MINOCQUA - "This disease is called the great imitator for a good reason," says Jeff Waite.
Lyme disease can be good at hiding.
"Lyme disease is a bacterial type infection spread by a spiral keet, which is also considered a parasite. And it can be carried in the spit glands and intestinal track of ticks in this area. Particularly the deer tick," said Dr. Kurt Landauer.
Lyme disease can be a debilitating disease if left untreated. Northwoods father, Jeff Waite, knows that well. His daughter, Jennifer, got Lyme disease in 2003. Test results came back negative so she went untreated for years.
"The bacteria had had its way with her body for two and a half years and ended up getting into her brain and doing damage to her nervous system," said Jeff Waite.
Jennifer still battles with the disease.
So what's the best way to avoid going through what Jennifer went through? ... Staying informed.
"Knowing what the symptoms are is a must up here in the Northwoods. Because, you know, a lot of times you'll get bit by a tick and you won't even know it," says Jeff Waite.
Ticks that carry the disease are as small as a poppy seed. Checking your body for ticks is a good idea after walking in the woods. But you don't always catch every one. Watching for symptoms is often your only sign of Lyme disease.
"Symptoms to watch for are like a bad summer flu. Headaches, fevers, muscle aches and during the ticks season, I consider that Lyme disease unless I have something else to blame it on," says Dr. Landauer.
But not every tick carries Lyme disease. Most ticks need to be drawing your blood for 24 hours before the bacteria can be transferred. However, Wisconsin is still among the top ranking states for the disease. Northern Wisconsin is no exception.
"It's definitely a problem up here. We see a lot of Lyme's and mostly it's presumed Lyme's." –7 sec, Dr. Landauer.
Often the illness is only presumed Lyme's because the disease is hard to test for. That's why doctors stress knowing the symptoms.
"Be vigilant and think Lyme disease because typically, it's not confirmed in any way. It's a disease of symptoms, suspicion, and findings," said Dr. Landauer.
And that's why Jeff Waite takes so much time to educate kids … who spend lots of time outside. Because of his daughter's disease, Jeff commits his time to speaking with students.
"The kids are great, you know, they soak it up. There's not one of them that doesn't know someone who has had Lyme disease," says Jeff Waite.
But that doesn't mean we need to live in fear if we're well informed.
"The main thing is get outside, have a good time, check for ticks every day, and watch for the symptoms," says Dr. Landauer.
Those steps can help you avoid getting Lyme disease like Jeff's daughter Jennifer did.
STEVENS POINT - Stevens Point police want your help finding suspects in two possible stabbings. The stabbings happened early Friday morning and early Sunday morning near downtown Stevens Point.
Friday, four young men got into a fight on Main Street. One man said he was stabbed in the chest. Police say the suspect is a black man in his mid-20s, about 5' 9" tall, with a muscular build and short hair. The victim was treated at the hospital and released.
Sunday morning, police responded to an incident at 2nd Street and Crosby Avenue. Witnesses heard glass breaking and people yelling about a stabbing. Police don't have a victim or suspect description in that case, but they don't believe the two stabbings are connected.
If you have any information about the stabbings, call Detective Sgt. Gruber at 715-346-1518.
You can also call Portage County Crimestoppers to remain anonymous at 888-346-6600.
RHINELANDER - People in Rhinelander will be able to cast their November election ballots starting on Friday. It's the earliest people in Wisconsin have ever been able to vote.
The absentee ballots are stacked and ready for Friday at the Rhinelander City Clerk's office. To make the early voting process go as smoothly as possible, you will need to come prepared.
"When you come in make sure that you're registered. That is important. Make sure you're registered in the city if you're coming into us," said Clerk Valerie Foley.
Registering is easy; all you need is a photo ID and proof of residence. The registration form takes a couple of minutes, and then you will be able to fill out an election ballot.
"I think it is going to be a very busy day. I think people are pretty interested in the issues. And I think a lot of them would like to get and make sure they can vote if they're not certain they're going to make it to the polls in November or not," said Foley.
The clerk's office has already sent out about 200 ballots to people who have requested them.
Now, it is preparing for the early voter in-person rush.
If you are unsure whether you are registered to vote or where to go for early voting, the clerk's office suggests voters visit myvote.wi.gov for more information.
The Boulder Junction Town Board voted two to one Tuesday night to move forward with a town plaza plan. The plan will now go to a design phase.
The board estimated the cost of the design phase to be between $30,000 to $50,000, but it was dropped to about $25,000 at the meeting.
Town Chairman Dennis Reuss and Town Supervisor Dennis Duke voted in favor, with Town Supervisor Denny McGann voting against the plan.
A little more than $1 million may not seem like a lot of money to a city like Madison or Milwaukee. But for a town of fewer than one thousand people, it's a lot. The Boulder Junction Town Board could vote Tuesday whether or not to move onto the next phase of a $1.26 million town plaza project.
Dennis Duke has a vision of what Boulder Junction could look like in a few years.
"This one has a much more artistic flair, this has a more engineering flair if you will," said Duke while looking at potential design plans.
THREE LAKES - The DNR hopes it won't find more Northwoods deer with chronic wasting disease.
Last year, a deer on a game farm near Three Lakes tested positive for the deadly disease. Although it hopes that incident is isolated, the DNR wants more data on the health of the Northwoods deer herd.
The agency is urging hunters near Three Lakes to give their deer heads to the DNR for CWD testing.
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