officers believe they're pretty good at caching criminals. But they say they're not so good at helping victims suffering from mental trauma. 

To try to fix that, the Wausau Police Department will hire a mental health therapist to serve in the Victim Resource unit. 

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LANSING, MI - Michigan lawmakers may re-enact a wolf-hunting law declared unconstitutional by the state appeals court.

The Republican-led Senate voted 27-10 along party lines Thursday to define wolves as a game species and to authorize the state to designate game. The bill goes to the House.

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RHINELANDER - Twenty-two-year-old Tessa Szmania wanted to work full-time as graphic designer. She also wanted to live in Rhinelander.

It turns out she couldn't have both.

Szmania got an associate's degree in graphic design from Nicolet College in Rhinelander in 2013. Then, things got tough.

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