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Wis. Farmer Census Deadline ApproachingSubmitted: 01/26/2013
Wis. Farmer Census Deadline Approaching
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - The deadline for Wisconsin farmers to stand up and be counted is near. The census is required, and the deadline is February 4th.

The U.S. Census of Agriculture is done every five years. The National Agricultural Statistics Service looks at land use and ownership, production practices and income, and expenditures.

The census provides agricultural data for every county in Wisconsin and the country.

A farm is defined as producing and selling $1,000 or more of agricultural products.

The census forms were mailed to farms late last month. Farmers can also complete the census online at www.agcensus.usda.gov.

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NORTHWOODS - Next Monday's solar eclipse will look fascinating, but it can damage your eyes for a lifetime.

It's never safe to look directly at the sun's rays, even though there will be a partial eclipse here in the Northwoods.

Regular sunglasses won't protect you, so if you plan to view the solar eclipse you need special solar eclipse sunglasses.

Those glasses are one size fits all, so it's important to check they are snug on your child's head, too.

Kids are curious, and may want to fixate on the crescent beam of light.

"We know children are going to want to peek over the top and in just 20 to 30 seconds they could be doing damage to their eye, " says Dr. Jill Redman.

The solar eclipse light is not as intense as regular sunlight.

You won't actually feel the damage being done until the next day because the reflex to turn away won't be there.

"Missing blurry vision and central vision. Afterwards you could have light sensitivity. You could also have watering eyes. But some of the damage with maculopathy can be permanent," says Dr. Ben Redman.

Dr. Ben says if you don't have those special solar glasses, the safest option is to avoid it entirely and watch online.

When in doubt, call your eye doctor.

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MILWAUKEE - A Wisconsin senator wants the State Department to investigate reports of tainted alcohol at Mexican resorts.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently reported travelers becoming sick after drinking alcohol at resorts south of the border.

That includes a 20 year old Wisconsin woman who died in January after being pulled from a resort pool.

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RHINELANDER - You probably wouldn't consider a dark, smelly alley an ideal place to sit and relax.  Maggie Steffen agrees, which is why she's planning to transform an alley on Brown Street in Rhinelander.

Steffen plans to tackle the project in three phases.  Phase one is lighting the alley, which sits between The Brick restaurant and Bath and Body Creations.  Downtown Rhinelander, Inc. agreed to pay about $2,800 for five LED lights if the city  would pay for the electricity.  

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TOMAHAWK - You probably won't think about the Christmas season for quite some time. But at the Steigerwaldt Tree Farms in Tomahawk, the Christmas season is a year round affair. 
 
For Steigerwaldt Tree Farms President and CEO Ed Steigerwaldt...'Oh, Christmas Tree' took on a different meaning at a young age.

"I started working the tree fields with my dad when I was eight or nine years old," said Steigerwaldt.
Decades later, he's still in those fields, singing a different tune this time of year.

August means trees won't be cut for several months. Planting happened in the spring, but it's still a busy time getting trees sheared and tagged.

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RHINELANDER - DNR Furbearer Research Scientist Dr. Nathan Roberts calls bobcats "a conservation success story."
Their population numbers are up across the United States.

The DNR doubled the harvest quota this year at 750 bobcats because of that healthy population size.

"While the population's grown, we've also increased our understanding of bobcats considerably. Working together with hunters and trappers across the state we've increased our understanding of bobcats and our ability to monitor bobcats," said Roberts.

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RHINELANDER - A one-year-old baby was hospitalized in Rhinelander after digesting marijuana.

Twenty-one-year-old Anika Wildcat-Chapman was babysitting the one-year-old between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on August 5.

According to the criminal complaint, Wildcat-Chapman left the child with her mother to buy an edible marijuana cookie at a friend's house. 

When she returned home, Wildcat-Chapman left the cookie on top of the dishwasher.  

The child's parents picked up the child and later noticed the child was lethargic and not acting "normal." 

The parents brought the baby to St. Mary's Hospital in Rhinelander and the child tested positive for marijuana. 

The child was flown to a different hospital for further care.

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The 37th annual Paul Bunyan Fest featured chainsaw carving demonstrations, more than 80 arts and craft booths, and music.

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