You can help the Health Department track West Nile in Oneida CountySubmitted: 07/19/2013
You can help the Health Department track West Nile in Oneida County
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

RHINELANDER - A dead crow in Woodruff tested positive for West Nile Virus. It's the first positive test in Oneida County this year.

Mosquitoes that bite a sick bird can transmit the virus to people. Eighty percent of people with the virus never show any signs. But if you do, you'll have symptoms like fever, muscle aches and headache.

People with suppressed immune systems, the elderly and the very young are the highest risk for serious complications.

"If a person really gets sick from the West Nile Virus then they've got central nervous system problems. And that means Encephalitis and problems where they're going to end up having brain swelling, going into a coma, or paralysis, or something else serious. It could be fatal," says Charlotte Ahrens, an Oneida County Public Health Nurse.

Mosquitoes are just a part of life here in the Northwoods. But the Oneida County Health Department says people living where West Nile has been found should try to avoid getting bitten. Prevention goes beyond using bug spray.

"They really should look around at their gutters, and planters and their bird baths and make sure they're emptied out and that you don't have stagnant water sitting around. Because these mosquitoes are the type that really love that stagnant water that's sitting around for breeding areas," says Ahrens.

It's also really important to report any dead crows, blue jays or ravens. Call 1-800-433-1610.

The state will test the birds. That helps them keep track of where the virus is moving.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 03/23/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

After more than 15 years of negotiation, the city of Tomahawk bought a critical piece of land from the Canadian National railroad to be used for a 4.6 mile bike loop. We talk to the Tomahawk Public Works director about the project which appeared at one time to be impossible.

A support group that started in Antigo for family members and caretakers of people with Down syndrome is trying to expand. We talk to members of that group.

And we talk to a coach about the Northern Edge high school girls' hockey team which was concerned about low numbers of players for next season but is hoping there's enough time to recruit new players from Rhinelander and Antigo.

We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MADISON - The Conservation Congress plans to ask attendees at its spring hearings whether lawmakers should charge people to use state land and eliminate group hunting.

The congress asks hearing attendees every year for their positions on current outdoors issues. The answers are advisory only.

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RHINELANDER - Kathie Woodford keeps track of each time she donates blood.  Her visit to a Rhinelander blood drive on Friday marked her 26th pint.

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The universal donor (Woodford has O-negative blood) likes to give as often as she can, but Friday's blood drive was one she simply couldn't miss.

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CRANDON - UPDATE (3/23/18): The Forest County Medical Examiner released the name of the inmate who died in the Forest County Jail earlier this week. 

The Forest County Sheriff's Officer said a man committed suicide Wednesday morning. 

An autopsy showed 44-year-old William Zastawniak died by hanging. 

He was facing three child sexual assault charges. 

The medical examiner is still waiting on toxicology results. 

The death is still under investigation.

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Ellen Tran's trial is expected to start with jury selection on October 19.

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CRANDON - Planners in Tomahawk dreamed about a bike loop around the city starting in the early 2000s.

Two decades later, it's finally about to happen.

After more than 15 years of negotiation, the city bought a critical piece of land from the Canadian National railroad.

It will allow the city to start building a 4.6 mile bike loop around the city.

"It's a win-win for everybody. There was a little frustration from by position, but you just...kept your foot on the gas through the whole process," said Tomahawk Public Works Director John Cole.

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Gregory Loomis, 43, sexually assaulted two children in 1988 and 1992.

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