RHINELANDER - You may already grow your own vegetables, but people in Rhinelander could soon also raise their own chickens. The city's Protection of Persons and Property Committee met today to consider just that.
The committee heard a proposal to allow backyard chickens within the city limits. If they approve, the full city council will vote on weather to adopt the ordinance.
Rhinelander resident Jen VanOrder made the proposal. She also submitted examples of regulations that other cities use.
"It's pretty basic, common sense stuff. They have to have an adequate shelter; it has to be kept sanitary and clean. Obviously the rule is no roosters; you don't need roosters to have egg production. You are only allowed four hens and you have to get a license from the city," says VanOrder.
Fire Chief Terry Williams will work with VanOrder to fine-tune the regulations they'll propose to the city. They'll bring it back up with the PPP committee next month, and then the full council can vote.
Sue Schneider lives just outside of Rhinelander in Pine Lake. She's been raising chickens for years.
She understands concerns people might have about their neighbors keeping chickens, but says hers have never had a problem.
"They're easy to keep clean; shovel out their cook, you know, once a month and that keeps down any odor or anything like that. As far as taking care of them, that is always a possibility. They need to be watered and fed every day. But like I said, it only takes five minutes," says Schneider.
We asked our Facebook friends what they thought. There were a few people who were not crazy about the idea. They worried about cleanliness and people not taking proper care of the chickens. But most people said if their neighbors followed the rules they wouldn't mind. Some even said they thought it was a good idea.
Big bucks to expand nutrition, physical education in Wisconsin schools
WISCONSIN - Seven Wisconsin school districts have been awarded a total of $3.2 million in federal grants to help them expand their nutrition and physical-education programs.
To qualify, the districts have to implement programs that teach students healthy eating habits and good nutrition. They also have to make sure kids have access to certain physical fitness activities, which could include fitness assessments or developing certain team skills.
The largest grant is going to the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District, which will receive about $850,000. The Mukwonago Area School District and Pittsville School District will each get about $445,000.
WISCONSIN - Six out of ten people with Alzheimers and dementia will wander off at some point.
That puts them at risk for injury or even death. And not all of those people are found quickly enough.
That's why Governor Scott Walker recently signed a bill that will help find them quicker.
The Wisconsin Silver Alert bill will create a program that works like an Amber Alert for missing children.
An effective alert system is crucial to the Northwoods because of the growing aging population and severe winter weather.
For advocacy groups like the Alzheimer's Association, the new bill is a huge victory.
"Family caregivers of people who have Alzheimers, or another type of dementia are worried and concerned about whether or not their loved one might wander away from home," said Julie St. Pierre, an outreach specialist for the Alzheimer's Association in Rhinelander. "It's very important that those caregivers out there know that there are important resources that can help keep their loved ones safe in the home. The Silver Alert is certainly now a part of that safety net that we have in place."
The Alzheimer's Association was just one group that worked closely with the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network to get this bill passed.
A coordinator for the network believes this system will save lives.
"This bill really advances [us] one step forward in addressing the needs of an aging population. And that's extremely important in the Northwestern part of Wisconsin," said Joe Libowsky, coordinator for the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network. "In the Rhinelander area, where you have fairly severe weather, it makes the urgency of getting out the alert as quickly as possible even more important."
The alert system will heavily involve all 500 law enforcement agencies in the state to respond to at-risk adults who are reported missing.
Wisconsin joins 30 other states with a silver alert system.
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