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Severe storms knock out power, road access to Winchester family for more than 24 hoursSubmitted: 07/22/2016

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WINCHESTER - Just a short walk from Kristin Cibelli's parent's deck stands -- or rather lies -- uprooted trees and twisted fences.

"I've never seen any damage like that in the 48 years I've been coming up here," Cibelli said.

Cibelli woke up to Thursday morning's heavy rains and winds around 5:30 a.m.  The storm finally passed over the Winchester area and the family went out to look over the damage.

"Adrenaline definitely was flowing," Cibelli said.

But what wasn't flowing was electricity or any traffic on their rural road near Rock Lake.  Storms packing straight-line winds around 60 miles an hour ripped down trees and power lines at the end of Cibelli's driveway.


"We went into taking care of neighbors mode," Cibelli said. "Making sure we went down to every neighbor that we could get to north of here."

But to get there, Kristin and her family had to hop on their boats. Trees blocked any escape via car for about 24 hours.

"Chairs and all these tables were in the water," Cibelli's mother, Penny Klotz said.

Klotz helped build the house where the family stays about 15 years ago. She says the boat travel was a challenge, but she's thankful the house wasn't damaged and her neighbors weren't hurt.

"That's what you see on television all the time is the tree comes down, goes crash on the house, but it was nice that it missed all of our structures," Klotz said.

"We definitely think guardian angels were watching over," Cibelli said.

As of Friday afternoon, the family continued to wait for the power company to look over their lines while temperatures surpass 90 degrees.

"Yes, [I'm looking forward to] air conditioning, hot water, laundry machine, those are things that will definitely be appreciated," Cibelli said.

Bayfield Electric provides power for the Winchester area. The company told Cibelli it could take through the weekend to restore power to all the customers in the northern Vilas County area.

Story By: Lane Kimble

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 LOCAL NEWS
How camps are handling the heatSubmitted: 07/22/2016

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RHINELADER - During the summer months, camps look forward to welcoming campers and counselors.

They certainly don't look forward to those hot and humid days that make it hard to enjoy being outdoors.
 
This week, Rhinelander's Camp Birchrock has focused on keeping their campers cool all day long.

"We've been getting in the water, swimming, kayaking, and canoeing. Doing a lot of fun things to keep us cool," said 11-year-old Genevion Boid.

This is his first year as a camper at Birchrock.

Camp Director Johanna Sommers says the heat hasn't stopped them from doing any activities, but they do remain mindful of the sun.

"We make sure that they're drinking water all day," Sommers said. "Water bottles are a must and sunscreen, especially. We put it on every hour at least."

Luckily at the camp there's a lot of shade created by trees, giving the campers and counselors some relief from all of that heat. In a lot of areas around the camp, they also have water fountains.

In addition to keeping the campers hydrated, counselors also make sure to limit time in the sun.

"We do a little bit less of hiking and sports field activities, because the sports field is kind of open to the sun," Sommers said. "We try not to do too much out there just so they don't get overheated and over exhausted."

12-year-old Eleanor Domnick says she doesn't mind the heat. It gives her a chance to enjoy the outdoors.

"It's really fun to go swimming and just go in the play field and hang out with your friends," Domnick said.

The campers at Camp Birchrock are sure enjoying staying cool, while also having some fun.

The camp offers overnight sessions and regular day camp programs every summer.

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RHINELANDER - We finally did it, we hit 90 degrees Thursday, July 21st, for the first time in almost three years.

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RHINELANDER - Emergency first responders save lives and build trust in the community.

And now the Rhinelander Police Department has a new member to do that.

They swore in the new officer Friday morning.

Mark Raddatz and his family gathered at the Rhinelander City Hall for the ceremony.

Raddatz is excited to be in Rhinelander and to make a positive impact in the community.

"I think it's very important for people to know what we do and how involved we are with the community and how much good we do. A lot of times people don't see us doing all the behind the scenes things and good acts," said Raddatz.

Raddatz is the 17th member on the police force, making the department full again. That addition will help with involvement around town as well.

"We have the ability to do extra programming out in the community. Our officers have more time to spend building more positive relationships within the community, instead of just reacting to calls," said Police Chief Michael Steffes.

Raddatz has worked in other departments across Wisconsin and he's looking forward to being in Rhinelander.

His daughter, Abby, is happy to be a Hodag.

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LANGLADE COUNTY - A dead crow found in Langlade County last week tested positive for West Nile virus. It's the first crow to test positive in Langlade County since surveillance started for the virus on May 1.

The Langlade County Health Department wants people to be more careful when trying to prevent mosquito bites. The virus is spread to humans through infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes get the virus from infected birds.

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CRYSTAL FALLS, L'ANSE - Hunters, biologists, and wildlife watchers worry about the low deer population in northern Wisconsin.

But in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, the situation is even worse.

Wildlife biologists say nearly every single fawn died after the harsh winters of 2012 and 2013, further hurting a struggling herd. In fact, the population has been on the decline since 1995.

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MERRILL - The heat can make you crazy. But imagine what it would be like if you had a layer of fur or feathers. For the animals at the Lincoln County Fair in Merrill, keeping cool in this hot weather is a challenge.

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BOULDER JUNCTION - As we braced for one of the hottest days of the year so far, many people needed to clear debris from their lawns and the road before finding shelter from the heat. Thousands of people were left without power after a storm ripped through northern Wisconsin early Thursday morning.

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