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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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WABENO - People went out to Wabeno this weekend for its first ever Art and Music Fest. Musicians performed in the band shell while local artists spread out to show their products.

There were food and drinks as well as workshops for people to learn more about art.

"This year we've had about 20 musicians performing on three stages," said Friends of Wabeno Chairperson Mary Beck. "And we've had maybe ten artists doing demonstrations, showing people what they can do and what they can buy."

The rain Sunday didn't stop people from having a good time. Volunteers hope to make this an annual event.

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BOULDER JUNCTION - It's no secret to anglers that the Northwoods makes for some great fishing.

That's why fishing club coach Jim Bondi brought a group of 30 kids and chaperones up to Boulder Junction for the week.

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ARBOR VITAE - The Arbor Vitae Fire Department hosted its 39th Fireman's Picnic and Summerfest this weekend.

Thousands of people came out to benefit the fire department while having a good time. The fire department held the crowd favorite lawnmower races again this year.

They also had a volleyball tournament and games for kids. The fire chief says all the proceeds help the department pay for equipment.

"When we purchased our new fire truck, the fire department funded a good portion of the money, the fundraiser money, to help keep the tax dollars down so the tax payers didn't have to foot the whole bill for the truck," said Arbor Vitae Fire Department Chief Mike Van Meter. "And we also use it to buy turnout gear throughout the year, new air packs. Anything we can do to keep it off the tax roll."

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RHINELANDER - County workers aren't the only ones who like to find issues and fix them on the roads. So does Delmore Consulting owner, Jeff Delmore.

Delmore is hired by county boards to evaluate roads, signs and culverts. He find the signs, the ranks them, helping the county prioritize what work they need to do.

"I check each sign, I mark it, GPS location and then I check the reflectivity of the sign, just the overall condition of it," said Delmore.

It usually takes three to four weeks to gather all the information for each town. Delmore's currently in the Northwoods working for towns in Vilas County.

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EAGLE RIVER - Trees for Tomorrow held their Forest Fest in Eagle River Saturday. The event welcomes many people and companies that make a living from trees.

The UW-Stevens Point Timbersports team came out to Forest Fest to show off their skills.

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WISCONSIN - Anyone who loves hunting and fishing will need to apply for a license. The deadline for some hunting and fishing licenses is August 1 at 11:59 p.m.

Hunters, trappers and spearers can go on the DNR website to apply.

"This is the time of year where not a lot of people are thinking about hunting, but that August 1 date is that date for applying for a bobcat, fisher or otter tag, sharp-tail grouse, or sturgeon spearing or fall turkey," said DNR Warden Supervisor David Walz.

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ST. GERMAIN - The last day of Pig in the Pines wrapped up Saturday. People were able to watch the rib eating contest in the afternoon.

Newswatch 12 got to help judge ribs from this year's four rib vendors. One of the big events happened on the main stage Saturday evening.

"We have entertainment all day long," said St. Germain Chamber President Bruce Weber. "We have the Wise Guys on our main stage. We have Laura Ernst on the aerial platform here. She also does juggling. On our major stage, we have One Ping Only, and we also have Molly Hatchet, our lead act tonight."

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