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.
ONEIDA COUNTY - If your truck cracks through the ice, your first thought might be, "get off ASAP."
There are workers who head the opposite way--onto the ice to help.
That describes one local team who carefully went to work on the Willow Flowage in Oneida County in Little Rice on Tuesday.
"This ain't no joke out here," said Tom Quandt, Jr., the owner of Bulldog Off-Road Recovery Service. "I do get nervous, and today's a day I'm nervous because of the ice conditions."
That nervous energy is what likely helps Quandt and his crew carefully cross the ice and get sunken vehicles back above water level.
It's not easy. Quandt and his crew set nerves aside, driving in a bombardier about two miles off the shore on Willow Dam Road to get to the truck, which was near an island.
"I was looking at the ice," Quandt says as he describes the drive out to the car. "I was looking for holes in the ice, I was looking for the color of the ice...There was water coming up out of spots as we were driving out here."
The crew tried a few times to get the truck back on safer ice, but the car fell through again. The crew then decided to drill a trench to a nearby island and pull the car out that way.
"We can sit and play that game all day and it's not going to get us anywhere without a lot of time and labor into this," Quandt said.
The team got the car out and onto the island around 1 a.m. Wednesday.
Quandt said the owner of the car may try to tow his truck back to shore later this week.
The DNR is aware of the situation. By state statute, you have 30 days to remove your car from the ice or get a fine.
RHINELANDER - Smartphone tracking technology can rescue lost drivers, help authorities find kidnapped victims and let parents keep tabs on their kids. However, this tracking can turn to stalking if the wrong person uses it. "It's actually something that's more common than you would think. That it's a very dangerous…it's a volatile situation because the perpetrator will know where the victim is at all times," said Tri-County Council Domestic Violence Coordinator Melissa P.
She says stalkers can find where you live, where you work, and even what stores you shop at. "The abuser starts to lose control when they go to all lengths to find their victim...If they feel like they are losing control…they have nothing else to lose," explained Melissa.
AT&T Sales Consultant Dusty Struck says stalkers can track smartphones by hacking into a built in chip. "It's like a GPS location services…basically every smartphone has a GPS chip built inside of it," said Struck.
MCALLEN, TX - U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan is visiting the Rio Grande valley for a firsthand look at the U.S.-Mexico border as the Trump administration steps up immigration enforcement and prepares to ask Congress to pay for a border wall.
It's the first time the Wisconsin Republican has visited the border, and protests have been announced to meet his arrival in McAllen, Texas, on Wednesday.
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