RHINELANDER - It's another sign spring is here, but not one that's quite as fun as fishing or enjoying the sunshine... we're talking about wood ticks.
As much as we love the onset of spring and the reappearance of the sun, this time of year also brings out one thing we're not so happy to see... wood ticks.
They hide under leaves, in the grass and on branches. And at the height of the season they practically rain down from the treetops.
The last few years Wisconsin has seen an increase in Lyme Disease.
"In 2010 there were 3,495 cases of Lyme Disease in Wisconsin, and that was up 35%," says Anne Ovsak, Assistant Director of the Oneida County Health Department.
The tick removal remedies we heard from our facebook friends ranged from drinking pickle juice, to burning them off.
"My mother would basically screw it out, you know, grab 'em and twist 'em out backwards. Or hit 'em with a match head; a hot match head once you blew it out," says Mitch Mode, Owner of Mel's Trading Post.
"I actually did grow up with burning it; taking a match, lighting it and then Mom sticking it to your skin and watching that tick back out," says Greg Graves, store manager at Mel's Trading Post.
But the health department and the CDC say the simplest method is best.
"The recommendation is to really just use a tweezers and remove it. By putting anything on it you could actually have the tick release more bacteria into your body," says Ovsak.
But there are a lot of measures you can take to prevent the bit in the first place.
"Without a doubt the Permethrin is the most effective. It's sprayed on the clothing, and it will last a minimum of two weeks," says Graves.
Another good tip is to stay on the trails when you're walking through the woods, rather than blazing your own path through thick vegetation where ticks just love to hang out.
"It's always a good idea to tuck in shirts. Tuck in cuffs and socks," says Graves.
It's important to remove a tick immediately, and keep an eye out for symptoms of infection.
"The most common sign you'll see is that bull's-eye rash that starts, headache, fatigue, arthritis-like joint pain," says Ovsak.
Make checking your kids over for ticks part of your nightly routine, so they can stay safe in these warm months to come.
Rhinelander intersection could get a permanent stop sign
RHINELANDER - Drivers might need to get used to a stop sign at one intersection in Rhinelander.
The City Council held a public hearing to decide if the temporary stop sign on Davenport and Sutliff should stay.
The stop sign was put up at the three-way intersection during a construction project last summer.
"We put up a temporary stop sign because we had the closure on Kemp, and we sent all the traffic this way," says Rhinelander City Administrator Blaine Oborn. "Once we had the stop sign up, a lot of people in the community started voicing support for keeping it."
Members of the community voiced their support for or against the permanent stop sign at the public hearing.
"People who live on the west side over here go straight through, it slows them down a little bit by having to do a stop sign," says Oborn. "The people on Sutliff that have to make a left or right turn, they really favor the three-way stop sign here because it makes it a lot safer for them."
The permanent signs could be in place in the next couple of weeks if the council approves the move.
RHINELANDER - Warm temperatures and lingering snow on roofs doesn't make for a good combination. Around 3 this afternoon the weight of the snow on the roof of the Elbo Room caused major damage to the building.
The awning to the building fell down onto the Brown Street sidewalk. It's important to remember to how dangerous heavy snowfall left on roofs can be this time of year.
“Well with this heavy snowfall this winter there's a lot of snow load with warm weather today the snow melting it created a lot of weight and it can damage structures with all the weight from the snow,” says Josh Schmitz, Rhinelander Fire Deptartment Deputy Chief.
No one was injured in the collapse. The fire department is not sure when cleanup will begin.
TOMAHAWK - The Tomahawk School District will need to make big budget cuts in the next year. The district will need to cut more than $500,000. Rising transportation costs along with declining enrollments challenge many Northwoods School Districts.
“We have a lot of issues in Northern Wisconsin that many districts in the state of Wisconsin don't have,” says Cheryl Baker, Tomahawk School District Superintendent. “For instance in the Tomahawk School District there's about 425 and I'm rounding that off, square miles of terrain that has to be covered everyday two times a day to pick kids up, to bring them to school, and to take them home.”
“That cost is our cost,” says Baker.
The school district does not plan to cut any electives. Instead they are moving from an 8 to a 7 period day.
“We're moving from an 8 period day to a 7 period day purely for economic reasons,” says Baker. “In other words had we not gone to the 7 period day for next year we would have had to of cut entire classes, electives, and or start cutting down teachers full time positions.”
The school district will also need to cut its full time social worker.
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