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NEWS STORIES

Help Prevent Number One Cause of Death for Children Age One to FourSubmitted: 05/15/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


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.

You can contact the YMCA for more information.




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 IN OTHER NEWS

MERRILL - A Rhinelander man went to the hospital after his motorcycle hit a deer near Merrill.

Lincoln County deputies tell us a call came in just before nine Wednesday night.

The caller did not have an exact location, but believed they were on State Highway 107.

A deputy found the crash site on Highway 107 near Sugar Maple Road.

The driver, a 51 year old-man from Rhinelander, suffered injuries that could be life threatening.

He's being treated at a hospital in Wausau.

The 49 year old woman riding on the back of the motorcycle was not hurt.

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MINOCQUA - Northwoods Wildlife Center will see a lot of orphaned wildlife this spring. This is the birthing season.

The center could use your help preparing for the babies.

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RHINELANDER - Students at Rhinelander High School hoped they would be driving home in a new car Wednesday afternoon. The prize was part of the school's year-end celebration. The car was the top prize connected to the school's Positive Behavior Initiatives and Supports initiative.

This is the third year that the school district has been involved with the initiative. Throughout the year students who display good behaviors such as being on time and assisting others in the classroom can receive special green cards.

These cards are collected and are put into drawings where students can win prizes such as free pizzas from Dominos. The drawings are a weekly event but the green cards are also held over the year for an end of the year grand prize drawing.

Brittany Haakenson, an art teacher at Rhinelander High School, has been very involved with the initiative and the planning for Wednesday's assembly. She was excited for the work the initiative has been able to accomplish and for the grand prize; a new car. "It's totally random and whoever gets that special key, there is going to be six keys that won't open the car, but there will be that one winner," said Haakenson.

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MONTREAL, WI - Three-year-old Kolton Ouellette spends his days in a crib, a chair, or a piece of equipment that looks like it belongs in a hospital.

Kolton is not like most three-year-olds. He can't walk, he can't talk, and in fact, he can't even open his eyes fully.

Nineteen months have passed since the crime that put Kolton in this state, suffering from severe and permanent brain damage.

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MERRILL - A one-of-a kind business opened in Merrill this month.   Again and Again is part resale and part online auction, using its own website. The owner moved the business from Wausau after three years partly due to competition.

"In Wausau, I would say yes, the market was already full," said Again and Again Owner Jody Malsack. "You were competing against people that were friends of yours and you knew, and you don't want to step on too many toes. So here (Merrill) it's kind of unique to this area, and I like it that way."

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WAUSAU - The future was the focus of a public forum at the UW-Extension building in Wausau on Wednesday night.

Community members gathered with workers to discuss what the group needs to do to evolve and cater to the next generation of Wisconsinites. They also needed to figure out how the group would move forward with possible budget cuts looming. Less funding for UW-Extension might end up hurting rural areas the most here in Wisconsin.

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WISCONSIN - The bee population could be in danger. Beekeepers in the US lost more than 42% of their colonies in the past year, according to the Bee Informed Partnership. In Wisconsin, beekeepers lost even more than that.

Some beekeepers in Wisconsin lost more than 60% of their colonies over the past year. They think long Wisconsin winters could be one of the reasons why so many bees die.

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