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Respect the Injury: Local School Tackles Concussions Head-OnSubmitted: 11/20/2012

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RHINELANDER - You can just ask Eagles and Bears fans how much concussions affect the sport of football.

Three high-profile NFL quarterbacks suffered concussions more than a week ago.

New rules meant they had to miss this week's games.

It seems more and more players are getting them…or is it because there’s more emphasis put on enforcement?

In the Northwoods, Rhinelander’s been focusing on concussions since 2004.

One of the most famous Rhinelander Hodags ever is Mike Webster.

The football stadium bears his name.

The Pro Football Hall of Famer died from what the NFL's retirement board deemed brain injuries suffered from football.

"It was late in the fourth quarter against Antigo," Rhinelander Senior Linebacker Dylon Wilmot said.

"Their running back got the ball and I was playing middle linebacker obviously. When I went for a tackle, I dropped my head, as I'm taught not to, it was my own fault and I got hit on top of the head."

Wilmot knows the feeling all too well.

"I was just nauseous, a huge headache, I did not feel overall great as I normally would," Wilmot explained.

"I puked afterwards, I was not feeling great at all."

Rhinelander Athletic Trainer Eric Prom says it's not always the big ones.

"Some of the ones that are big hits aren't concussions," Prom said.

"It can sometimes be the smallest thing."

Wilmot had a concussion. He'd miss the next two games as part of his recovery.

"It was the worst feeling in the world being on the sidelines and not being able to play," Wilmot said.

He had no choice. New Wisconsin law requires athletes to sit out and be evaluated by a doctor before returning.

"The change that is occurring and happening now is a recognition," Dr. Kent Jason Lowry from Northland Orthopedics said.

"That those other more subtle, or softer symptoms - you're dizzy, you're having a headache, you're sensitive to the light, there's been some emotional changes are also signs of a head injury and need to be respected."

The NFL has taken a lead on concussions. Putting it at the top of its priority list for player safety.

The school district of Rhinelander has done this since 2004, requiring athletes to go through an impact test before they participate in sports.

The school also invested in new helmets going into this football season, however helmets sometimes can't even make the difference. It's all about education.

"What we need to do is continue to educate the students," Rhinelander School Nurse Kerri Schmidt said.

"They need to recognize the symptoms. They need to contact the coach and the athletic trainer."

"We're talking about are not symptoms we can do a test for," Dr. Lowry said.

"They're symptoms that you have to tell us about as the athlete. You're the only one that knows if you have them or not."

"It's something they always teach us, but as, being kids, we kind of overlook it," Wilmot said.

Wilmot says he knows why now. He went to the hospital after the game to be checked out.

"Once it actually happens to you, you realize how serious it is," Wilmot admits.

Serious enough to miss school and practice because of it.

"It's the worst," Wilmot said.

"I literally laid in my bed all day for a week straight."

"For us, particularly at the high school level, what we're trying to accomplish is to get people to recognize the symptoms and respect the injury," Dr. Lowry said.

Respecting the injury is worth more than just a few games, it could mean your future.

"A child's brain, an adolescent's brain is a developing brain," Schmidt said.

And one that will hopefully carry student-athletes beyond the athletic fields and into the real world.

The NFL’s policy is similar to the youth one.

Most we spoke with agree it’s important to have the NFL behind this push because of its wide-reaching influence.

Story By: Matt Doyle

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Police: Smoking in bathroom caused school fireSubmitted: 04/24/2014

OCONTO - Police say a student smoking in a bathroom caused a fire that resulted in an estimated $5 million in smoke damage at Oconto High School.

After reviewing surveillance video and interviewing students and staff members, Oconto police have identified as 16-year-old student as a person of interest.

Firefighters interviewed the student, who said he left class early and went to the bathroom, where he smoked a home-rolled cigarette.

Police believe the cigarette was used too close to a toilet paper dispenser, causing an accidental fire. No one else used the bathroom after the boy.

The April 16 fire forced the building to be evacuated. Students returned to class Monday at Oconto Middle School.

WLUK-TV (http://bit.ly/1lJIFZH) reports the boy is being referred to the Oconto County Department of Human Services.

