RHINELANDER - Within the next few weeks the water will warm up and families will start to hit the beaches at our local lakes.
The Oneida County Drowning Prevention Task Force wants parents to remember to keep their eyes open.
In the last three years three people have drowned in Oneida County. It's the leading cause of death in one to four-year-olds.
Local advocates say preventing it can be as easy as keeping your eyes on the water.
"The big thing is that parents are supervising the kids; that they're not texting, they're not reading, they're not sleeping in the sun; that there is a designated water watcher. And they can pick up the water watcher card here at the Y if they're interested in having a card for themselves," says YMCA Aquatics Director Melissa Nieman.
When groups go to the beach having a water watcher card can help adults share the responsibility.
They can take turns being in charge of paying complete attention to what's going on in the water, and tuning out everything else.
The YMCA of the Northwoods also offers the SPLASH program. It's funded through the United Way, and is free to the public. Kids can take an hour lesson on water safety.
MADISON - MADISON, Wis. (AP) - " The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's request to provide federal low-interest disaster loans for individuals and businesses affected by flooding.
The SBA will provide loans for up to $200,000 for damaged homes, $40,000 for damaged property, and $2 million to businesses for physical damage and economic loss because of flooding.
MERRILL - A $5 million facility that just opened in Merrill hopes to give people a place to learn more about heavy equipment and technology.
On Friday, Nortrax, a division of John Deere, celebrated the grand opening of a facility. Dozens of community members and officials were at the ribbon cutting.The process to open up the location on South Pine Ridge started a few years ago.
Editor's note: an earlier version of this story inaccurately credited the Vilas County Economic Development Corporation with securing grant funding for internet projects in Land O' Lakes and Conover. That money was secured through grant applications from ChoiceTEL. Newswatch 12 regrets the error.
Paul Osterman can't rest for too long on a congratulations from Governor Scott Walker.
"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.
"We're growing pretty rapidly, which is exciting and hard at times too," Osterman said.
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