MERRILL - The official Packers bus rolled into Merrill last weekend. It was the final stop of their 9th annual Tailgate Tour.
More than 650 fans of the green and gold were delighted to see current and former players up close.
"Fans come to watch us at games," Packers kicker Mason Crosby explains. "They come to where we are all the time. So this is really a cool experience to go out, go in the community and just tell them thank you."
Former Packers quarterback Lynn Dickey adds, "Every stop that we've had, the fans are all so hungry and just starving to see us."
"It's very important to us and that's why we come out and do these type of events," Packers cornerback Jarrett Bush said. "Just to let them know that we have their backs."
Travis Ziegel - one of the hundreds of Packers fans in attendance was excited.
"Being able to meet superstars, you know we're in the small town of Merrill," Ziegel explains. "There's not a whole lot of stuff that goes on around here and to get another autograph and add another thing to my collection, it's an incredible feeling."
It also gave the players a chance to reconnect in a relaxed atmosphere.
"There's not a lot of serious moments and that's the way we approached our football season too," Dickey said. "You've got to joke around and have a sense of humor. I could spend a lot of time with those two. They're a blast to be around."
Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy enjoys the tour every year.
"What I really enjoy is seeing the interaction between the current and former players. By the end of the week they really have established a bond and they realize there's not that much difference even though there's about 30 years difference in age."
The party raised close to 50 thousand dollars. One hundred percent of it will go to improve the Riverbend hiking and biking Trail.
"Part of our whole purpose is to provide a venue for people to be able to enjoy the recreational opportunities first," Gene Bebel of the River District Foundation explains. "But also for the economic development of the entire community."
Now that the fun is over, it's time to get back on the field. Offseason workouts begin this week and the first OTA's are scheduled for May 28.
RHINELANDER - Nineteen months ago, 10 police agencies surrounded the Tripoli home of Kenneth Welsh.
Police say Welsh caused a three-hour standoff, threatened to blow up his house, and threatened to kill his wife.
Later in court, he was convicted of two felonies and sentenced to three years in prison by Oneida County Judge Michael Bloom.
But now, those convictions and prison sentence have been erased. This month, while in prison, Welsh argued he didn't fully understand all the elements of one of the crimes to which he pleaded no contest, first-degree recklessly endangering safety. Welsh's motion put some of the blame on his defense attorney, Rod Streicher.
RHINELANDER - A number of Rhinelander police and firefighters will work a weekend morning shift in December and won't get paid for it. It's an extra task they're happy to help with.
The Rhinelander Police Department's Shop With a Cop program returns December 16. Police and firefighters take 20 third grade students from Crescent, Pelican, Zion, and Nativity schools shopping for Christmas presents at Walmart. The schools recommend students for the event.
RHINELANDER - This holiday season, you might want to tell your child to hug family members at holiday gatherings.
The Girls Scouts of the USA hopes you won't. The organization is saying daughters don't owe anyone physical affection, and that the expectation of hugs and kisses could have bad aftereffects later in life.
"I think for some people, it is a new concept," said Melissa K., the domestic violence coordinator at Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual assault, which is based in Rhinelander.
In a post, the Girl Scouts of the USA told parents their daughters don't "owe anyone a hug. Not even at the holidays."
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