RHINELANDER - People don't want their pipes to freeze this time of year. That's why the city of Rhinelander will start their water credit program on Monday.
The program allows about 400 businesses and homes to run their water 24 hours a day. That prevents pipes and sewers from freezing. The city gives them a credit on their water bill.
“If it freezes up with either have the water utility coming out here and thawing it out again,” says Joe Brauer, Rhinelander Airport Director. “It's very inconvenient it's the traveling public that uses Rhinelander flying service such like that too again we had to put porta-potties out there the first winter we went through like that and was very, very inconvenient for our customers.”
Places like the Rhinelander airport have dealt with pipes freezing in the past. Right now the frost level is 2 feet underground. This means if your pipes are buried less than 2 feet underground they could be at risk for freezing.
“When you turn the water on to keep a steady flow of water that's going through your sewer pipes and such like that so they don't freeze up, because if you don't do that what will end up happening is the frost drives down and such like that or it will freeze it up so it's very important just to have a trickle of water to have a constant flow of water going through your sewer system,” says Brauer.
The water credit program can cost the city between 50 to 100 thousand dollars.
RHINELANDER - When you’re celebrating the holidays that often means drinking.
Because of that, there are more alcohol-related accidents and deaths this time of year.
But the Oneida County Sheriff’s office wants to prevent as many as accidents as it can.
The Booze and Belts campaign runs through December 21. The campaign is part of the OWI enforcement grant the sheriff's office received in October.
Throughout the campaign, you’ll see three extra squads on patrol looking out for drunk drivers and people who are not wearing their seat belts.
Lloyd Gauthier, Oneida County Patrol lieutenant, says it's all about making the right choices after you've been drinking.
"We really want people to come and enjoy the holiday season, it's Christmas time here in the Northwoods. Whether it's a family coming to one of the resorts that we have here in the area, or just enjoying the different things that we offer," said Gauthier." "We just want people to make good decisions. And you realize that if you don't make good decision, that can affect other people."
Booze and Belts is a statewide program.
It puts more officers on the streets before the holidays.
The Department of Transportation reports that's when the most accidents happen. Lieutenant Gauthier says your choices can have a range of impact.
Gauthier thinks that's because of early celebrations like office Christmas parties and private gatherings.
"Whether it's a traffic crash where you end up killing someone because you're intoxicated, or you seriously injure somebody else, a family member, or yourself," said Gauthier. "Also driving too fast, with the winter conditions roads can change rapidly."
The Sheriff's department says more officers patrolling for OWI's will keep everyone safe.
The Department of Transportation reports most accidents happen between 7pm and 3am.
Vilas county is also participating in the Booze and Belts campaign.
State law erases city ordinances, allows bow hunting in cities
RHINELANDER - A bill signed Thursday by Gov. Scott Walker will allow bow hunting within city limits.
Hunters would have to be at least 100 yards from any building when hunting within city limits.
Rhinelander has used city bow hunts to control the deer population in town.
The city allows special hunts when they get enough complaints and see enough deer related crashes in the city.
But the new state law will force Rhinelander to allow bow hunting during the entire bow season.
Rhinelander Alderperson Alex Young says the law will erase Rhinelander's city hunt ordinances the city had on the books, like background checks on people hunting in the city.
"Those restrictions we used to have are off and anybody who has a hunting license can come in and bow hunt," Young said. "The only thing that you are really allowed to restrict is the distance from neighboring houses."
The city wants to go back to an old distance requirement. It would require hunters to be at least 200 feet away from a building. Cities can make the distance less restrictive. Its also the only thing municipalities can modify, so Rhinelander hopes to do that soon.
"We're kind of moving fast with it because the bill was signed into law today and it is late bow season right now," Young said. "So given that the season is open and anybody could hunt in the city with a bow right now, time is in the way of essence."
The city attorney will see if the city can go back to the 200 foot distance requirement as soon as Monday.
Young says people shouldn't worry about hunting in dense portions of Rhinelander. He says that's because most plots are spaced between 60-70 feet and would not qualify for the current 100 yard restriction.
The law, 2013 Wisconsin Act 71, also requires hunters to shoot arrows or bolts from their weapon towards the ground while hunting.
Rhinelander area elementary school closed Friday because of sickness
PELICAN - Pelican Elementary school will close Friday because of sickness at the school.
The school made the announcement Thursday.
Kerri Schmidt, School Nurse for the School District of Rhinelander, says she's mostly seen vomiting, nausea and headaches.
But some of those affected are showing other flu like symptoms like high fever.
"It's been cold out, kids haven't been able to get out for recess and we had concerts here." Schmidt said. "So anytime you get a large number of people getting together and the right transmission takes place, you certainly can have the breeding grounds for illness."
The school started seeing lots of kids sick Wednesday. They decided to cancel school Friday because even more kids were getting sick Thursday. All co-curricular activities are canceled in conjunction with this school closure.
The decision was ultimately a joint decision between the School District of Rhinelander and the Oneida County Health Department.
"We try to keep the healthy kids at school and send the sick children home," Schmidt said. "But when your whole day becomes continue more sick kids going home, you know the transmission is still taking place."
The school hopes the three day weekend will help stop the spread of the sickness. About 30 percent of the school's 295 students are sick.
Parents should keep their kids home at least 48 hours after showing the first signs of symptoms.
This is the first time since 2002 that a Rhinelander school has shut down because of sickness.
To stop the spread of illness people should: • Drink plenty of liquid (juice, water) • Keep the sick person as comfortable as possible. Rest is important • For fever, sore throat and muscle aches, use ibuprofen (Motrin) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol). Do not use Aspirin with children or teenagers; it can cause Reye’s syndrome, a life-threatening illness. • Be sure everyone in your home washes their hands frequently. • Keep the people who are sick away from the people who are not sick.
For more information, call your healthcare provider or contact the Oneida County Health Department at 715-369-6111.
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Neither Rockfleet Broadcasting / Northland Television, Inc. nor By Request Web Designs shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, or misprints.