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NEWS STORIES

Local Schools Ahead of the Game with Concussion CareSubmitted: 02/22/2012
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

RHINELANDER - The NFL and other sports leagues are making concussion prevention a priority, and now so is the Wisconsin state legislature.

Senator Roberta Darling is sponsoring a bill that would require any student athlete with concussion symptoms to be pulled from the sport until cleared by a doctor.

Former Green Bay Packer offensive lineman Mark Tauscher was with legislators in Madison trying to garner support for the bill aimed at preventing youth concussions.

The bill would keep student athletes with signs of concussions out of the sport until they're cleared by a doctor. Here in Rhinelander, schools are already ahead of the game.

"The procedure being used by the NFL, is what we've been using here for eight, ten years," says Charlie LaHam, Athletic and Activities Director at Rhinelander High School.

LaHam says awareness of the danger of concussions is nothing like it used to be.

"Concussions were considered part of the game. Today we take great precautions," says LaHam.

The program the Hodags use involves an impact test. Each student takes it before joining a sport to establish a baseline. When they're injured they take the test again, which helps indicate the severity of a concussion. It also helps the school nurse and trainer know when the student is ready to return to the sport.

"The adolescent brain is still a developing brain, and we need to protect the student athlete brain. We don't want them to return to sports until their back to baseline, meaning back to no symptoms," says Kerri Schmidt, the Nurse at Rhinelander School District.

But it's not always easy keeping a passionate athlete on the sidelines.

"It's hard not to be compassionate to that but we have to think long term. I try and share that with them; this isn't about today or tomorrow night's game. This is many years from now. This game will keep going, but you may not," says LaHam.

And they're makeing sure everyone knows it's not just football players who get concussions. Athletic Trainer Eric Prom says he's seen concussions in every sport at Rhinelander High School.

"It doesn't have to be a huge, vicious hit for something like that to happen. It could be falling. You don't even have to hit your head sometimes. It's just the movement of the brain within the skull," says Eric Prom, an Athletic Trainer with Ministry Healthcare who does outreach at Rhinelander High School.

Schmidt says they all operate by these words of wisdom:

"When in doubt, hold the student athlete out," says Schmidt.

Supporters of the concussion legislation want people to call their local senators and urge them to support it. Not all schools are as up to date about treating concussions.

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Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 11/25/2014

- With only one month left until Christmas, many people will be heading to stores to shop. The busiest shopping days of the year start this week. Some of the stores in Wausau's Center Mall open as early as 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. We talk with the mall's manager to see what they're expecting for holiday shopping.

- Plus, teachers at one Northwoods school wanted to encourage their students to give back to the community in time for Thanksgiving. They did that by offering up their hair. Students at Zion Lutheran School in Rhinelander got to see two of their teachers dye their hair some of the colors of the rainbow today. That's because students donated 2,000 pounds of food to a local food pantry.

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

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Newswatch 12 reports: Teen birth rate drops in the United States, still higher than other countries; Sexual education could decrease rate even moreSubmitted: 11/25/2014

WISCONSIN - Teen birth rates dropped significantly across the country in the past few years.

Despite the decline, the United States still has the highest teen birth rate compared to other developed countries.

There are many reasons the rate is going down, and there could be many explanations to why the U.S. is behind other countries.

Education could decrease the rate even more.

That could prevent more people from having to go through the difficulties of being a teen parent.

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Sheriff: Officer involved in fatal Wisconsin crashSubmitted: 11/25/2014

ASHLAND - Authorities say a squad car from a tribal police department in northern Wisconsin has crashed head on with another vehicle and killed a passenger.

WDIO-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1tgfCLL ) the Ashland County Sheriff's Office said the crash Monday happened on Highway 2 between Ashland and Odanah (oh-DAH'-nah). It's unclear if the officer from the Chippewa's Bad River Band was on duty.

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Bill Cosby appearance canceled in Green BaySubmitted: 11/25/2014

GREEN BAY - A performing arts center in Green Bay becomes the latest to cancel an appearance by comedian Bill Cosby.

He's been accused of sexual assault by a growing number of women.

Any tickets bought with a credit card will be refunded by December 10th. The show will not be rescheduled.

In recent weeks, more than a dozen women have accused 77-year-old Cosby of sexual assault years ago. Cosby has not been charged in connection with any of the allegations.

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State police boost patrols around ThanksgivingSubmitted: 11/25/2014

LANSING, MI - Michigan State Police troopers are boosting patrols as part of an effort to keep roads safe for Thanksgiving travelers.

Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort, known as Operation CARE, runs Wednesday through Sunday.

Troopers across the state will conduct high-visibility enforcement focusing on impaired driving, seat belt use, careless driving and speeding. The extra patrols are paid for with federal traffic safety funds coordinated by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.

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Northern Wisconsin lawmakers push for geographic diversity on budget committee; Tiffany seeks seat on powerful panelSubmitted: 11/24/2014

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MINOCQUA - A lawmaker representing most of the Northwoods thinks the legislature's most powerful committee needs a better geographic balance.

Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) wants to speak for northern Wisconsin on the Joint Finance Committee.

The committee is in charge of a major step in forming the state's two-year budget.

Right now, no lawmakers from north of Highway 8 sit on the 16-member committee.

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Cars vandalized, gunshots heard in Ferguson after no indictment decisionSubmitted: 11/24/2014

FERGUSON - Police cars have been vandalized and several gunshots have been heard on the streets of Ferguson after the announcement that a white police officer will not be indicted in the shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old.

About 15 minutes after St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced Officer Darren Wilson wouldn't be indicted, county police used a bullhorn to tell crowds outside the Ferguson Police Department to disperse, saying it had become an unlawful assembly.

Protesters hugged a barricade and taunted police, sometimes with expletives. Some chanted ``murderer.'' Gunshots were heard down the street and somebody threw a water bottle that bounced off a police shield.

Some in the crowd reportedly tried to stop others from taking part in vandalism and other violent reactions.

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