Use caution, and know the fireworks laws this Independence DaySubmitted: 07/02/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

RHINELANDER - Independence Day and fireworks go hand in hand. Unfortunately so do fireworks and injuries.

So before you start lighting fuses, the Oneida County Health Department has a few safety tips. Their first tip -- just don't light off fireworks.

They'd like for you to leave fireworks to the professionals. But if you do decide to celebrate the holiday with a bang, the department has two major pieces of advice.

"A: we want to make sure that adults are the ones lighting the fireworks out of reach of children. And don't let the children ignite the fireworks. Never trust a dud. Let it sit and then douse it with water. Another thing would be always having water handy," says Rob Deede, an Oneida County Public Health Nurse.

Deede says letting kids play with fireworks is the biggest mistake people make. He also reminds you to follow directions on the packaging, never point a firework at another person, only light one firework at time and leave pets inside.

The Oneida County Health Department has more firework safety tips on their website- you can find that on our links page.

Each town has its own rules about which fireworks you're allowed to have.

Rhinelander has a ban on anything that explodes or leaves the ground, unless you have a permit. That means inside the city limits you can only use smaller fireworks that do things like make noise, and shower sparklers.

Police will be on the lookout for people breaking the rules.

"Our city adopts the state statutes concerning fireworks. You would be looking at roughly a $263.50 fine for a fireworks violation within the City of Rhinelander. Certainly, that amount can change if it's in one of the outlying townships or other communities within the county," says Ron Lueneburg from the Rhinelander Police Department.

You're responsible for fining out what your town allows. And if you let things get out of control and set something on fire, you'll be held responsible.

Captain Lueneburg recommends leaving the pyrotechnics to the professionals. Rhinelander's fireworks show will be Thursday night over Boom Lake.

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MERRILL - This weekend Northcentral Technical College hosted its fourth annual Fire and EMS University for firefighters across Wisconsin.

It provides training on firefighting and EMS techniques at the Public Safety Center of Excellence in Merrill.

In a simulation training exercise, firefighters have their hoods covering their face so they couldn't see anything when they entered a basement. They had to feel a fire hose and use teamwork to get around and save a dummy.

Firefighters from all over Wisconsin can come to the all-day event. They came to refresh their skills, teach and learn new techniques.

"We put out some classes that are very interesting and not run every day and if it applies to their department they'll send people," said Dean of the Public Safety Division of Northcentral Technical College Doug Jennings.

The school keeps adding other training tools as well. Just this year they added more training features, such as a simulator that allows law enforcement to practice driving trucks, squad cars and EMS vehicles.

On Saturday the students also trained with the aerial ladder.

"We are the only fire department in Lincoln County with an aerial ladder," said Merrill Fire Chief Dave Savone. "And so most of our firefighters have to operate our aerial ladder. And so we felt this truck operation aerial ladder operations is a great class for them to come and see."

UST Fire Apparatus brought a new aerial ladder truck for the students to practice with, and teachers from southern Wisconsin and St. Louis, Mo., also came to help coach.

Firefighters say they want to constantly re-educate themselves.

"It's great to get the extra practice," said Dean Johnson from the Town of Wausau Fire Department.

Northcentral Technical College also offers semester schedule curricula for law enforcement and fire science. 

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MERRILL - Merrill residents might have heard a lot of music in town today.

Merrill High School hosted the Merrill Marching Invitational. Three high school marching bands took over the football field at Merrill High School Sunday.

Antigo, D.C. Everest, and Merrill high schools all showcased their musical creativity.

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MILWAUKEE - A published report says unauthorized improvements have been made to a footpath on state land that a donor to Gov. Scott Walker has been trying to buy.

A spokesman for business executive Elizabeth Uihlein acknowledged that workers at her adjoining property may have cleaned up the trail slightly.

But the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1Z18WU8 ) reports those who have seen the trail say the improvements are significant.

Uihlein is seeking to buy 1.75 acres along Rest Lake, where the footpath is located. But a tentative deal with the Department of Natural Resources was put on hold after critics raised questions.

A DNR spokesman says the agency inspected the site on Thursday and found an "established trail." He declined to say whether the department had talked to Uihlein or her representatives.

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

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

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

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

Volunteers from all across the U.S. 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.

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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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