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NEWS STORIES

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 Workng OnSubmitted: 06/29/2015

- Kids who use wheelchairs or have other disabilities can't use most playgrounds. One Wausau family wants to change that. The family plans on building a new accessible playground with state of the art equipment that every child can use. Newswatch 12's Karolina Buczek went to the future site of JoJo's Jungle to learn more about the playground plans and the boy who inspired it all.

- Plus, find out how a new walking/biking trail between Rhinelander and Nicolet College could help keep drivers and bicyclists safe.

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

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WAUSAU - Update---One man died after a fight in Wausau.

Now the man who survived is in jail. 

43-year-old George Diver of Wausau was found dead the day after the fight.  

40-year-old Jerry Schnabl was arrested for reckless homicide and taken to the Marathon County Jail.

Witnesses say the fight happened on Friday night and was about a girl that both men wanted to date.

Police got a call around 1:30 in the afternoon Saturday to an apartment on 2nd street in Wausau where Diver had stopped breathing.

Witnesses told police Diver had been hurt in the fight, but did not seek medical attention.

He went to bed, and was found dead Saturday afternoon by a woman who lived in the apartment with Diver.

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RHINELANDER - With July 4th just around the corner, many people plan their summer BBQ's. As you head out to the yard or beach, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Sun can cause serious harm to your skin. Be sure to reapply sunscreen throughout the day.

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WAUSAU - Kids who use wheelchairs or have other disabilities can't use most playgrounds. One Wausau family wants to change that.

The Hoerter family has big plans for Wausau's new accessible playground. The 30,000 to 50,000 square foot play area called JoJo's Jungle will give every child the opportunity to play.

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WISCONSIN - A court can require a person to install an ignition interlock device, or IID, into their car, after multiple OWI offenses.

A person has to blow into the IID to check their blood-alcohol level to start their car. Now, a new proposed law hopes to increase fines for people who don't install the device.

Under current law, a person found without a required IID can be fined between $150 to $600 for the first offense. But the new law wants to increase these fines to between $500 to $1,200 for the first offense, and up to $2,000 for the second.

Police in the Northwoods say people driving without an IID has been a problem in the past.

"Last year, we've had 54 registered vehicles come in to our agency as having the ignition interlock device in it, and we've actually had nine people cited for either altering it or not having it installed when they were supposed to," said Oneida County Sheriff's Office Captain Terri Hook.

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MANITOWISH WATERS - For years people in Vilas and Iron counties fought over how to manage water levels on the Manitowish River and the Manitowish Chain of Lakes.

The Rest Lake Dam controls how much water fills several lakes, rivers, and the Turtle Flambeau Flowage.

Now, legislators in Madison might be the ones to decide where the water goes.

The current Rest Lake Dam was built in 1926.

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MADISON - Wisconsin Democrats say they want to eliminate nullified language in the state's constitution that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

Lawmakers held a news conference Monday to introduce the resolution after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision Friday to legalize gay marriage in all 50 states.

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