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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NEKOOSA - People in Nekoosa could go back in time this weekend.

Volunteers at Pointe Basse recreated a historical camp portraying lives of people from the 1700s and early 1800s.

Volunteers from all across the U.S. all had a piece of history to share.

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EAGLE RIVER - Eagle River hosted its 36th annual Cranberry Fest during October's first weekend.

Organizers say the weather this year brought in many more visitors.

"People come to this whether there's good weather of bad weather," said Executive Director of the Eagle River Chamber Kim Emerson. "And with this year being great weather, we had above-average crowds and it was just spectacular. We're so happy about that."

By 3 p.m. Saturday, the World's Largest Cranberry Cheesecake had already been devoured. Sales of slices go towards the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. 

Organizers said they also almost sold out of cranberries, but they said they would still have more to sell on Sunday. 

There were also dozens of craft vendors, food and wine and cranberry marsh tours.

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RHINELANDER - Harvest Hoedown started Saturday at noon at the Woodpecker Bar and Grill in Rhinelander.

The event had a hay maze, horse drawn carriage rides, food, and live music all afternoon.

"I think it's going great. We got a little sunshine right now. We got probably a couple hundred people here. People are buying food, spending money. It's what we're after," said Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Executive Director Guy Hanson.

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VILAS COUNTY - In July, Karen Wessel gave her life to save a boy from drowning in Vilas County's Star Lake.  Now she is being recognized for her heroism.

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission announced Wessel as one of 22 recipients of the Carnegie medal.  It's presented to people who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while trying to save the life of another.

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RHINELANDER - A Wisconsin brewing company executive wants businesses to hire more veterans.

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MERRILL - One Northwoods farm wants to give all families the full Fall experience.

Grampa's Farm in Merrill has been a popular fall destination in Wisconsin since 2010.

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ACROSS WISCONSIN - Abbotsford 62, Thorp 6

Algoma 24, Sturgeon Bay 8

Almond-Bancroft 61, Tigerton/Marion 6

Amherst 56, Manawa 6

Antigo 42, Lakeland 28

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