RHINELANDER - It can get more difficult to move around when you get older.
That makes trips to the grocery store or doctor tougher. But the Oneida County Department on Aging can help.
Right now, the department's bus takes seniors and adults with disabilities around Rhinelander. The bus is also used by the general public for an extra fee.
The department workers say most of the people using the bus wouldn't get around without it.
Mary Boyer is the Nutrition and Transportation coordinator.
"It helps our clients get to their doctor appointments, even hair appointments, coming here for nutrition, doing grocery shopping," said Boyer. "Pretty much anything that they need during those hours."
The department wants to expand transportation options outside of Rhinelander.
Forest County uses its funding to do that. Their route goes through Three Lakes, Sugar Camp and Rhinelander.
"That's what they do with their money, they do that outlying thing. So it would nice if we could up go to Eagle River or Minocqua and transport people back and forth that way," said Boyer. "Not on a daily basis, but maybe every week, or every other week."
Oneida county is trying to partner with Forest and Vilas counties.
They hope to form a transit commission. That would mean more rides to more places, for everyone.
Technology committee wants to improve Northwoods broadband connectivity
ONEIDA COUNTY - The Oneida County board wants to attract more people to the area. That's why the Oneida County Technology committee is trying to improve Internet connectivity.
The committee is trying to get funding from federal and state sources. As of now the board has put aside $24,000 for broadband development. But they hope to get more.
“We recognize that Oneida County had deficiencies in speed and connectivity and number of people who were able to access broadband in the speeds and capacities that were necessary to do their work,” says Bob Martini, County Board Supervisor. “So we put together a technology a committee that would investigate ways that we could improve this service in Oneida County.”
The committee hopes to fix spots that don't get good broadband service in Oneida County. They think improving the internet could help the Northwoods economy.
“The idea is to give the citizens of Oneida County access, but also to make us the best rural county in Wisconsin in terms of broadband access so that we can attract retirees, businesses, and improve the people's lives that are already living here,” says Bob Martini, County Board Supervisor.
WAUSAU - Students at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau got to see Tibetan monks create a work of art steeped in Buddhist history.
The Mandala Sand Art is an ancient Tantric Buddhist tradition dating back thousands of years.
The Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery are on an international tour called Mystical Arts of Tibet where they create mandalas in front of an audience.
"The colored patterns we are using, we are following the scriptures, the Buddhist scriptures. It's a very old tradition, more than 2,500 years ago," says Geshe Loden, head of the Mystical Arts of Tibet.
The monks' last visit to Northcentral Technical College in 2011 was so popular, they were invited back.
"At NTC we feel like it's important to offer our students a variety of different programming, and one of the things we feel our responsibility to do is expose our students to other cultures, other religions, other ideas," says Director of Student Development Shawn Sullivan.
The monks work hours at a time placing sand delicately in the lines of the intricate pattern.
The mandala will take them four days to complete, but the beautiful creation won't last long.
"After finishing this, making the mandala, we consecrate this completed mandala, and we dismantle it to symbolize the impermanence of all the conditioned things, all the phenomena," says Loden.
The monks' tour raises money for more than 3,000 monasteries in India. They also do it to raise awareness about the plight of Tibetans.
"Lord Buddha had started this, and that tradition keeps going on."
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