RHINELANDER - A Northwoods woman spent the last two weeks with the Red Cross in Colorado. Carol Miller flew back home today.
Miller helped people in the Denver area. She was there with the Red Cross because flooding ravaged the state. She didn't see too much of the devastation first hand.
"Unfortunately I was stuck at headquarters but my nurses sent me lots of pictures when they would go out on their adventures to find out where the volunteers were and who needed some help or some supplies," says Carol Miller, Wellness Nurse Supervisor.
This was Carol's fourth deployment out of state. Each trip brings new challenges.
"This is the first time I've had to deal with people who've had problems with altitude sickness and I hadn't really thought about it until I got there. Then we had some very serious situations. One person we had to send home," said Miller.
Carol has been a nurse for more than 40 years. She enjoys volunteering but was happy to get home.
"It's always amazing to me when I go on deployments and how people from all over the States come together with one focus. There were, at one point, over a thousand Red Cross volunteers in Colorado," says Miller.
She signed up as a volunteer 8 years ago after Hurricane Katrina.
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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