RHINELANDER - For the last six years, chambers of commerce across the state collected more than 100,000 items for the Department of Tourism's Big Bundle Up campaign.
The drive collects warm clothing for people who can't afford it.
The Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce donates the items it collects to Warm for Winter in Rhinelander.
"Everything stays local. It all goes to Warm for Winter. It's free to anyone. They don't ask any questions. You just show up during their open hours and it's free to the community," said Tourism and Membership Coordinator Amanda Lukas.
Lukas says the chamber collected more than 170 clothing items last year.
"Last year we had someone donate over 50 pairs of handmade crochet mittens," Lukas said. "It means a lot that they would take the time to sit there and knit every single pair together."
The Chamber will take new or gently used jackets, boots, snow pants, hats, and gloves.
Lukas says they could really use warm clothing and boots for kids. Items can be dropped off at the Rhinelander Chamber during its open hours through January 2.
RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Police Department identified the man who died after a house fire on Friday night as 35-year-old Jeffery J. Becker.
Rhinelander Fire Chief Terry Williams told Newswatch 12 on Monday afternoon that an autopsy indicates Becker died from smoke inhalation, but the autopsy results and further investigation is now in the hands of the state Department of Criminal Investigations.
Crews responded to the house at 320 Rose Street, near Hodag Park, around 7:30 p.m. Friday. Firefighters went inside the house soon after they arrived and found Becker unresponsive on the floor. Firefighters and paramedics tried to revive Becker, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
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