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NEWS STORIES

CDC: 1 out of 68 showing symptoms of autism, nearly 30% increase in 2 yrsSubmitted: 03/27/2014

Adam Fox
10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
afox@wjfw.com

RHINELANDER - A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released Thursday shows one out of 68 kids in the U.S. symptoms of autism. That is a 30 percent increase from just two years ago.

The same study found one in 88 kids showed symptoms in 2008. But now numbers from 2010 show a significant increase.

Pearl Thompson lives in Rhinelander and has two children (Carmen, 3 & Matthew,5) with autism. She believes these new numbers are beginning to reflect the true number of children with autism.

Thompson says the children cause plenty of challenges, but she believes that actually makes their family stronger.

"I think the challenges that we face just make us better parents and kind of help us prepare our children for challenges they may face in the future," Thompson said.

The disorder makes communication more difficult. But Thompson says that challenges make simple progress, like naming colors, even more meaningful.

"All of a sudden he (Matthew) just started naming colors of the cars and we just cried, I mean we bawled."

Nearly one out of 100 kids in Wisconsin show symptoms of autism, according to the CDC report. The report also indicates that boys have nearly five times the chance, (1 out of 66) of having the disorder compared to girls, (1 out of 330) in Wisconsin.

Thompson says the growing number of cases doesn't mean everyone knows or understands the disorder.

"We still get people who say can't you control how to control your kid and it's not that," Thompson said. "It's not that you know they're crying and throwing a fit because they can't have a toy."

Carlene Braatz has worked as an occupational therapist for the School District of Rhinelander for more than two decades. She's seen more autistic kids in her school over the years. But she worries about after they graduate from high school or college.

"What happens then? What happens if you have a nice skill set of educational skills, but you don't have the social skills?" Braatz said.

Braatz says she's seen many students make it out of the educational system and struggle to find work. She also says the state provides a healthy amount of workshops and other job opportunities for those with autism, but that could change as the numbers increase.

Regardless, Thompson stays positive for when her kids are fully grown up.

"I think with the proper support and everything in the state, I think they'll be OK," Thompson said.

If numbers continue to increase, more families will have to hope like Thompson.

If you would like to learn more about autism, Thompson and another Rhinelander mother are holding an "Autism 101" program at Crescent Elementary School in Rhinelander at 3319 Boyce Dr.

The event starts at 6 p.m. on April 14th.

For more information call 915-799-1736










Related Weblinks:
CDC Report

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 IN OTHER NEWS
WXPR: One of only a few public radio stations in the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 12/22/2014

RHINELANDER - You can't find public radio stations as easily as you can find commercial radio stations in the Northwoods. That's because they're funded mostly by donations. However, one Rhinelander radio station has found a way to make it work for more than 30 years.

"The station came about as the result of a dream, really, of a fella named Peter Nordgrin who came from northern Minnesota at a station very similar to this one," said Ken Krall, news director and interim station manager at 91.7 WXPR in Rhinelander. "He realized that there was a hole in northern Wisconsin for public radio."

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Dozens protest no-charging decision in MilwaukeeSubmitted: 12/22/2014

MILWAUKEE - Several dozen protesters are taking to the streets of Milwaukee to demand justice for Dontre Hamilton.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm said Monday that former Officer Christopher Manney won't be charged in Hamilton's death because he shot the mentally ill man in self-defense. Hamilton died last April, after Manney shot him 14 times.

Protesters marched through downtown Milwaukee on Monday afternoon.


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No charges in Milwaukee Police shootingSubmitted: 12/22/2014

MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee County district attorney says he's confident the public will see he made a fair decision in not charging a white Milwaukee police officer in the shooting death of a black man.

John Chisholm said the officer, Christopher Manney, was justified in using deadly force when his encounter with Dontre Hamilton turned into a fight last April. Manney shot Hamilton 14 times after Hamilton got control of the officer's baton.

Chisholm said the release of the full investigative file will help people understand what went into the decision.

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Possible child abuse under investigationSubmitted: 12/22/2014

IRMA - Prosecutors will consider charges against two Lincoln County men accused of duct taping a child to a door.

A Lincoln County deputy investigated the child abuse complaint in Irma this past week.

Witnesses said the child's hands and feet were bound.

The child was then duct taped to the door.

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Santa gets extra help from volunteer fire department while delivering presentsSubmitted: 12/21/2014

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PINE LAKE - Santa normally gets help from elves to make Christmas presents for kids, but in Pine Lake he had help from a local volunteer fire department Sunday.

The Pine Lake Fire Department normally puts its sirens on in an emergency, but this time it was to help Santa bring joy to families who need it the most.

"It is really neat to see the kids when we come pulling into their driveway and they see Santa Claus getting off the fire truck with a big bag of presents. It is really neat to see their faces," said Operation Ho Ho Ho organizer Lynn Larson.

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Snowmobile safety class held this weekendSubmitted: 12/21/2014

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - Riding a snowmobile can be dangerous if you don't know the rules of the trails.

That's why some people went through a snowmobile safety course on Saturday and Sunday.

The course was held at the Sloan Community Center in Lake Tomahawk.

The New-Tom Snow Fleas and the Oneida County Sheriff's office held the course.

A recreational safety officer from the sheriff's office taught the class.

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Lincoln County Sheriff's Office finds body of missing Merrill man Submitted: 12/21/2014

LINCOLN COUNTY - The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office found the body of a missing Merrill man yesterday afternoon.

Jeffrey Maruska has been missing since early November.

The sheriff's office found his body with the help of cadaver dogs.

Maruska was found in a wooded area east of where he lived.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office is still investigating.

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