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NEWS STORIES

Wisconsin public health rankingsSubmitted: 03/27/2014
Story By Dan McKinney


ONEIDA COUNTY - The Oneida County Public Health Department worked hard over the past year. They wanted to improve their standing against other counties in Wisconsin. Counties across the state were ranked on the annual University of Wisconsin Population Health rankings.

The rankings help counties understand how healthy residents are and how long they will live. Oneida County ranked 50th of out 72 counties this year. Last year they were ranked 57.

"We have coalitions that work really hard on areas such as alcohol abuse drug abuse," says Linda Conlon, Oneida County Public Health Director. "We have a coalition that works on chronic disease prevention so we're out there getting the message out."

Despite the jump in the rankings there's also room for improvements.

"Some of the areas that we are not succeeding in is adult smoking, we're above the state rate for the percentage of adults that smoke," says Conlon. "We've also seen an increase in adult obesity and we have seen an increase in unemployment and children in living in poverty."

Other counties in the Northwoods struggled. Langlade County was 52nd. Vilas County was 54th. Lincoln County was 58th, and Forest County was 68th.




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 IN OTHER NEWS

ST. GERMAIN - A popular Northwoods tradition kicked off its 40th season today. The St. Germain Flea Market draws thousands of bargain hunters each week during the summer.

The market attracts nearly 400 vendors every week. Vendors showcase everything from homemade crafts and artwork, to plants and homemade treats.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Last Thursday, fifteen members of the Oneida County community graduated from Leadership Oneida County. The nine month program aims to give participants a better understanding of the county's resources and to improve participation in organizations throughout the county.

"You just don't know what can happen when people get into the same room and start talking," said Demmer Memorial Library executive director Erica Brewster.

That talking led to a new job and greater involvement in the Oneida County community for Brewster. She was a member of the first Leadership Oneida County class.

"When I went through the program, that's where I learned about UW-Extension.  That's where I learned UW-Extension was hiring.  That's where I got the motivation to look at the job description and apply," Brewster explained.  "I worked at UW-Extension for four and a half years, and then the position had opened up here in the library in Three Lakes so I could be working back in my hometown, in my home community."

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RHINELANDER -  A Northwoods veterans group wants people to remember those who died serving our country. 

The Oneida County Veterans Council held a Memorial Day ceremony in Rhinelander on Monday.

The Rhinelander High School band and choir performed at the ceremony.

Mayor Dick Johns was the speaker. 

Event organizers hope people take time on Memorial Day to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. 

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EDGAR - Marathon County authorities say a woman has died from drowning in a pool in Edgar in central Wisconsin.

Lt. Tim Burkholder of the Marathon County Sheriff's Department says it happened sometime after midnight Monday.

While the investigation is ongoing, he says the drowning appears to be accidental.

The department is withholding the victim's name and other details for now.

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RHINELANDER - A local outdoor sports club hopes the second annual RASTA (Rhinelander Area Silent Trails Association) Rally at Washburn Lake will be even more successful than the first. This Sunday's mountain bike races are some of the earliest in the year in the Northwoods.

Bikers will race on the trails at Washburn Lake west of Rhinelander. Multiple races target different experience levels of mountain bikers, from beginner to expert.

The money raised goes to RASTA projects like trail grooming and maintenance. Races start at 1pm on Sunday. Click the link below for more information.

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RHINELANDER - Many people in the Northwoods got the chance to try out canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards this weekend.

Mel's Trading Post held a paddle demo day in Rhinelander.

Anyone could come out to Hodag Park to try out the equipment.

The store's owner thinks it's good for people to try boats out before buying them. 

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WISCONSIN DELLS - A 21-year-old Chicago man who went missing in the Wisconsin River near the Wisconsin Dells remains missing.

Police in Columbia County are using sonar to try and find his body. Police say the man went under water around 7:15pm on Saturday while swimming to shore and didn't resurface.

Divers worked until midnight to find the man. Search efforts continued Sunday morning. Police say the man was fishing on a rock island area and appeared to get caught in a current while swimming back to shore.

Family members and witnesses tried to help him but couldn't. The victim's name is not being released at this time.

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