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NEWS STORIES

Respect the Injury: Local School Tackles Concussions Head-OnSubmitted: 11/20/2012
Story By Matt Doyle

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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.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Holiday Model Train Show Opens in MinocquaSubmitted: 11/28/2014

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MINOCQUA - If Black Friday and the snow didn't get you into the Christmas spirit just yet, a local train display could help.

The Northwoods Model Railroad Club opened Santa's Village Friday.

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Black Friday Shopping in the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 11/28/2014

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RHINELANDER - Many people woke up early and headed to the store for Black Friday.

It is considered one of the biggest shopping days of the year because it can mark the start of the holiday shopping season.

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Northwoods Children's Museum hosts turkeys for educationSubmitted: 11/28/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - People who head to the Northwoods Children's Museum will get a special surprise.

The museum in Eagle River is hosting a couple of live turkeys this month.

Workers say the live animals help children understand exactly where their Thanksgiving meals come from.

The program has been running for about 10 years.

Turkey and Tradition draws a lot of people to Eagle River every November.

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Local author writes book after 11 years of researchSubmitted: 11/28/2014

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PRESQUE ISLE - You can learn a lot about your family history after 11 years of research.

Presque Isle's Richard Fields now knows five generations of his family name, and 1200 people related to him.

He started his research in 2003. Fields finished this year.

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Wisconsin's wolf hunt may soon come to an endSubmitted: 11/28/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin's wolf hunt may soon come to an end.

Hunters are four wolves shy of Wisconsin's statewide kill limit, throwing the prospect of using dogs in this year's hunt into doubt.

State tallies show hunters had taken 146 wolves as of Thursday, just short of the 150 wolf limit.

The 2012 Republican law that created Wisconsin's wolf hunt allows hunters to use dogs to trail wolves beginning the first day after the end of the nine-day gun deer season.

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Funeral set for 3 children who died in U.P. crashSubmitted: 11/28/2014

DAGGETT, MI - A funeral has been scheduled for the three children killed in a weather-related crash in the Upper Peninsula.

TV station WBUP-WBKP reports (http://bit.ly/1vpSGy8 ) the funeral for Michael, Maxwell and Joelle McCue is set for Sunday at the Carney Free Church in the Menominee County community of Carney. The children ages 11 to 14 died Monday after their van smashed into a semi-truck on snowy U.S. 41 near Daggett.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 11/28/2014

- People in the Northwoods didn't let the chillier temperatures stop them from heading out for Black Friday this morning.

- Kids in Eagle River got a special treat at the Northwoods Children's Museum. The museum brought in two live turkeys for their annual Turkey and Traditions event. Every November, two turkeys are brought in to help teach kids about where their Thanksgiving meal comes from. Hear about the importance of the program coming up on Newswatch 12 tonight.

- If you're not in the Christmas spirit yet, a local model train show can help transport you to Santa's Village.

- And homemade pizzas turn into more than sauce and dough at one Eagle River household. We'll meet Gary Anderson tonight on Newswatch 12 and tell you how his pizza making turned into a fundraising tool to help people in the Northwoods.

We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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