RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander High School Hodags will hit the field in just a few weeks, and there are many changes to the program this year.
"Coach Ferge brought in a new offensive scheme and it's going to be a little more up-tempo. The people that haven't been to a football game in a while might want to come out this year and see what happens. It's going to be a good year for the Hodags," said Gridiron Club vice president Jay Sampson.
The Hodag Gridiron Club has been working to get fans more excited about the upcoming season. They want the community to take pride in the team.
"We want to make the football team a community team and get the Rhinelander population behind the football team," said Sampson.
The Gridiron Club hosted its first annual Hodag Family Day on Saturday. The event not only pumped up the fans, it also raised a lot of money for the football team.
"The Gridiron Club is established to be a fundraiser to supplement what the football team gets from the school district, to buy stuff for them and the coaches, and support them monetarily," said Sampson.
Community members got the chance to play with the Hodag and even dunk the coaches.
"The principal[was] the first one up this morning and all of our coaches are taking a turn. That has been the highlight of the day," said Sampson.
All of the money raised will buy new equipment for the team or pay for training.
WAUSAU - A contractor fell from a ladder and died at the construction site of the new Hilton Garden Inn in Wausau last week. Now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death.
Marathon County Sheriff's Captain Dale Wisnewski said Shane J. Cash, 45, of Wisconsin Rapids was drilling holes in the ceiling on Thursday when he fell from his ladder and died on scene.
RHINELANDER - Cracked concrete, twisted rebar, and overgrown trees and bushes don't paint the most ideal picture for a park. But a Rhinelander alderman sees the perfect chance for a peaceful place to enjoy nature.
Alderman Alex Young hopes to turn an old snow dumping dock site into a "pocket park." The site sits where Norway Street runs into the Wisconsin River behind Ripco Credit Union and the DNR Service Center building.
RHINELANDER - People lived through detours, dust, and demolition throughout most of 2016 in downtown Rhinelander. Residents won't see that kind of work in 2017, but the city is planning more closures and road work to finish up the Streetscape Project.
Crews will start with the Davenport Street Bridge shutting down for a month in starting April 17. Public Works Director Tim Kingman says some sections of concrete, sidewalk, and asphalt pavement shifted, settled and cracked over the winter.
TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk High School sporting events got an attendance boost this winter. At the same time, local charities benefited from the community's generosity.
The school's Varsity Club sponsored six nights of special events, one for each winter sport. The Varsity Club gave out T-shirts printed with team rosters. Meanwhile, fans brought donations for local charities.
"Each kid would walk in and they'd put on their T-shirt," said Varsity Club member Jackie Elliott. "When we got our student section going, they were all together, and you just had this block of white. It was awesome."
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