RHINELANDER - Giving blood saves lives. But just one blood bank serves every Ministry hospital in the area. They face a supply and demand fight every day.
"It's amazing how much blood the body holds. If we didn't have these backups like this, we'd be in a lot of trouble," says first time donor James Steimmetz, from Rhinelander.
The Community Blood Center supplies 100 percent of the blood to the five area Ministry hospitals and the VA hospital. It has regular donation sites, but has to take its show on the road to get all the blood that's needed.
"In this busy, stressed out world that we all live in, it's great to come to places where people are either working or working out. So we have drives all over," says Jan Hadsell, from the Community Blood Center.
Steimmetz came to the YMCA for a workout, saw the signs and thought, "why not?"
"It's the chance to save somebody's life. Everybody should give something; that's what I think," says Steimmetz.
The whole process from start to finish takes about 45 minutes. Your one pint of blood can help up to three people.
"It could be in the hospitals tomorrow. We have about a 24 hour turnaround time," says Hadsell.
And if you're a little nervous to donate for the first time, staff recommend focusing on the fact that you're helping someone.
"That someone could be someone in your family, or your neighbor, or your friend," says Hadsell.
A friend who might get a second shot at life.
You can find information on Blood Center's next blood drives at the link below.
RHINELANDER - Wisconsin will get a new state attorney general this election year.That could mean new changes for the department.
But many of the candidates agree that more needs to be done to deal with heroin in Wisconsin.
Police and prosecutors say the drug continues to spread throughout the state. Republican candidate Brad Schimel, Waukesha County district attorney, believes heroin and opiates are one of the state’s biggest challenge.
"We're seeing more people die from accidental drug overdoses than we're seeing in car crashes," Schimel said. "That is a dangerous statistic for us to be looking at."
According to a Gannet Wisconsin Investigative study, at least 199 people died in 2012 in Wisconsin from drug overdoses.
The legislature has passed several bills this session to fight heroin and help people who are addicted to the drug.
State Rep. Jon Richards-(D) Milwaukee, is one of three Democratic candidates running for attorney general. He believes the state needs to keep going after drug traffickers.
"Local prosecutors and law enforcement are already stretched to the max in terms of their man power," Richards said. "We have to be addressing these new problems of public safety in creative ways and effective ways."
Democratic candidates Susan Happ and Ismael Ozanne were not available before running this story.
Richards was touring the Northwoods Friday talking to media and district attorneys in the area.
The Democratic primary is set for August 12th. Election day is Nov. 4, 2014.
VILAS COUNTY - More people today use maps on their phones when traveling, but some people still like those paper maps.
The Vilas County GIS just made 15 maps of the area. They give people the option to download and print them at home. A map of Boulder Junction even won an award at the 27th annual Wisconsin land Information Association conference in Middleton.
“There was a lot of interest in creating a portable, easy to use map atlas that responders, town crew, delivery entities, could take out in the field with them and find any address point any road name any water body,” says Rebecca Nordine, Vilas County GIS Specialist. “Something that they could bring out along out in the field with them.”
The atlases will give people an easier way of looking up addresses across Vilas County.
“We do offer up online mapping and that's great but if you get into an area where there's no cell phone or no internet service you'll need something a map or paper map to fall back on,” says Nordine.
Each atlas will be updated at the beginning of the year.
To download a copy of the atlases for FREE you can visit: http://vcgis.co.vilas.wi.us/vcom/.
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