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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
Off-duty bouncer severely beaten in MadisonSubmitted: 12/20/2014

MADISON - An off-duty bouncer at a Madison bar has severe injuries after he was beaten by two customers.

Police say the 21-year-old bouncer at The City Bar was entering the men's restroom early Saturday when he saw two men with a white powdery substance. Police say one of the men ingested the substance.

The bouncer told the men he was going to notify a manager, and he was attacked. The men left with three other males.

Police say the bouncer was taken to a hospital where he was treated for a broken nose, a fractured orbital socket and a facial laceration that required stitches.

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Police arrest Hamilton protesters blocking highwaySubmitted: 12/20/2014

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Hundreds of protesters blocked traffic during rush hour Friday, calling for charges against officer who shot and killed 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton in April. Officer Christopher Manney shot Hamilton 14 times after a struggle in a downtown park, spurring weeks of protests. Manney was later fired for not following proper procedure.

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Leadership Oneida Co. candidates to provide help, new ideas for local non-profitsSubmitted: 12/19/2014

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Leadership Oneida County pairs those groups with those people. On Thursday, those groups met to start working towards a common goal.

"We were very pleased to have the group help us and we're anticipating great results again," said Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Executive Director Guy Hansen.

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Students experience spirit of giving at Santa's WorkshopSubmitted: 12/19/2014

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Parents and teachers put on the event at Sugar Camp Elementary School every year.

Children in pre-k through 6 grade write out a Christmas shopping list for their family.

They picked out their gifts on Friday.

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Truck supply causing challenges getting wood to mills, upfront costs & recession could explain supplySubmitted: 12/19/2014

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He believes it started in the early 2000s. Kramer says a number of trucks went to the southern U.S. to cash in, and clean up hurricane damage. He says many didn't return.

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UPDATE: Great Lakes wolves back on the endangered species list, DNR: disappointed with wolf decisionSubmitted: 12/19/2014

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Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources spokesman Bill Cosh issued a statement Friday evening saying the decision means the state can't authorize anyone to kill a wolf, even wolves discovered in the act of attacking a domestic animal. The statement also said the decision invalidates provisions in Wisconsin law allowing hunters to train dogs to track wolves.

The agency says its disappointed with the ruling and continues to support federal officials' original decision to remove the wolf from the endangered list.

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Eagle River Groomers prepare to groom snowmobile trails again Submitted: 12/19/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - Snow groomers in Eagle River spend a lot of time on trails. They make sure they're perfect for snowmobilers, but it takes a lot of time and money to make that happen.

"See how flat it is? With these machines that's what we do to get it flattened out. And it does a good job," said Sno-Eagles Trail Boss Tom Tomlanovich.

You can tell Tom Tomlanovich loves his job.

"See how the trail is up here now?" Tomlanovich said.

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