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Birth Defects AwarenessSubmitted: 02/03/2013
Birth Defects Awareness
Story By Melissa Constanzer

ONEIDA COUNTY - When expecting, everyone hopes for a healthy child. To help ensure this, there are some things a mother can do.

"During pregnancy it is very important for women to take a multivitamin as well as stay away from things drinking and smoking as well as drugs," says Brenda Husing, Oneida County Registered Dietitian

But birth defects affect 1 in 33 babies every year.

"Some of the most common birth defects are heart defects. Also spina bifida and encephalocele. Some of these can be prevented by taking folic acid prior to conception. About 50 percent of pregnancies are unplanned. So any woman of child bearing age should really be taking a multivitamin or folic acid supplement," says Brenda Husing.

However, even after taking all these precautions a child can be born with a birth defect. Luckily there are places you can go for help.

"Birth to three is an early intervention program and we serve children ages 0 to 3 who need to have a 25 percent delay in at least one area of development to qualify," says Maureen Juras, Manager of Birth to Three.

Birth to three can help out in a number of ways. From speech and physical therapy to helping find financial support. But the best preventative measure is to take prenatal vitamins and avoid drugs and alcohol use.


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"It's a busy time, absolutely," Osterman said.  "Now the real work begins."

The Northwoods Connect CEO joined Walker at the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport on Friday morning to celebrate about $110,000 for new broadband towers in Oneida and Florence Counties.

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VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County prides itself on its miles of trails. Whether it's cross country skiing, walking or biking, there are plenty of options. But one of the longest is the Heart of Vilas County bike system.

"We have 47 miles of paved bike trails. I don't think that any place in the state can match that, it's awesome," said Mary Vangrinsven.

Those nearly 50 miles make up the Heart of Vilas County Bike Trail.

"It's like being on vacation every day of my life," said Vangrinsven.

When the trail started nearly 20 years ago, bikers, walkers and runners were very excited.
"I was pretty amazed by how much use it was getting. I wondered if this was just a fad or whether it was something real," said Vangrinsven.

But it was real. The finished trail goes through four different communities.

"It's been a great addition to what you can do in Vilas County," said Ken Wiesner.

Bikers can go from St. Germain to Manitowish Waters and hit up Sayner and Boulder Junction along the way.

"In my opinion, it's really changed the local economy for the better," said Wiesner.

Every Wednesday, a group of nearly 50 people bike along a part of the Heart of Vilas County Bike trail.

"I think we're really finding, especially in the areas up here, that we have very active adults," said Vangrinsven.

Wiesner and his wife Barb joined the group because they have a cabin in Vilas County.

"We've made a lot of new friends over the past 10 years, primarily in the biking," said Wiesner.

Whether you do it with a group of friends, or by yourself, there's also something to enjoy along the trail.

There are shops along the trail to rent bikes if you don't have one. If you would like more information on the trail, click on the link below.

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