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Oneida County prepares for Affordable Care ActSubmitted: 07/06/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson


RHINELANDER - The Affordable Care Act might make it easier for individuals to have health insurance.

But Oneida County thinks they'll need to increase their workforce to make that happen.

Oneida County Social Services hopes to hire two more case workers.

But the labor relations board and the county board still need to approve the hires.

Social Services wants to be ready to help people apply for health insurance.

Amy Mayo, Oneida County Support Programs Supervisor, says, "The caseload and the volume of work that we'll need to process as a department as a whole will definitely increase for everybody. We're spending this time right now looking at different efficiencies and things we can do to make it as smooth a process as we can for the clients."

The Act, also known as Obamacare, created a marketplace where Americans can buy insurance with the help of the government.

Mayo says a person's income determines the insurance program a person can enroll in.

"Badgercare, again, will be children under 300 percent poverty level, adults under 100 percent poverty level. Marketplace will handle the people that are over 100 percent poverty level and the children over 300 percent poverty level," she says.

Mayo says it can be confusing so it's best to contact Social Services.

They will help you figure out what program you are eligible for.

"With the marketplace, clients also have the ability to apply locally. We will do an income test in the application. They will have to verify their income. If they fall over the 100 percent poverty level as an adult, then we would transfer that application or send them on to the marketplace," says Mayo.

Applications for the Federal Program open October 1st.

Coverage begins January 1st.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - This weekend many of us may have seen images of a pickup truck falling through the ice on Lake Michigan. Some trucks even fell through the ice in Wausau.

So, how safe is the ice in the Northwoods?

DNR Conservation Warden Supervisor Dave Walz says this time of year the ice can melt fast, so anglers should be aware of it. He says it also depends on the lake.

"We've seen anywhere some still on the Rainbow Flowage 24 inches of ice out there this last weekend," Walz says. "A few other lakes we've seen it as thin as six inches of ice."

Walz said no one fell through the ice this weekend in the Northwoods.

No matter the temperature, even if it's below zero, it's never a guarantee that ice is safe.

"Just remember, it's never 100 percent safe out there," Walz said. "It's always at your own risk."
Walz said you should always fish with a partner for safety.

The last day ice shanties can be on lakes is March 19.

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ANTIGO - The woman accused of illegally taking her kids to South Dakota for months faced a judge on Monday in Langlade County.

Cathy Brown is charged with a felony, after interfering with a custody order.

11- year-old Averie Brown and nine-year-old Dalton Brown were reported missing from their school in November.

They were found safe with their 37- year- old mother in Hill City South Dakota in January.

Brown appeared in court for an initial hearing via video from the Langlade Jail, and her attorney Lindsay Erickson appeared by phone.

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MINOCQUA - You can keep your pajamas on and stay barefoot to shop at one grocery store in the Northwoods.

The "Rosie" app on smartphones and online is changing how you shop.

You can order any food item at Save More Marketplace in Minocqua with a couple taps on your screen.

"I print the list you guys have chosen for the items you want," said in-store shopping expert Steph Coy.

She will load up the cart, checkout, then bag your items for delivery to your house or pick-up in store.

Save More Marketplace started using the shopping option in October.

"It's a convenience for customers who don't have the time. It is a convenience for customers who can't leave their home," said Save More Marketplace president Jim Gauden.

It costs a little extra; up to $5 if food is delivered to you.

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HAYWARD - Warm weather is forcing organizers to change the route of Saturday's American Birkebeiner ski race in northwestern Wisconsin.

As a result, the race will not finish in downtown Hayward this year.

The Birkie race course normally crosses Lake Hayward to get to downtown Hayward. But the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation said Monday the lake is no longer an option.

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ASHLAND - Hearing your medical provider gasp usually doesn't mean anything good.  But Laura Christianson admits the first time she saw one of her hospital's newest piece of machinery it left her stunned.

"It literally took my breath away when I saw it move," Christianson said.

For five years, the radiologic technologist at Ashland Memorial Medical Center captured images of broken bones or torn muscles on machines -- some 16 years old -- often in separate rooms. That changed at MMC last fall.

"You set up an exam and all you have to do it pretty much just push a button and it moves to where you want it to move to," Christianson said.

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Fire engulfs Eagle River homeSubmitted: 02/20/2017

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EAGLE RIVER - Firefighters arrived to a home filled with flames earlier on Monday in Eagle River. It took three different fire departments to put out the fire.

It happened at a house on Highway 17 north of the Highway 45 junction. The emergency call came in just before 11 Monday morning. The Eagle River Fire Department was first on the scene.

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WESTON - A Langlade County man died from a gunshot wound outside a Weston bar last week.

Everest Metro Police say Nicholas Houdek was found face down in a parking lot outside Wiggly Field early Friday morning.

Houdek was from Bryant, which is just outside Antigo.

Police didn't say if someone shot Houdek or if he shot himself.

He was a 2007 Antigo High School graduate.

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