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.
WISCONSIN - Mud, debris, and damaged property still cover parts of Northern Iron County after a storm ripped through there more than two weeks ago.
The lack of money to repair certain areas is largely keeping the rebuilding process from getting started.
That's why the Federal Emergency Management Agency came to Iron County Tuesday.
It surveyed the damage because of its severity and the extreme costs to fix.
"Really if it's beyond the scope of local jurisdiction, and even the states that respond," said FEMA External Affairs Officer Troy Christensen.
Wisconsin Emergency Management currently believes the damage caused by the mid-July storm is around $38 million across 10 counties and Bad River Reservation. Around $15 million of that happened in Iron County.
FEMA relies on local government like the ones in Iron County to help it assess damage.
"They have sights selected so they will be showing us a lot of these sights." Said Christensen.
Those sights included multiple towns, Saxon Harbor, and crumbled highways.
This week Iron County gave its damage estimates to FEMA.
RHINELANDER - Building a robot may seem like a pretty lofty summer camp goal, but teens in the Northwoods love the technological challenge.
It's all part of a summer camp that's heavy on science and social interaction.
13-year-old Sean Timm says the eight day robotics camp at Nicolet College mixed the best of both worlds.
"I like technology a lot more than I do outside stuff," Timm said. "It's kind of nice to have technology like drones to bring me outside. It's really fun."
Camp Instructor, Mike Wojtusik has many years of experience as a technology education teacher and robotics advisor. He wants kids to see the importance in learning these skills.
"The kids are getting experience from a mechanical engineering side, electrical engineering side, design, prototyping," said Wojtusik. "We try and cover as much as we can about the whole entire system."
Learning about robotics isn't the only thing these students do. Some of them are also exercising skills they'll need in the future.
"I think it's a great experience for them to understand what really goes on in the real world as far as a career," Wojtusik said.
Certain careers that often require teamwork.
"Challenging part is working with a team because you don't always agree on the same thing," said 12-year-old Louis Malais. "When you build a robot you do the most teamwork than I think in any other job."
As their final project, students design and build their own version of a remote control robot.
They are required to work in teams to sketch a vision, make prototypes and design a working model with aluminum.
"It's not just you know operating a piece of machinery, it's learning how that machinery is put together," Wojtusik said.
Students are piecing together machines and building future careers at the same time.
"If I were to get an opportunity to do something like this in the future, I would definitely take it," Timm said.
Throughout the course of the camp, students were exposed to prototyping, brainstorming, modeling, safety and sketching.
The last day of the robotics camp is scheduled to be Thursday, July 28.
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