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NEWS STORIES

Avoid heating hazardsSubmitted: 01/05/2014
Story By Lauren Stephenson


RHINELANDER - Health officials urge people to stay indoors the next few days to avoid health problems caused by frigid temperatures.

But staying inside your home can be dangerous if you don't heat it properly.

The most common cold weather emergencies Rhinelander firefighters respond to are fires caused by portable heaters.

But it's not just the heaters that cause fires.

It's the extension cords used to power them.

"People overuse them. They join them together. In fact, we recommend if you need an extension cord to buy a power strip. That's got the circuit breaker built in to it so if the appliance were to overheat, the circuit breaker would trip," said Rhinelander Fire Department Deputy Chief Craig Metz.

People using portable heaters should place them in the middle of a room to avoid a fire hazard.

They shouldn't run extension cords through doorways.

The cords can bend, causing them to wear down.

Firefighters don't respond to as many chimney or oven fires as they did a few years ago.

New furnaces and the ability for more people to have heat through heating assistance programs have helped reduce the use of ovens and fires.

But a furnace can still pose a danger.

"You want to make sure the intake and the exhaust on your furnace is kept clean. We see that quite a bit where the snow banks will block off the exhaust of the furnace," explained Metz.

Exhaust can build up, creating deadly carbon monoxide levels if the snow isn't cleared.

Firefighters say now is a perfect time to check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors to be sure they're working.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/28/2015

- Getting a license to be a fishing guide in Wisconsin is nearly effortless, but a local guide wants to add safety measures to the license.

- Plus, Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch visited Eagle River Business Incubators to learn about the success of Northwoods entrepreneurs.

We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MINOCQUA - Getting a license to become a fishing guide in Wisconsin doesn't take much effort. Applicants fill out a one-page form and send a check to the DNR.

One local guide thinks the process should include steps to ensure safety on the water. Minocqua-area fishing guide Greg Bohn wants guides to be trained in safety procedures.

"You pay a $40 fee for the license, and you're a Wisconsin Licensed Fishing Guide. It doesn't mean that you're protecting yourself. It doesn't mean that you're protecting your passengers for hire," Bohn said.

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WAUSAU - The Neighbor's Place Food Pantry in Wausau worries its hours make it difficult for people to get the food they need.

Right now, the pantry is open until 5 o'clock Monday through Thursday and until 2o'clock on Fridays. Those hours may not work for people who need to work during the day.

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EAGLE RIVER - It takes a lot of work to get a business started.

Incubators, like those in Vilas County, gives entrepreneurs the tools they need to get their company off the ground.

Brad Zdroik has been in one of the Eagle River incubators for about a year. It's helped his Deep Freeze business grow.

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GREEN BAY - Some football fans heading into Lambeau Field Saturday for the Green Bay Packers first preseason home game this year will encounter newly installed metal detectors.

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COLUMBIA, SC - Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker says the United States would aggressively confront what he describes as "radical Islamic terrorism" should he be elected.

The Wisconsin governor plans to lay out his foreign policy agenda Friday in a speech at The Citadel, a military college in Charleston, South Carolina.

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RHINELANDER - We expect trees on our property to suffer when it gets very dry, but for tree health, drought severity may not be as important as another factor. Researchers for the U.S. Forest Service have been studying the impacts of drought on trees across the Midwest, including the Northwoods. One ecologist at the Northern Research Station in Rhinelander found surprising results.

"It was the length of drought that was more important than determining the severity," explained Northern Research Station Ecologist Dr. Eric Gustafson. "Trees have the ability to survive droughts by drawing on their energy reserves, and when the drought is long, those energy reserves get depleted."

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