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"Lights of the Northwoods" almost ready for tonight's ribbon cuttingSubmitted: 12/14/2017
Story By Natalie Cardona

RHINELANDER - 50,000 twinkling lights will bring holiday cheer Hodag Park in Rhinelander Thursday night.

"Lights of the Northwoods" is a drive-through light show packed with more than 32 individual displays.

Vice President Shawn Will says he's excited and a bit nervous to officially share the display tonight.

Those nerves have nothing to do with the amount of snow we got.

"I was thinking as the snow was flying and I was looking at the lights I'm like, 'This is going to be like one of

those Hallmark movies we watch all the time!' It's really going to be pretty on the lake here with the lights

shining off the snow," says Will.





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 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - A man died near the entrance of Nicolet College in Rhinelander on Thursday afternoon.

Neither the campus nor the public were in danger, according to the Oneida Co. Sheriff's Office. Due to the circumstances of the man's death, Newswatch 12 is not releasing more information, but there appears to be nothing suspicious about the death.

Police got a report at 3:55 p.m. about a man lying face down near the entry drive to Nicolet College. Emergency responders took him to St. Mary's Hospital, but he died.

The Oneida Co. Sheriff's Office, Rhinelander Fire Department, Pelican First Responders, and Oneida Co. Medical Examiner's Office were involved in the response.

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MINOCQUA - Mixed in with a sea of cakes, brownies, and muffins, Sue Loeffler thought her cookies stood out.

"Yeah, yeah, it was a real production," Loeffler said of her work.

Loeffler spent the better part of Wednesday making 91 cookies for a bake sale, which started Thursday, knowing her role was an important one in drawing a crowd.

"Us Methodist women are really good bakers, so we have this reputation in town for good food," Loeffler said.

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RHINELANDER - A semi-trailer arrived in Rhinelander this week carrying a lot of bees. While some people don't like to be around bees, they provide a lot of benefits.

The owner of a local honey farm wants to show the great things bees bring for everyone.

Concerns about the declining bee population have been around for many years.

"There's a few different elements to the decline and I think most of it is going to stem from stress [on the bee population]," said Hansen's Honey Farm Owner Chris Hansen.

The biggest cause of stress is mites.

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RHINELANDER - Grow North is a corporation working toward a stronger economy in the Northwoods. Their annual meeting Thursday focused on housing.

Executive Director of Regional and Economic Development at Nicolet College Sandy Bishop said housing is the number one issue for local business-owners.

"Part of what we're learning about is the need for housing across the region and then also looking at what kinds of incentives and resources are available that can be tapped into," said Bishop.

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RHINELANDER -

The Oneida County Beekeepers Association promotes beekeeping in the Northwoods. 

It does its part to save the bees, and wants to encourage to do the same. It works to recruit new beekeepers, as well as teach people the importance of honeybees in our everyday lives.

"Bees are essential for our food supply," said Oneida County Beekeepers Association member, John Bigley. "If we lose the bees, we lose most of the food supply. So, we got to keep them healthy. We have to ensure that they are pollinating not only the flowers, but the fruit trees and vegetable gardens."

The organization is holding a class on June 1st for anyone who is interested in learning how to become a beekeeper. 

It's also an advanced class for beekeepers to learn more about bee tips and tricks. 

It will be held at Hansen's Honey Farm.


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ELCHO - Wisconsin counts "tipped" employees as some of its lowest-income workers.

Bartenders, waiters, and valets are rarely among the wealthy, but those workers could be getting a new tax break soon.

Right now, workers are supposed to pay taxes on the cash tips they get from customers.

A bill in the state legislature would make Wisconsin the first state to stop taxing them on that income.

At Koni K's restaurant in Elcho, servers make three dollars an hour. They need tips to survive.

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RHINELANDER - People living in Rhinelander may notice discolored water at different points throughout the month of June.  The city plans to flush its hydrants over a four-to-six-week stretch.

The routine flushing helps clear out iron deposits in water lines and make sure hydrants are working properly.

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