LAC DU FLAMBEAU - The Lac du Flambeau Tribe shared its culture through song, dance, and ceremony in the same spot for more than 60 years. Last fall, the tribe tore down a decayed "Indian Bowl" facility but it always planned to rebuild. Monday, the tribe took the next step toward accomplishing that goal.
Tribal leaders held a ground blessing ceremony at the site of the new building. The tribe burned sage, said a prayer in Ojibwe, and passed a ceremonial peace pipe.
"[The ceremony] pays respects, if you will, to the land that you're impacting," Tribal Treasurer Melinda Young said. "It pays respect to everybody and anything that is a part of what we're doing, and it really is just about starting your endeavors in a respectful manner."
The Waaswaaganing Indian Bowl Living Arts and Culture Center will create a new space for gathering and teaching. It will cost $3.6 million to build, about $1.6 million of which has been raised so far. But the tribe says educating people about the tribe's history is more important than the price tag.
"Our visitors will understand who the Lac du Flambeau people are," Young said. "We'll be able to share our songs, our dance, and our stories. That's integral to who we are as people."
Construction on the building is scheduled to start next spring.
RHINELANDER - Oneida County Supervisor Bob Mott felt sadness as he toured the Doctors Foster and Smith property in Rhinelander on Feb. 22. Mott knew he couldn't save the nearly 300 jobs that are disappearing after Petco announced in January it was closing most of the facility.
However, Mott is now pushing the county to look at a new option for the buildings and land that could generate money and create jobs.
At Tuesday's county board meeting, Mott submitted a resolution that would form a committee to look at Oneida County buying the property from Petco.
RHINELANDER - The first day of spring on Tuesday greeted us with snow and cold, but a handful of people across Rhinelander did their best to deliver some warm feelings.
Hometown Chiropractic employees stood outside the Rhinelander District Library starting at 12:30 p.m. with motivational signs. This is the third year the chiropractic office decided to do "Sunshine on the Street."
It was a simple half-hour commitment to spread joy.
ANTIGO - A sandbag can serve as a cheap, easy tool to stop floodwater from reaching homes, businesses, and other buildings. In Antigo, city workers have seen their fair share of sandbags lately. The city made a thousand of them. It's something workers do every year, but hope to never use them.
"Every melting season," said Antigo Public Works Project Manager Charlie Brinkmeier. "We never know, the weather changes day to day."
Since the flooding that took place in 2004, the city of Antigo has been doing its best to stay prepared.
"Everybody in this community has institutional memory from the 2004 event," said Antigo Administrative Services Director Mark Desotell. "It was quite an impact on the city. It impacted a lot of businesses."
RHINELANDER - By landing in New Zealand last week, Rhinelander's Darlene Machtan and her husband checked off another continent in their world travels. They landed and were confronted by huge national news.
"It's all people are talking about," Machtan said in a FaceTime interview.
Last Friday in Christchurch, New Zealand, a white supremacist started shooting at two mosques in a terrorist attack, killing 50 people.
Most years, the entire country has fewer than ten homicides with guns.
MERRILL - Dozens of people in Merrill considered who is representing them in city government. A group is pushing to recall five of the city's eight representatives and held a rally Tuesday night to make their case to their fellow taxpayers.
"It's now or never," said LaDonna Fermanich, one of the rally organizers.
The Recall Rally was held at Les and Jim's Lincoln Lanes less than a mile away from Merrill City Hall, where a common council meeting was taking place at the same time.
"This is nothing personal for the alderman. We believe you're all of good character," said Steve Sabatke, addressing the council. Sabatke plans to run for Merrill's 8th district seat.
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