School District of Rhinelander to look at potential softball complex locationsSubmitted: 04/23/2018
Story By Mark Spillane

School District of Rhinelander to look at potential softball complex locations
RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander softball program knows how much it would benefit from a softball complex.

Last week, the Hodags moved closer to potentially getting one.

"The benefits of having two fields together [are] huge," said Rhinelander High School Softball Coach D.J. DeMeyer.

If DeMeyer gets his way, the Hodags will have two fields side-by-side.

"Both varsity and JV can practice and then we can try things and not have to go across town to get some other players to be able to work things out," said DeMeyer.

Right now, the Hodags varsity team practices and plays at Pioneer Park, while the JV team spends it's time at West Side Park on the other side of town.

"To bring them together, we're able to share JV and varsity players. We also might be able to bring a tournament to town," said Rhinelander Activities Director Brian Paulson.

DeMeyer says those potential tournaments would really help the high school and little league programs.

"We can raise money, the little league and the high school team can be self-sufficient by having these tournaments," said DeMeyer.

DeMeyer originally wanted the second softball field to be built at Pioneer Park next to the current one, but the Rhinelander City Council voted 6-2 against that idea in 2016.

So Paulson and DeMeyer turned their attention to a location near the high school, like the football practice field next to Mike Webster Stadium.

"It's an ideal location, because we have the bathrooms that are going to be out there, we have the concession stand, we're also going to have a small team room out there," said Pauslon.

That particular field typically doesn't drain very well when it rains.

Last week, the School District of Rhinelander capital projects abd ad hoc committee agreed to sign a contract to study that area behind the school and the soccer field out in front of the school as another potential location.

So far, DeMeyer says he and his supporters have about $150,000 they can use to help fund the project.
He says if need be, there may be access to more.

"I do believe there are some more donors out there, I have had some people contact me. To what amount of money, we haven't talked about that," said DeMeyer.

Either way, Paulson says the benefits go beyond just the high school.

"That's one of my goals is to be bring people to our community, and to have two softball fields right next to each other is another great opportunity to bring more people to Rhinelander," said Paulson.

"Point of Beginning" from Stevens Point will survey the two locations to determine if a softball complex is possible. The contract for the surveys will cost the school district $6,000.

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MADISON (AP) - Wisconsin has recorded its first human cases of West Nile virus this year.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says the case was confirmed in a Dane County resident.

Health officials are advising Wisconsin residents to continue protecting themselves against mosquito bites.

The department says the majority of human West Nile cases in the state happen in August and September.

West Nile virus is spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito and is not transmitted person to person.

The state documented its first human infections from West Nile in 2002. Last year, 51 cases of West Nile infection were reported among Wisconsin residents.

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The Wausau Daily Herald reports that the data figures broken down by county also show that most offenders are also teenagers under the age of 18.

The report says that the most common relationship to victims statewide and in central Wisconsin counties is someone that knows the victim, but isn't related. The category includes: "acquaintance, employee, employer, neighbor, roommate, and other domestic violence victim."

The statewide average rate for all sex offenses has been steadily rising since 2013. There was about a 14 percent increase from 2013- 2017 in Wisconsin's average rate for sex offenses.

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People in the area always look forward a tradition in its 56th year.

The Eagle River Recreation Association hosts a huge auction in mid-August.

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The North Shore Fire Department responded to the scene Friday morning to help motorists, some of whom were sitting atop their flooded cars. Four people had to be rescued, and two others got out on their own.

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But in 1978, Hollywood came here.

Saturday marks the 40th anniversary for the movie "Bog."

It was a horror film that was filmed in Oneida County.

Mike Ryeden was Hazlehurt's Assistant Fire Chief at the time and ended up starring as the hero of the movie.

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Officer Luke Linsmeyer said it's a great opportunity to spend time with the athletes.

"[We] get to communicate with [the athletes]. They get to communicate with us. We get to play a few games here and there. It's really a good time. It means a lot to just see them and for them to see us in this type of capacity rather than working in our cars," said Linsmeyer.

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RHINELANDER - A food pantry that depends on generosity saw a lot of it Friday. The pantry teamed up with Trig's and Bremer's Furniture to help out local families in need. 

Volunteer Bill Vancos didn't mind giving his free time this morning to a bigger cause. "It's very heartwarming to do this. It's a shame that people are still in need," said Vancos.

The Rhinelander Area Food Pantry set up a donation drive in front of Trig's Friday morning.

Rhinelander Food Pantry Treasurer, Ginger Chroback, joined the event to help customers figure out what to donate. She said macaroni and cheese, cans of soups, and pastas are food staples that are always helpful items to donate. 

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