RHINELANDER - Hodag Country Fest may be one big party.
But if you're not careful, you can become one of the many people that need medical attention from a little too much partying.
"Since we started on Wednesday morning we've had less than 10 people that we've had to treat in some way," says Cathy Stange, Hodag Country Fest's EMS Coordinator.
She knows that number will rise. She's been Hodag Country Fest's EMS coordinator for a decade.
The 4-day music festival is a playground to country music fans.
But sometimes the fun can go a little too far.
"We see even a greater increase in the patient population that comes in," says Chris Krebs, Director of St. Mary's Patient Care Services.
June and July are the busiest months for Saint Mary's Hospital in Rhinelander.
Hodag Country Fest adds to the 10 to 15 percent increase in traffic for the hospital.
"It's weather dependent. The hotter it is, the more dehydration we see. The more sunburns. If it's a wetter year, we see less of that," adds Krebs.
Medical professionals at both Country Fest and St. Mary's say the most popular medical issues they treat are dehydration, small cuts, and sprains.
But one issue may be surprising: carbon monoxide poisoning.
"We need to have people be careful with their generators and with running vehicles next to a tent or a camper because those fumes can go into the camper and cause carbon monoxide poisoning," Stange says.
To be sure they're helping everyone who may need them, there are at least six to ten medical professionals on-site at all times.
"We have carts that go out throughout the campgrounds including the overflow campgrounds. And we also have walking crews that go out into the show area," Stange adds.
So how can you avoid getting sick or injured at Hodag Fest?
"Be careful. Be aware of your surroundings. Drink plenty of fluids. Keep in mind that alcohol and caffeine dehydrate," urges Stange.
But do enjoy the festival.
"Hodag is meant to be fun. It's meant to be relaxing. We want the attendees to have a great time. Be safe. But if you do have something come up, we're here for you," says Krebs.
Gardens need some help with large temperature swings in summer
RHINELANDER - Northwoods heat the past few days forced plants to endure different weather, but you don't need to do extra gardening just because it's hot.
Experts at Hanson's Garden Village in Rhinelander say plants can manage the heat just fine. On hot, sunny days, many plants will wilt, but that doesn't mean they need more water.
"If the soil is moist on a hot day, I wouldn't water more. That's probably more harm. The plant can only take up so much moisture at a time, so I would just hold off on watering," says Sue Hanson, Hanson's Garden Village Co-Owner.
MERRILL - Members of a Northwoods union chapter gathered unique inspiration for a fundraiser - The Beatles.
Merrill-area Local 6 members gathered Wednesday on the Wisconsin flowage to raise money for groups in need of assistance. The union leaders organized boat rides, raffles, barbecues, and contests. The inspiration for the fundraiser came, in part, from the 1965 Beatles single Help!
"I found out it was the anniversary of the 'Help!' release from The Beatles record, and I decided, let's help our community," said Local 6 Vice President Valerie Nelson. "Our membership is very passionate about certain organizations within our community. One being the Lincoln County Humane Society, the local food pantry, and the American Cancer Society."
EAGLE RIVER - A new type of foundation could give you a better way to build a home, and the idea for the improvement starts right here in the Northwoods.
Composite Panel Systems in Eagle River builds composite panels for home foundations. Composite means anything made of two or more materials, which includes fiberglass in this case. The company describes the EPITOME Quality Foundation Wall as a revolutionary composite building solution for residential foundations.
The company makes them off site, and then they put them together on location. Composite Panel Systems' Scott Weber says that means a shorter build time compared to concrete foundations.
WOODRUFF - Americans will eat about 7 billion hot dogs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Wednesday, millions of Americans celebrated National Hot Dog day. That was the case in the Northwoods.
Hoggie Doggies Snack Shack is a staple in Woodruff. Their All-American favorite is the Chicago Style Dog.
The owner Judy Rossi has been there for 12 years and says they go through a lot of dogs.
"Last season we went through almost 17,000 hot dogs. This year we're on track for about 18,000," says Rossi. "Statistically we go through about 8 tons of potatoes in a season, which is close to 16,000 pounds for our homemade french fries. Those are some big numbers for this little place."
MADISON - Unemployment is up in all of Wisconsin's largest cities and most counties.
The state Department of Workforce Development reported Wednesday that unemployment rates in June increased in all of the state's 32 largest cities. Unemployment rates went up in 61 of 72 counties and remained unchanged in the other 11.
Wisconsin's monthly unemployment rate in June was 5.7 percent, unchanged from May.
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