RHINELANDER - This year the city of Rhinelander wanted to create a whole new experience by transforming Hodag Park into the "Lights of the Northwoods." "You can always follow but you can't always be the first one's," said Lights of the Northwoods Vice President Shawn Will. Will, will always remember this week as the time he was trailblazer. "Our grand community event," said Will.
Since he was a child he traveled to other communities to enjoy the magic of the holidays. "Now the kids can come to this park and see what we're doing here," said Will.
Will wanted a different experience for his kids and brought some magic to their hometown. "Yea now we don't have to travel anymore!" said Will excitedly. More than 50 volunteers worked all weekend to create something the city of Rhinelander has never seen before.
The La Crosse Rotary Lights Display inspired the members of the Lights of the Northwoods organization. "It's something that needed to be done at this park this park is underutilized," said volunteer Terri Thompson. Twelve non- profit organizations sponsored more than 32 light displays at Hodag Park. Some lights came from the original La Crosse lighting show. "I'm part of the beginning of something that hopefully will become extraordinary. I know it will be," said Thompson.
Thompson volunteered to join something she believes will change the city forever. "This just brings it to life year round," said Thompson.
At Thursday's ribbon cutting families will see Hodag Park lit with more than 50 thousand Christmas lights. But for Will this first light show is just the beginning. "This is just a preview of what we hope this can become," said Will. Lights of the Northwoods is free. The event runs from Dec.14th through Dec. 17 th. Canned Food donations are encouraged.
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.
ARBOR VITAE - Do you know where your food comes from? Kindergarteners at Arbor Vitae-Woodruff elementary do. They have been growing their own fruits and vegetables all year. On Thursday, their work culminated in a final celebration as part of the first-ever Wisconsin School Garden Day.
Each kindergartner was partnered with a fifth grader to help them with planting and weeding.
Organizer Adriane Morabito said it is important for young people to know where their food comes from.
"It teaches them important skills like empathy, compassionate, and kindness," said Morabito. "It also helps them eat healthy."
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.
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