RHINELANDER - Local businesses need the community's support to stay open.
But if people don't know about them, they won't shop there.
Members of Downtown Rhinelander, Inc. hope to draw more people to the downtown area by showcasing Hodags.
This summer will mark the 6th year of Hodags on Parade.
Even though summer is months away, DRI needs to find artists to start painting six Hodags.
"They can be individuals. They can be groups. They can be schools. [We need them to] just get their creativity going and submit designs. And then those designs, if chosen, will be painted on our Hodags," said Hodags on Parade Chairperson Kathy Brich.
Those Hodags will go on display Memorial Day weekend.
They'll then be auctioned off in October.
Artists get a stipend of $60 for art materials.
They also get 10% of the sale of the Hodag.
The auction brings in as much as $8,000 each year.
"The money raised goes to all the different events and activities that Downtown Rhinelander sponsors...Our goal is to bring people downtown, to get people to recognize the downtown area. And everyone loves the Hodags," Brich explained.
People love seeing the Hodags so much that DRI saved three of the painted ones from last year.
They'll be displayed at downtown businesses during the next few months, and will also go up for auction in October.
RHINELANDER - Oneida County needs more foster care homes. Right now, there are nine licensed foster homes in the area, most of which are full according to the county's social services department.
Foster Care Coordinator Rachel Nelson says that in Oneida County there are 24 children currently living in foster homes. The department participated in a statewide foster care recruitment project last fall, and discovered just how great the need is.
RHINELANDER - A snow storm caught Hanson's Garden Village in Rhinelander off guard last weekend and collapsed a greenhouse. Now that spring weather is here, Hanson's is ready to move forward by making some adjustments. "We got by for 25 years doing what we were doing," said Hanson's Garden Village Co-owner Brent Hanson. Last weekend's spring snow storm set back Hanson's. "We thought we were ahead of schedule having that greenhouse nice and filled," said Hanson's Manager Beth Hanson.
"One bad storm and there you go. Things happen," said Brent. The storm collapsed a greenhouse holding thousands of plants. "For years we've gotten by with these lighter cheaper green houses," said Brent. "We'll be down a greenhouse for a little bit here," said Beth. Now Hanson's will only use sturdier and solid greenhouses so that collapses don't become a pattern.
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