RHINELANDER - You may think of Wisconsin as the beer drinking state.
But one Northwoods group put a spin on beer making today.
The third annual "Boom Lake Brew Out" took place in Rhinelander.
It's held by the Brewing Innovators and Enthusiasts of Rhinelander.
They say today's snow might have even added an extra special touch to the different brews.
“We have pretty good variety. We have a couple stouts being brewed today, we have a barley wine being brewed today, and we have a Belgium Triple. We're representing some American Styles some British styles, some Belgium styles. We kinda have a worldwide approach to it,” said beer maker John Rugotzke. The club believes brewing on the ice is something that represents their Northwoods spirit.
They say the brewing gets better each year.
“You know it's just a great day out with some friends, brewing some beer. I think we all kinda love and have a passion for it. And like I said, it's just a great Northwoods thing of being out on the lake and brewing it in the snow. I mean, I know there’s a lot of clubs that get together and do events but I don't imagine there's a ton of them that get together on a lake and brew it with the snow falling like this,” said Rugotzke.
EAGLE RIVER - Snowmobile trails open at 6 p.m. in most of Vilas County.
Local businesses that cater to snowmobilers look forward to a successful season.
The trails already have a lot more snow than they did last year at this time.
"Anytime you bring people to the Northwoods, whether it's just the snowmobilers, it's not only helping our business, it helps everybody. They bring family up so they'll go to the Children's Museum, or the downtown and restaraunts. They utilize all the area businesses," said Greg Cook from Track Side in Eagle River.
RHINELANDER - People don't want their pipes to freeze this time of year. That's why the city of Rhinelander will start their water credit program on Monday.
The program allows about 400 businesses and homes to run their water 24 hours a day. That prevents pipes and sewers from freezing. The city gives them a credit on their water bill.
“If it freezes up with either have the water utility coming out here and thawing it out again,” says Joe Brauer, Rhinelander Airport Director. “It's very inconvenient it's the traveling public that uses Rhinelander flying service such like that too again we had to put porta-potties out there the first winter we went through like that and was very, very inconvenient for our customers.”
Places like the Rhinelander airport have dealt with pipes freezing in the past. Right now the frost level is 2 feet underground. This means if your pipes are buried less than 2 feet underground they could be at risk for freezing.
“When you turn the water on to keep a steady flow of water that's going through your sewer pipes and such like that so they don't freeze up, because if you don't do that what will end up happening is the frost drives down and such like that or it will freeze it up so it's very important just to have a trickle of water to have a constant flow of water going through your sewer system,” says Brauer.
The water credit program can cost the city between 50 to 100 thousand dollars.
RHINELANDER - Many veterans are not eligible for full dental coverage.
But a new VA healthcare program is changing that.
Veterans who don’t have dental insurance can now join a new program that will give them coverage.
The VA partnered with insurance companies MetLife and Delta Dental.
Brad Nelson is the public information officer for the VA in Iron Mountain.
"About 90 percent of our veterans who are enrolled in VA healthcare, are not eligible for VA dental care directly, like we mentioned," said Nelson. "So that's why this insurance program would be a very good option for them if they don't already have dental insurance."
The new program allow veterans can work directly with the two insurance companies for the best coverage plans.
The closest full-care VA hospital is in Iron Mountain.
The program will cut down on travel time for veterans by helping them find a dentist who will accept their new insurance plan closer to home.
"Taking control of your healthcare is actually one of the messages that the VA wants to come across to our veterans, including dental care," said Nelson. "Again, we want recognize at the VA that oral health can impact a person's overall health."
The program will get vets a reduced monthly cost for the insurance.
Coverage goes into effect January 1st.
For additional information, visit the VA Healthcare website.
PELICAN - Pelican Elementary school will close Friday because of sickness at the school.
The school made the announcement Thursday.
Kerri Schmidt, School Nurse for the School District of Rhinelander, says she's mostly seen vomiting, nausea and headaches.
But some of those affected are showing other flu like symptoms like high fever.
"It's been cold out, kids haven't been able to get out for recess and we had concerts here." Schmidt said. "So anytime you get a large number of people getting together and the right transmission takes place, you certainly can have the breeding grounds for illness."
The school started seeing lots of kids sick Wednesday. They decided to cancel school Friday because even more kids were getting sick Thursday. All co-curricular activities are canceled in conjunction with this school closure.
The decision was ultimately a joint decision between the School District of Rhinelander and the Oneida County Health Department.
"We try to keep the healthy kids at school and send the sick children home," Schmidt said. "But when your whole day becomes continue more sick kids going home, you know the transmission is still taking place."
The school hopes the three day weekend will help stop the spread of the sickness. About 30 percent of the school's 295 students are sick.
Parents should keep their kids home at least 48 hours after showing the first signs of symptoms.
This is the first time since 2002 that a Rhinelander school has shut down because of sickness.
To stop the spread of illness people should: • Drink plenty of liquid (juice, water) • Keep the sick person as comfortable as possible. Rest is important • For fever, sore throat and muscle aches, use ibuprofen (Motrin) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol). Do not use Aspirin with children or teenagers; it can cause Reye’s syndrome, a life-threatening illness. • Be sure everyone in your home washes their hands frequently. • Keep the people who are sick away from the people who are not sick.
For more information, call your healthcare provider or contact the Oneida County Health Department at 715-369-6111.
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