NEWS STORIES

Local Schools Ahead of the Game with Concussion CareSubmitted: 02/22/2012
RHINELANDER - The NFL and other sports leagues are making concussion prevention a priority, and now so is the Wisconsin state legislature.

Senator Roberta Darling is sponsoring a bill that would require any student athlete with concussion symptoms to be pulled from the sport until cleared by a doctor.

Former Green Bay Packer offensive lineman Mark Tauscher was with legislators in Madison trying to garner support for the bill aimed at preventing youth concussions.

The bill would keep student athletes with signs of concussions out of the sport until they're cleared by a doctor. Here in Rhinelander, schools are already ahead of the game.

"The procedure being used by the NFL, is what we've been using here for eight, ten years," says Charlie LaHam, Athletic and Activities Director at Rhinelander High School.

LaHam says awareness of the danger of concussions is nothing like it used to be.

"Concussions were considered part of the game. Today we take great precautions," says LaHam.

The program the Hodags use involves an impact test. Each student takes it before joining a sport to establish a baseline. When they're injured they take the test again, which helps indicate the severity of a concussion. It also helps the school nurse and trainer know when the student is ready to return to the sport.

"The adolescent brain is still a developing brain, and we need to protect the student athlete brain. We don't want them to return to sports until their back to baseline, meaning back to no symptoms," says Kerri Schmidt, the Nurse at Rhinelander School District.

But it's not always easy keeping a passionate athlete on the sidelines.

"It's hard not to be compassionate to that but we have to think long term. I try and share that with them; this isn't about today or tomorrow night's game. This is many years from now. This game will keep going, but you may not," says LaHam.

And they're makeing sure everyone knows it's not just football players who get concussions. Athletic Trainer Eric Prom says he's seen concussions in every sport at Rhinelander High School.

"It doesn't have to be a huge, vicious hit for something like that to happen. It could be falling. You don't even have to hit your head sometimes. It's just the movement of the brain within the skull," says Eric Prom, an Athletic Trainer with Ministry Healthcare who does outreach at Rhinelander High School.

Schmidt says they all operate by these words of wisdom:

"When in doubt, hold the student athlete out," says Schmidt.

Supporters of the concussion legislation want people to call their local senators and urge them to support it. Not all schools are as up to date about treating concussions.

Story By: Lyndsey Stemm

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 IN OTHER NEWS
UPDATE: Name released in Tomahawk house fireSubmitted: 04/18/2014

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TOMAHAWK - A man in a wheelchair couldn't make it out of a burning Tomahawk home Thursday.

The fire killed 70-year-old Kenneth Pietila.

A snow plow driver saw smoke coming out of the windows of the home on East Pine Shore Lane just after 1 p.m.

Tomahawk firefighters found an active fire spreading throughout the home.

Pietila, in his wheelchair, couldn't be saved.

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Northwoods filmmaker makes movies for the big screenSubmitted: 04/18/2014

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MERRILL - When you think of movies you probably think of Hollywood, but one man from Northcentral Wisconsin is bringing his feature film to the local screen.

Wausau’s Jarrod Crooks not only makes movies, but he also stars in them.

His latest film, "Dispatched" is based off the Elvis Presley movie, “Girl Happy,” says filmmaker Jarrod Crooks. “My character Jake is sent to go watch my bosses daughter while she’s on vacation with a friend. Then an old enemy is kind of after him while he’s on vacation, so some things happen.”

Crooks made, "Dispatched" on a $5,000 budget and it’s full of romance, action, and comedy.

“My buddy would joke with me, ‘why don’t you just pick one genre man and then just go with it'," says Crooks. "I’m like because I want to make this movie how I want to make It'." "I actually like romantic comedies, I think they’re kind of fun, and I think they’re cute. I like action films because I’m a guy, and I like comedy because Jim Carey is great.”

Crooks is only 28 and has already made 4 feature films. His passion started when he was 12 years old.

“I went over to my friend’s house and he had a video camera. I was like oh we should make a movie, and at that time I was really into, “Wishbone,” says Crooks.

“We’d always remake our own literature pieces. Then I saw my first Jackie Chan movie and I’m like, alright it’s settled we’re doing action films from now on," says Crooks. “From then on it was just a love affair with the filmmaking.”

His latest film will be shown at the Cosmo Theatre in Merrill on Saturday at 5pm.

“The fact that I’m bringing it to central Wisconsin is great because this is where I grew up," says Crooks. "All my family and friends get to see it, so I’m very excited about that and you get to see yourself on the big screen what’s better than that.”





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Observing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday Submitted: 04/18/2014

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RHINELANDER - You could find a decent amount of businesses closed early Friday.

That's because many of the owners and employees were in church.

People filled the pews at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rhinelander on Good Friday.

People honored the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

"His death which looks really bad for us is really good because it's in our place," said Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church pastor, Richard Krahn.

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Statton's General Store will close after ten yearsSubmitted: 04/18/2014

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TOMAHAWK - Statton’s General Store in Tomahawk will close its doors after ten years.

Dick and Rita Statton opened the business in May of 2004.

“I decided it was time for a change,” says Dick Statton.

Dick worked in manufacturing for 32 years before opening the business.

He wanted to try something new.

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Survey shows fewer high school students drinking,smoking and having sexual intercourseSubmitted: 04/18/2014

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ACROSS WISCONSIN - A new survey released by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction shows fewer high school students are smoking, drinking and having sex.

The 2013 Wisconsin Youth Risk Behavior Survey is taken every two years. It anonymously surveys more than 2800 students from more than 50 public school districts around Wisconsin.

The survey shows 12 percent of high school students had smoked a cigarette on one or more days in the past 30 days of the survey. That’s down from 32 percent in 1993.

Katie Kennedy, Options Counseling Services Clinician, works with teenagers that suffer from alcohol and other drug addictions. She believes intervention programs have helped lead to declines.

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RHS Mock Trial team recognized for accomplishments Submitted: 04/18/2014

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RHINELANDER - A Northwoods team broke their own state record last month by winning a 17th state title.

A pair of state legislators honored them Friday.

Republican State Representative Rob Swearingen and Republican State Senator Tom Tiffany honored the Rhinelander Mock Trial Team at the Oneida County courthouse today.

"It's on behalf of myself and Senator Tom Tiffany from the 12th senate district," said Republican State Representative, Rob Swearingen.

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Community fundraises for boy with rare diseaseSubmitted: 04/18/2014

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THREE LAKES - Imagine not being able to move your body.

That was the reality for a 4th grader from Three Lakes

Hunter St. Louis has a rare nerve disease called Guillain-Barré Syndrome.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome makes your body attack nerve cells.

The messages from the brain can't get to the nerves.

So his body was unable to move.

Hunter had to go through seven plasma replacements.

And now he'll go through intense physical therapy.

Hunter is leaving the hospital Friday, but he still has a long road to full recovery.

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