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NEWS STORIES

State of the Art Surgical Robot in the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 12/13/2012
Story By Michael Crusan

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WOODRUFF - Imagine a surgical procedure with faster recovery, less pain and fewer complications and risks.

Thanks to the efforts of area doctors and community members that dream is a reality in Woodruff.

Remarkable only begins to describe the da Vinci Surgical Robot.
Ministry Howard Young Hospital Director of Surgical Services Mike Gibbons says, "We were able to attain this technology in a hospital this size, which is pretty rare."

The Marshfield Clinic and Ministry Howard Young Hospital teamed up to perform some of the latest and most advanced surgeries in medicine.

Dr. John Twelmeyer with the Marshfield Clinic says, "The surgeon sits at the console and operates the arms of the da Vinci with just two fingers on each side."

At the helm of the da Vinci surgical robot the technology is something you might think that you'd find down at the Mayo Clinic or in the Cook County Hospital in Chicago.

But actually, it's found right here in the Northwoods.

That's because patients and doctors all got together because they wanted to see something they could bring into a Northwoods community here at the Howard Young Medical Center so patients could have quicker recovery times and more accurate procedures.

Gibbons says, "The people we've talked to have been incredibly amazed that they've been able to have this done here locally."

The robot can move past the limitations of the human hand with it's four robotic arms and high definition imagery.

Twelmeyer explains, "Instruments actually have more maneuverability than the human wrist does. So you can get in there and do very delicate dissections that you wouldn't otherwise be able to do with the regular laparoscopic equipment."

The da Vinci isn't able to perform every kind of operation, but the list is growing.

Gibbons says, "Currently, in addition to gynecology, we also offer urology services for operations of the prostate and kidney. As well as general surgery for colon surgery, gall bladder and things of that nature."

Twelmeyer says, even though the robot is reliable and can handle most procedures with ease, human hands are always on standby, "The whole O.R. crew is still in the room. The only difference is the surgeon isn't standing at the tableside. He or she is standing or sitting at the console."

Using the latest in medical technology and within a short drive for some of the most rural patients in the state.

The four surgeons who are trained to use the da Vinci Surgical Robot have already exceeded their operation goals in the first few months it's been up and running.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Pair of trails opening after storm clean upSubmitted: 09/18/2014

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RHINELANDER - A pair of trails will open Friday in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest after weeks of storm clean up, according to a U.S. Forest Service press release Thursday.

The majority of the Flambeau Trail and the ATV 421 trail will be open.

Officials with the Forest Service say the two trails are some of the most heavily used motorized trails in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

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19th Annual Parade of HomesSubmitted: 09/18/2014

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ANTIGO - You can tour five beautiful homes in Antigo this weekend.

It's the 19th Annual Parade of Homes on Saturday from noon until 4 p.m. in Antigo.

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Integrys auctions off property in St. Germain Submitted: 09/18/2014

ST. GERMAIN - Investors could try to grab lakefront property in St. Germain today.

Integrys is the parent company of Wisconsin Public Service.

The group sold its property in the auction.

"We don't need the property, there's no use for it and there's no sense in us hanging on to it. We've carved it into some very large lots and given now with this auction, people the opportunity to own a nice chunk of land on a really pristine, small lake," said Integrys Spokesperson Kerry Spees.

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Absentee voters need to send in copy of photo IDSubmitted: 09/18/2014

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Nearly all voters in Wisconsin will need to show a photo ID to vote this November. That includes people who send in absentee ballots. A federal court made that ruling within the last week.

Absentee ballot applications have been changed to follow the state's voter ID law. A person now needs to send in a copy of their photo ID with their application. If they don't, they won't get an absentee ballot.

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Middle School students in Merrill work to get rid of invasive speciesSubmitted: 09/18/2014

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MERRILL - Students at Prairie River Middle School in Merrill want to enjoy the river behind their school.

They spent time on Tuesday clearing out some of the invasive species along the riverbank.

"They're taking over and we need to get rid of them while there's still time," says 8th grader Morgan Henrichs.

Science teachers at Prairie River Middle School want to teach their students how to get rid of invasive species.

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Detective team arrest 3 people for growing marijuanaSubmitted: 09/18/2014

BRUCE CROSSING, MI - Detectives from the Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team, or UPSET arrested three people for growing marijuana.

It happened Wednesday at 11:30 in the morning near Bruce Crossing.

UPSET detectives seized nearly $6,200 in cash, 130 marijuana plants, a gun, 5 pounds of marijuana that had already been made, 1 gallon of what detectives think was hemp oil and illegal mushrooms.

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Hearing set on request to change Wisconsin ballotSubmitted: 09/18/2014

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MADISON - A court hearing has been set for next week in the lawsuit filed by Republican legislative leaders seeking to force a change in the model ballot for the November election.

Meanwhile, the state elections board is telling local clerks to move forward with sending out absentee ballots while the lawsuit is pending.

The complaint was filed Wednesday in Waukesha County Circuit Court by state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. They argue the ballot as drafted is confusing and unfairly benefits Democrats because of how it's designed.

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