ST. GERMAIN - Plans for a snowmobile trail in St. Germain have some residents upset with Vilas County.
Tom and Karen Martens have filed a lawsuit to stop the county from building a snowmobile trail that would cross their right of way on Highway 155.
Normally the county can use the right of way for highway purposes. But in 1937 when that right was granted to the highway department for the Martens' land it was through an easement.
The Martens say that means they're the ones who have to give permission for a snowmobile trail to cross their land.
"This is an easement for highway purposes as long as so used. The question is, is a snowmobile trail on the easement a highway purpose? That's what this lawsuit is about. We're in no way trying to stop the snowmobile trail. All we're trying to do is stop the trail from being on our property," says Tom Martens.
The Martens say they're also concerned about safety. President-elect of the Bo-Boen Snowmobile Club, Tom Christensen, says the DOT and Vilas County have deemed it safe.
He also says a snowmobile trail is proper highway use.
"Vilas County and the Department of Transportation have both agreed that the right of way along 155 is a right of way that allows for snowmobile traffic, snowmobile trail system to be placed along the side of Highway 155," says Christensen.
The Martens and other residents have also sent a petition to St. Germain to prevent the trail from crossing private land down the road. The town hasn't made a decision about the petition yet because the ordinance isn't specific about snowmobile trails.
There should be a ruling on the lawsuit December 18th.
MERRILL - Hospitals can sometimes scare kids and even many adults.
That's why one Northwoods hospital wants those kids to be comfortable with doctors if they ever need their help.
Merrill kindergarteners visited Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center today.
The kids got to see an ambulance, physical therapy and x rays.
"We try to show them that you know what, the hospital isn't so scary. And we bring them through different areas that they may experience when they come in or they have a family member here. And a lot of times children, if they don't know, they're very afraid. A hospital can be very intimidating, says Jane Bentz, Director of Foundation and Community Outreach.
NORTHWOODS - People in Wisconsin love their beer, but alcohol is a big problem in the Northwoods. Experts want people to remember that alcohol is a drug and should never be abused.
Alcohol is a depressant and slows down the central nervous system. Experts feel drinking here in the Northwoods has become too normalized.
“When you talk to people even from the Northwoods community alcohol goes hand in hand with family gatherings , graduation, prom, hunting, snowmobiling, recreational activities,” says Katie Kennedy, Options Counseling Service Clinician. “It's kind of created this normalized look at alcohol that it's okay to do that in these environments or in these situations when it actually really increases risks.”
It's not just adults that have alcohol problems. Kids under 21 are finding unique ways to abuse the drug. Some have even resorted to snorting alcohol as a means to get drunk faster.
“What happens anytime you ingest a substance as far as snorting like right into your nose it goes into your mucus membrane,” says Kennedy. “So instead of drinking alcohol whereas it's processed through your system it's a process, the alcohol goes immediately into your body into your blood stream it affects you a lot quicker.”
In 2012 Wisconsin was the number one state for binge drinking. That's according to the Center for Disease Control. April is alcohol awareness month.
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