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Board speeds up start of short-term loan program Submitted: 04/24/2014

MADISON - The start of a new short-term loan program that wasn't slated to begin until July has been moved up in an effort to help businesses hurt by recent cutbacks at Oshkosh Corp.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the state's chief jobs agency, voted this week to start the pilot program earlier. It will provide loans or loan guarantees of up to $250,000 to companies for projects or expenses that may not be eligible for traditional financing.

The board says it was starting the program earlier in light of news that Oshkosh was cutting 760 jobs from its defense division because of budget cuts being made by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The loan program this year will only target businesses in Oshkosh Corp.'s supply chain

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Duffy might have used earmark to help pay for Northwoods water main breaks, if he couldSubmitted: 04/24/2014

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NORTHWOODS - Water main breaks from this harsh winter will cost Northwoods communities millions of dollars.

The U.S. Congress might want to help.

Under old rules, northern Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy (R-Weston) might have tried to get direct federal money to help pay for repairs.

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Dane County judge to hear Planned Parenthood lawsuitSubmitted: 04/24/2014

MADISON - A Dane County judge is set to hear arguments in a lawsuit challenging a 2012 law that sets out conditions for abortions.

The law requires a doctor to determine whether the woman's consent is voluntary and inform the woman of domestic abuse services if he or she suspects the woman is being coerced. The law also requires doctors to perform a physical exam before they can prescribe abortion-inducting drugs and be in the room when the drugs are given to the woman.

Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit in February 2013 arguing the law is unconstitutionally vague. The organization argues its unclear how doctors should determine voluntary consent and whether doctors need to be present when drugs are dispensed or administered.

Judge Richard Niess is set to hear arguments Thursday morning.

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Educating seniors about drug abuseSubmitted: 04/24/2014

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LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Drug addicts can look nearly everywhere to get their fix, and sometimes they can get that by raiding their family's medicine cabinet.

That's why Lac du Flambeau police gave a drug presentation at an event for the elderly Thursday.

Police leaders wanted to show seniors what could happen if they didn't keep track of their medications.

"A lot of times the elderly and older population can be victims from this. As the younger children, grandchildren, things like that are you know coming in and taking their grandparents prescription drugs," says Sarah Keuer, a nurse at Peter Christensen Health Center.

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UPDATE: Police believe they made right choice in Nerf gun ticketsSubmitted: 04/24/2014

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WAUSAU - UPDATE: 5:52pm 4/24/2014

Police believe they made the right choice handling a report of gunmen near a high school in Wausau Tuesday night.

They found out the gunmen were actually six kids playing a game with toy Nerf guns.

Police eventually ended up giving the high school seniors disorderly conduct tickets.

Some people thought the tickets were excessive, but in a press release in released Thursday by the Wausau Police Department said they "believed there was a serious, potentially life threatening situation".

Someone called the Wausau police around 9:45 p.m. Tuesday.

The person said there were people pointing guns at other people in a car.

Police say they handled the situation different than a traffic stop because of the seriousness of the call.

After police got all the seniors out of the car, they saw the nerf guns.

The teens got the disorderly conduct citations because police say they caused a disruption in the neighborhood.

Leaders at Wausau West High School said in a statement that there's "potential in a game like this for negative consequences."

Some of the students have also been placed on athletic probation.

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Six kids got tickets after a battle using toy Nerf guns in Wausau.

Police issued disorderly conduct citations to the high school seniors.

Some residents of Wausau called police when they saw the young people pointing a gun at a car Tuesday night.

But, it was only a toy Nerf gun that shoots foam bullets.

Wausau West High School officials have also placed some students on athletic probation.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)

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Couple facing charges for keeping and selling prescription drugsSubmitted: 04/24/2014

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LAC DU FLAMBEAU - A married couple from Lac Du Flambeau face a total of nine charges in connection to keeping and selling prescription drugs.

They could spend more than 30 years in federal prison if convicted of maximum sentences, according to a Department of Justice press release.

Charlie Sunn Meshigaud, 25, and Andrew Meshigaud, 28, face charges in federal court.

Police believe the two kept and planned on selling Oxycodone between January and June 2013.

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