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.
WISCONSIN - Mud, debris, and damaged property still cover parts of Northern Iron County after a storm ripped through there more than two weeks ago.
The lack of money to repair certain areas is largely keeping the rebuilding process from getting started.
That's why the Federal Emergency Management Agency came to Iron County Tuesday.
It surveyed the damage because of its severity and the extreme costs to fix.
"Really if it's beyond the scope of local jurisdiction, and even the states that respond," said FEMA External Affairs Officer Troy Christensen.
Wisconsin Emergency Management currently believes the damage caused by the mid-July storm is around $38 million across 10 counties and Bad River Reservation. Around $15 million of that happened in Iron County.
FEMA relies on local government like the ones in Iron County to help it assess damage.
"They have sights selected so they will be showing us a lot of these sights." Said Christensen.
Those sights included multiple towns, Saxon Harbor, and crumbled highways.
This week Iron County gave its damage estimates to FEMA.
RHINELANDER - Building a robot may seem like a pretty lofty summer camp goal, but teens in the Northwoods love the technological challenge.
It's all part of a summer camp that's heavy on science and social interaction.
13-year-old Sean Timm says the eight day robotics camp at Nicolet College mixed the best of both worlds.
"I like technology a lot more than I do outside stuff," Timm said. "It's kind of nice to have technology like drones to bring me outside. It's really fun."
Camp Instructor, Mike Wojtusik has many years of experience as a technology education teacher and robotics advisor. He wants kids to see the importance in learning these skills.
"The kids are getting experience from a mechanical engineering side, electrical engineering side, design, prototyping," said Wojtusik. "We try and cover as much as we can about the whole entire system."
Learning about robotics isn't the only thing these students do. Some of them are also exercising skills they'll need in the future.
"I think it's a great experience for them to understand what really goes on in the real world as far as a career," Wojtusik said.
Certain careers that often require teamwork.
"Challenging part is working with a team because you don't always agree on the same thing," said 12-year-old Louis Malais. "When you build a robot you do the most teamwork than I think in any other job."
As their final project, students design and build their own version of a remote control robot.
They are required to work in teams to sketch a vision, make prototypes and design a working model with aluminum.
"It's not just you know operating a piece of machinery, it's learning how that machinery is put together," Wojtusik said.
Students are piecing together machines and building future careers at the same time.
"If I were to get an opportunity to do something like this in the future, I would definitely take it," Timm said.
Throughout the course of the camp, students were exposed to prototyping, brainstorming, modeling, safety and sketching.
The last day of the robotics camp is scheduled to be Thursday, July 28.
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