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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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WAUSAU - Police in Wausau expect to forward forgery charges to the Marathon County District Attorney against four people after finding counterfeit money in the area.

Patrick J. Eppolite, Jr., 22; Michael A. Beck, 27; Jeremy J. Hess, 36; and Amanda M. Bender, 32, are currently in jail on probation holds, but investigators believe they're connected to some counterfeit 20 dollar bills in the area, according to the Wausau Police Department.

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RHINELANDER - This week, a seven-year-old put his life in danger to save his baby sister and little brother from a house fire near downtown Rhinelander.

On Friday, the Rhinelander Fire Department honored that little boy for his bravery.

Rhinelander firefighters now call Adam Granger, 7, a hero.

"He tells me over and over how he wasn't scared and just wanted to save his sister's life and didn't want her to die," said Jenny Schroeder, Adam's mother.

Adam saved his six-month old sister and four-year-old brother from a house fire in downtown Rhinelander.

"His actions, his quick thinking, saved two lives that day," said Rhinelander Fire Assistant Chief Tom Waydick.

Investigators still don't know the exact cause of the fire, but they say it started in the kitchen.
Adam's father, Adam Granger, Sr., went outside for a couple minutes to start a campfire, and the next thing 
he knew his house was up in flames.

"And the kids were in and out of the house helping him," Waydick said.

When he saw the smoke, Adam's father and his brother ran inside to get the three kids upstairs��"not realizing they had already gotten out. To do that, Adam had to run past the fire to get to the bedroom where his baby sister was. Then he went back towards the flames and led his younger brother down the back steps to safety.

"[I'm] Very proud and honored to have him as my son," Schroeder said. 

Schroeder doesn't want to think of how it could have turned out.

"We've talked about how the other outcome could have been worse," Schroeder said. 

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STEVENS POINT - David Appel doesn't say too much these days.  Instead, he lets his artwork speak for him.

"Oh yeah, he likes to show them off," David's son Dan said.

The recently turned 82-year-old spends his days in the Portage County Skilled Nursing Facility during his weekly visit from family often admiring the oil paintings he once crafted.

"I wouldn't call it a shock, but I didn't know he had that artistic skill," Dan Appel said.

Appel's son and daughter-in-law, Dan and Julie, first found out about David's talents as the father's 47-and-a-half year career with Copps Foods started to come to an end in the late 1990s.

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Volunteers Document WildlifeSubmitted: 06/24/2016

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MERCER - You don't expect to see crowds in secluded parts of Iron County, but loons tend to be a big draw.

"There's a lot of people who have had interest in loon research," said DNR wildlife biologist John Olson.

"Monitor change overtime in the wildlife population here in the Turtle Flambeau Flowage. Are loons increasing or staying stable or decreasing the numbers of breeding pair?" said retired wildlife biologist, Bruce Bacon.

The community has shown interest in the animal and with the research collected, the volunteers can maintain a steady population of loons in the water.

"Over the years, there have been a number of people who have done real exciting loon work up here," said Olson.

Over the last few surveys, the DNR have decided to expand its research to all wildlife in water and on land, not just the loons.

"The survey has developed into being more all-inclusive of any wildlife we see out here. Especially breeding birds," said Olson.

Some animals seen on Friday include a deer and her fawn, ducks, geese, eagles, ospreys, and of course multiple loons.

The Turtle Flambeau Flowage is a total of 14,000 acres. Individual volunteers maintain the area year round. If they notice a home or shelter destroyed, they will help start a new one for the animals.

"It's rewarding to see a place like the Turtle Flambeau Flowage in Wisconsin and this monitoring gives us a sense of how to monitor and protect it," said Bacon.

Overall, the goal for the group is to collect data on the animals and maintain that number to keep the Northwoods booming with wildlife.

The power of volunteerism was in full effect on Friday. Six boats covered all 14,000 acres of the Turtle Flambeau Flowage.

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MANITOWOC - A Manitowoc doctor is charged in federal court with drug trafficking.

A grand jury this week indicted Dr. Charles Szyman on 19 counts of unlawfully prescribing prescription drugs.

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EAGLE RIVER - The Northland Pines fishing team is about as basic as it gets.

Just two kids, bait, and their gear.

"I didn't expect to go anywhere," said Northland Pines Junior Mike John.

But in their first year the team is headed to nationals after getting second BASS Wisconsin High School Fishing Tournament. It was the first tournament they've competed in together.

Mike John is going to be a junior. Harmon Marien became a freshman right before the state tournament started.

"Wednesday previous I was in 8th grade and then that Saturday and Sunday we took second in the high school tournament," Northland Pines Freshman Marien said. "That was pretty cool, good way to start high school."

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GREEN BAY - Prosecutors have charged a 26-year-old man accused of fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend and her mother and injuring a third person in the Green Bay area.

Jacob Cayer of Ashwaubenon was charged Friday with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide. WLUK-TV reports Cayer also is charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide, burglary and bail jumping.

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