RHINELANDER - RHINELANDER--- Rhinelander High School had their first football practice Tuesday on campus. The team will have a new look on offense this year. The squad is looking to improve after a tough season in 2013. They only won one game. New head coach Chris Ferge is ready to get the ball moving. "It's good to be out here with the kids," said Ferge. "It's exciting, there is a lot of teaching going on. Some of the guys that were at camp are picking up faster than where we left off. Other kids are learning from scratch."
Starting junior quarterback Brandon Reinthaler is enjoying the change in tempo that Ferge brings. "The energy this year is a lot more up tempo than last year," said Reinthaler." I felt like we were more laid back. This year we are all up tempo and ready to go." Rhinelander's new athletic director Brian Paulson brought in Ferge to change the direction of the program. Ferge's spread, up-tempo offense could be a part of the answer. "The spread offense is more plays," said Ferge. "More people get the ball, more excitement more scoring, more up tempo. Something is the defense cannot recreate." The spread offense has led to the Hodags to believe that they will be much improved this season. "I have tremendous faith," said Ferge. "That we are going to get better. We are going to run at a high level and we are going to execute." The Hodags have just over two weeks to perfect the offense before August 22nd opener. .
PHILLIPS - The Price County Sheriff's Office wants to find out what it needs to do to get a K-9 officer. Sheriff Brian Schmidt believes a new dog would improve the office's ability to find drugs.
The county doesn't have its own K-9 officer. However, they do turn to other departments for help.
"What we would utilize is surrounding counties, and it is at their discretion," Schmidt said. "Like Rhinelander, we utilize their dog on occasion, maybe once or twice a year. But again, it is their dog, so they have their needs come first. So if we have our own equipment, our needs are met with our equipment."
VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County finally got what it wanted. For fifteen years, the county had needed someone to act as a full-time Recreational Officer--someone to monitor public safety on the snowmobile and ATV trails as well as the lakes and rivers. Now, Vilas County Deputy Sheriff Randy Schneider will fill that role.
WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling received a record number of phone calls to the helpline in 2014â€"14,731 to be exact. This is a 5.6 percent increase from calls received in 2013.
Some of the callers reported having to file for bankruptcy or having thoughts of suicide. The report from the Council also calculated $47,000 as the average gambling debt of callers in 2014, and $20,000 as the median debt.
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