MADISON - Good news for the Wisconsin Badgers football team. Wide receiver Jared Abbrederis has been practicing with the team all week. He left last weekend's game against Northwestern with a head injury.
However, it appears he should be good to go Saturday night.
Wisconsin faces Illinois in Champaign in another Big Ten battle.
A couple of players from the area are starting to gain the Badger coaching staff's attention.
Wisconsin Rapids native Vince Biegel is a redshirt Freshman linebacker. He had 4 tackles - including a quarterback sack against Northwestern.
#49 is former Merrill star Sam Arneson. He did not have a catch last weekend. However, that doesn't mean the junior tight end isn't contributing in the Badgers offense.
Badgers head coach Gary Andersen explains, "Sam's (Arneson) done a very good job. I think his skills at catching, we all know, are tremendous. His ability to be involved in the offense in a blocking area has really improved. So he's done a nice job."
He added Biegel's drive on defense stood out.
"I always look at effort," Andersen adds. "This defense had great effort all year long. There was some extra effort plays in that game that just jump out at you.
There was (Vince) Biegel's sack and the effort on that play, and it's impressive. It's not like he's not blocked. I mean, he picks up an offensive lineman and walks it back into the quarterback and sacks the quarterback.
There were three or four of those plays from an effort standpoint that were unusual efforts is what I would call them, and those are special to see."
ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - 4.7 might seem like just a random number, but it gives us an idea of just how cold it was this year. 4.7 degrees was the average temperature for this winter. It's the coldest winter in more than a century.
It’s common to see these sights and hear these sounds in a typical winter. But this year, we heard them a bit more. The Northwoods fought through it’s snowiest and coldest winter on record. What made it so rare was the persistent cold.
NORTHWOODS - Home sales fell in the state of Wisconsin, but they're on the rise in the Northwoods.
Real Estate experts say home sales are up 5% in Oneida County. Home sales for the Northwoods are up 4%. Experts say right now it's a buyers market.
“If you're a seller right now you are probably going to be seeing some low ball offers,” says Ashlei Highfill, Century 21 Sales Associate. “We just encourage people to respond to any offer that they get not to just reject it or be offended but these days we are seeing a lot of buyers coming in and offering a lot less than what sellers are asking for.”
Experts say fewer homes are being foreclosed. This allows more families to make first time home purchases.
“It’s great to see that people are obviously getting back to work so they can afford to take that opportunity to put their family in their first home it's exciting for all of us,” says Highfill. “We're always happy to see somebody get that first house for their kids we're seeing some people that are making more money now so they're buying a move up house.”
Overall home sales in Wisconsin fell 11% compared to this time last year.
MERRILL - Hospitals can sometimes scare kids and even many adults.
That's why one Northwoods hospital wants those kids to be comfortable with doctors if they ever need their help.
Merrill kindergarteners visited Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center on Wednesday.
The kids got to see an ambulance, physical therapy and x rays.
"We try to show them that you know what, the hospital isn't so scary. And we bring them through different areas that they may experience when they come in or they have a family member here. And a lot of times children, if they don't know, they're very afraid. A hospital can be very intimidating, says Jane Bentz, Director of Foundation and Community Outreach.
Cooking for people with multiple, chronic health conditions
MINOCQUA - For people struggling with chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease, cooking can be a challenge.
But being careful with how you cook doesn't mean your meal has to be bland.
One dietician teaches the "Cooking for Multiple Diseases" class at Nicolet College in Minocqua.
People taking her class need help finding the best recipes for their conditions.
"Maybe they have diabetes and their spouse has heart disease. Or other people in the family may have a different disease," said Mary Sikora-Petersen, a Registered dietician. "They want to know, how [to] cook a meal that's going to be for everybody in the family."
Petersen also stresses the importance of using healthier ingredients without losing flavor. One way to do that is by using seed-based seasonings and avoiding too much salt.
"[Add] flavors to food without adding salt. Certainly, salt adds flavor," said Petersen. "But there are other ways to add flavor, such as adding ground seasonings, adding fresh herbs to the foods."
Petersen also recommends using light olive oils and whole wheat products.
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