GO INSIDE: WORLD’S LARGEST MECHANICAL PLANETARIUM

MONICO – THROUGH THE LENS – Meet the man who set out to build a planetarium…in his own backyard. Frank Kovac was introduced to the wonders of space at an early age by his father. Since his childhood Frank dreamed of building a planetarium. If you’re wondering what exactly a planetarium is, Frank says it best, “it’s basically a theatre of the stars.”

Some planetariums rely on projectors to display the stars but Frank plotted and hand painted more than 5,000 stars with high quality glow in the dark paint. Construction on the planetarium took 10 years. Kovac’s Planetarium opened in 2007 and sees about 4,000 visitors a year.

UNDERGROUND MUSEUM

RHINELANDER – THROUGH THE LENS – If you drive through Rhinelander you’ll see a bunch of brightly painted Hodags. Stu Sorley has one in front of his house. But it’s what’s in his basement that’s remarkable.

FREEDOM TAKES FLIGHT

SAUK CITY – THROUGH THE LENS – Success comes in the form of freedom for 8 bald eagles in Sauk City. Marge Gibson works with bald eagles at the Raptor Center in Antigo. For the past 20 years she and her team have been releasing bald eagles back in the wild.

TAKING THE PLUNGE

ppLakes that freeze over aren’t meant to be swam in…except in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. It was a balmy 14 degrees for the 14th annual 2014 Polar Bear Plunge at Big St. Germain Lake. More than 80 people took the plunge into the icy abyss Saturday. The event raises money for Angel on My Shoulder, a charity that benefits people affected by cancer. Here’s a look through the lens of a GoPro at my jump into the lake.

FROM THE NEWSWATCH 12 NEWS DESK

TEST DRIVING THE XBOX ONE

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RHINELANDER -You can talk to it, watch TV from it, and even surf the web on it. But the best part about Microsoft’s newest gaming system is the ability to play games.

RIDE ALONG IN A SNOW CAT

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RIB MOUNTAIN – This weekend skiers and snowboards can hit the slopes at Granite Peak in Rib Mountain. Snowmakers like Matt Howe have been busy preparing for opening weekend by making snow around the clock. Take a ride along with Matt as he grooms the trails in anticipation for the start of the ski and snowboard season.