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.
NORTHWOODS - People in Wisconsin love their beer, but alcohol is a big problem in the Northwoods. Experts want people to remember that alcohol is a drug and should never be abused.
Alcohol is a depressant and slows down the central nervous system. Experts feel drinking here in the Northwoods has become too normalized.
“When you talk to people even from the Northwoods community alcohol goes hand in hand with family gatherings , graduation, prom, hunting, snowmobiling, recreational activities,” says Katie Kennedy, Options Counseling Service Clinician. “It's kind of created this normalized look at alcohol that it's okay to do that in these environments or in these situations when it actually really increases risks.”
It's not just adults that have alcohol problems. Kids under 21 are finding unique ways to abuse the drug. Some have even resorted to snorting alcohol as a means to get drunk faster.
“What happens anytime you ingest a substance as far as snorting like right into your nose it goes into your mucus membrane,” says Kennedy. “So instead of drinking alcohol whereas it's processed through your system it's a process, the alcohol goes immediately into your body into your blood stream it affects you a lot quicker.”
In 2012 Wisconsin was the number one state for binge drinking. That's according to the Center for Disease Control. April is alcohol awareness month.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - People from all over the Northwoods celebrated Earth Day today. Students at Lac du Flambeau school participated in a natural resources fair today.
Classes, groups and individual students submitted projects to be judged. By doing the projects they learned the importance of Earth Day.
“Polluting could harm the earth and if that harms the earth later on we won't have a better earth to do stuff on like camping, or fishing, hiking and taking walks,” says Sky Risingsun, a Lac du Flambeau student.
35 projects were judged in the science competition. Each student was given a white spruce seed to take home and plant in their own yard.
“It's a white spruce which is a native tree to this area,” says Bryan Hoover, Lac du Flambeau Energy and Air Quality Coordinator. “We've got almost 500 of them and every student is going to take one home so that they can pick a spot in their yard to plant the new tree and watch that tree grow as it matures.”
MADISON - An aide to a Wisconsin lawmaker says Gov. Scott Walker intends to sign a bill that would put outside agencies in charge of investigating officer-involved deaths.
Craig Trost, an aide to Rep. Chris Taylor, says in an email that Walker's office notified Taylor's office that he plans to sign the bill Wednesday.
Taylor, a Madison Democrat, and Rep. Garey Bies, R-Sister Bay, developed the legislation in response to three high-profile deaths in the last 10 years. None of those incidents resulted in criminal charges.
Supporters say the new requirements will counter claims that police protect their own from consequences of using deadly force. But police observers say the bill could create conflict and confusion for Wisconsin agencies that have traditionally done the investigations themselves.
The bill passed the Legislature earlier this year.
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