RHINELANDER - Whenever a store or business shuts down, we automatically think "must be the economy."
KC Menagerie in downtown Rhinelander is doing just fine. But the owners are shutting their doors just because it's time.
After seven years of watching children's faces light up, KC Menagerie in Rhinelander will be closing at the end of August according to owner Cindy Tomlanovich.
"It's been fun. It's been interesting. It's a little bit heartbreaking leaving but it's time."
It's not the economy, nor some large superstore, in fact the store was doing quite well. But it's simply time to enjoy life, says Cindy.
"I know we look extremely young, but we are of retirement age and it is time. We have a grandchild we'd like to spend more time with. We would like to do a little more traveling. I have family in different places and we'd like to go see them and spend some time with them."
For Cindy and her husband it wasn't always about making a profit. But about bringing excitement to a little kid. Even making a childhood memory. But just like childhood things come to an end.
Susan McCoy has shopped at KC Menagerie ever since it was opened. "All of the little guys and girls they are going to miss this. I've brought my grandson in. He'd get really excited and want to play with the wooden toys, the trains and the cars and then he was really interested in the science stuff. It's just the uniqueness and the type of toys."
Yet there's still hope this toy store will continue to bring joy to the community.
"My hopes would be that someone would come in and would want to purchase the store and take it over," says Cindy. "I'd like to thank everybody who's been with us through the years and for them, I hope that this toy store can continue."
If that doesn't happen, the doors will close at the end of August. The store will have a 20-percent off sale on all items until the store closes.
Yesterday two people safely escaped a fire that badly damaged a house in Sugar Camp. It turned out that a cat could have been a victim, but the cat was rescued by a firefighter. We'll bring you details and show you the cat that was slightly injured and is recovering.
We'll tell you about a Plaza that might be built in Boulder Junction.
And you'll hear from the Rhinelander city clerk on preparations for early voting which begins this Friday.
We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.
RHINELANDER - People in Rhinelander will be able to cast their November election ballots starting on Friday. It's the earliest people in Wisconsin have ever been able to vote.
The absentee ballots are stacked and ready for Friday at the Rhinelander City Clerk's office. To make the early voting process go as smoothly as possible, you will need to come prepared.
"When you come in make sure that you're registered. That is important. Make sure you're registered in the city if you're coming into us," said Clerk Valerie Foley.
Registering is easy; all you need is a photo ID and proof of residence. The registration form takes a couple of minutes, and then you will be able to fill out an election ballot.
"I think it is going to be a very busy day. I think people are pretty interested in the issues. And I think a lot of them would like to get and make sure they can vote if they're not certain they're going to make it to the polls in November or not," said Foley.
The clerk's office has already sent out about 200 ballots to people who have requested them.
Now, it is preparing for the early voter in-person rush.
If you are unsure whether you are registered to vote or where to go for early voting, the clerk's office suggests voters visit myvote.wi.gov for more information.
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