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Prosthetic Orthotic Center serves patients in Northwoods, Upper MichiganSubmitted: 07/05/2013
Story By Lex Gray


MINOCQUA - People who live in the Northwoods know it's easy to find natural beauty and peace and quiet.

But living in a remote area sometimes means having to travel far for things like medical services.

That's especially tough for people with physical disabilities.

Bob Lotz CPO, FAAOP hopes to make things a little easier on his patients.

He opened the Prosthetic Orthotic Center in Minocqua about three years ago.

Patients come to him from all over the Northwoods and Upper Michigan.

"My experience includes working at children's hospitals and the Mayo Clinic, and this is all I've ever done. I just really enjoy what I do," Lotz said. "I enjoy having patients coming through the door. At this point, it becomes a question of whether they can pay for it or not because of the new insurance environment out there."

That was the case for Tom Peterson of Ironwood. He lost his leg in a motorcycle accident last July.

"The convenience of it being close is amazing, especially during the winter months," Peterson said. "I had problems with Medicaid, saying I would have to wait about six months to get into a prosthetic, and Bob said I should have been walking a month ago when I first came in in a wheelchair, then walker. It's benefited me amazingly."

Lotz hopes to eventually be able to open his Minocqua office full-time.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

ST. GERMAIN - The unofficial start to the summer season in the Northwoods will be this Memorial Day Weekend.

That means our lakes will be busy and piers will be in use.

Pier of d'Nort steps up to that demand.

The idea for Pier of d'Nort came to owner Carl Surges after he installed his parents pier.

The business started in Hartford, Wisconsin in the mid 2000s. Then it relocated a few years later to St. Germain.

Now Pier of d'nort is swamped with orders this time of year.

"It's very busy, yeah pretty much most folks want to put their peer in and have it in by Memorial weekend so this is the week before that and we are extremely busy," said Surges.

It's busy and loud in the shop. Pier of d'Nort ships piers all the way from Alaska to Greece.

15 workers man stations turning out the pieces for a new pier.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/25/2016

- A change in the prison system means that Oneida County will make roughly an extra million-dollars a year. Tonight we'll tell you about the change and why it will provide more money for the county.

- Plus, Lincoln County will need to fill a vacancy soon at the district attorney's office.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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LANGLADE COUNTY - Langlade County wants to become the new home for the state's forestry headquarters.

Lawmakers have asked the DNR to consider moving headquarters from Madison to Northern Wisconsin.

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RHINELANDER - You probably hear from your doctor or loved ones how important cancer screenings can be.

But getting one isn't always affordable if you don't have insurance or not enough coverage.

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THREE LAKES - You may soon be able to ride your ATV on parts of State Highway 32 in Three Lakes.

That's if the state DOT approves it in the next few weeks.

The Three Lakes Nicolet ATV Club wants to connect downtown Three Lakes to the Nicolet National Forest.

To do that they need to open up parts of a six-mile portion of Highway 32 from Town Road X or Javen Road to Lake Julia Road.

"That's what we're trying to get the hub of downtown Three Lakes connected, the businesses along 32 connected and then everyone into the forest, the national forest," said Mark Kirby, the Three Lakes Nicolet ATV Club spokesperson. 

Last week the Three Lakes town board approved the ATV route.

Most of the highway is 35 miles per hour. 

"There's a lot of activity around here and we need to get these businesses supported by ATVers and UTVers in the area," Kirby said. 

Three Lakes allows ATVs on its town roads. The town also opened a small part of Highway 45 this year as well. That stretch goes from Crystal Lake Road to North Big Lake Loop.

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MADISON - Wisconsin is joining a multi-state lawsuit against the Obama administration over its directive to U.S. public schools to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identity.

The lawsuit was announced by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and filed in federal court in Texas on Wednesday.

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WAUSAU - North Central Health Care blames an "undetermined device failure" for the alarm and lock down in Wausau earlier this month.

A statement released Wednesday said the internal investigation ruled out human activation or remote activation of the emergency alarm.

Earlier this month, emergency crews locked down the hospital and surrounding area after a "Dr. Black" emergency was triggered. That alarm indicates a dangerous person with a weapon. After searching the facilities, no sign of an armed person was found anywhere in the hospital.

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