RHINELANDER - You can just ask Eagles and Bears fans how much concussions affect the sport of football.
Three high-profile NFL quarterbacks suffered concussions more than a week ago.
New rules meant they had to miss this week's games.
It seems more and more players are getting themÖor is it because thereís more emphasis put on enforcement?
In the Northwoods, Rhinelanderís been focusing on concussions since 2004.
One of the most famous Rhinelander Hodags ever is Mike Webster.
The football stadium bears his name.
The Pro Football Hall of Famer died from what the NFL's retirement board deemed brain injuries suffered from football.
"It was late in the fourth quarter against Antigo," Rhinelander Senior Linebacker Dylon Wilmot said.
"Their running back got the ball and I was playing middle linebacker obviously. When I went for a tackle, I dropped my head, as I'm taught not to, it was my own fault and I got hit on top of the head."
Wilmot knows the feeling all too well.
"I was just nauseous, a huge headache, I did not feel overall great as I normally would," Wilmot explained.
"I puked afterwards, I was not feeling great at all."
Rhinelander Athletic Trainer Eric Prom says it's not always the big ones.
"Some of the ones that are big hits aren't concussions," Prom said.
"It can sometimes be the smallest thing."
Wilmot had a concussion. He'd miss the next two games as part of his recovery.
"It was the worst feeling in the world being on the sidelines and not being able to play," Wilmot said.
He had no choice. New Wisconsin law requires athletes to sit out and be evaluated by a doctor before returning.
"The change that is occurring and happening now is a recognition," Dr. Kent Jason Lowry from Northland Orthopedics said.
"That those other more subtle, or softer symptoms - you're dizzy, you're having a headache, you're sensitive to the light, there's been some emotional changes are also signs of a head injury and need to be respected."
The NFL has taken a lead on concussions. Putting it at the top of its priority list for player safety.
The school district of Rhinelander has done this since 2004, requiring athletes to go through an impact test before they participate in sports.
The school also invested in new helmets going into this football season, however helmets sometimes can't even make the difference. It's all about education.
"What we need to do is continue to educate the students," Rhinelander School Nurse Kerri Schmidt said.
"They need to recognize the symptoms. They need to contact the coach and the athletic trainer."
"We're talking about are not symptoms we can do a test for," Dr. Lowry said.
"They're symptoms that you have to tell us about as the athlete. You're the only one that knows if you have them or not."
"It's something they always teach us, but as, being kids, we kind of overlook it," Wilmot said.
Wilmot says he knows why now. He went to the hospital after the game to be checked out.
"Once it actually happens to you, you realize how serious it is," Wilmot admits.
Serious enough to miss school and practice because of it.
"It's the worst," Wilmot said.
"I literally laid in my bed all day for a week straight."
"For us, particularly at the high school level, what we're trying to accomplish is to get people to recognize the symptoms and respect the injury," Dr. Lowry said.
Respecting the injury is worth more than just a few games, it could mean your future.
"A child's brain, an adolescent's brain is a developing brain," Schmidt said.
And one that will hopefully carry student-athletes beyond the athletic fields and into the real world.
The NFLís policy is similar to the youth one.
Most we spoke with agree itís important to have the NFL behind this push because of its wide-reaching influence.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Drug addicts can look nearly everywhere to get their fix, and sometimes they can get that by raiding their family's medicine cabinet.
That's why Lac du Flambeau police gave a drug presentation at an event for the elderly Thursday.
Police leaders wanted to show seniors what could happen if they didn't keep track of their medications.
"A lot of times the elderly and older population can be victims from this. As the younger children, grandchildren, things like that are you know coming in and taking their grandparents prescription drugs," says Sarah Keuer, a nurse at Peter Christensen Health Center.
ACROSS THE U.S. - A new proposal from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would expand regulation on tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, not regulated already by the agency.
The proposal, which was released Thursday, would regulate hookahs, nicotine gels, cigars and e-cigarettes. The FDA currently only regulates cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco.
Some smokers turn to e-cigarettes to try to stop smoking. Medical experts donít know the full health impact of e-cigarettes yet. Leaders at the FDA want to get ahead of the trend.
The proposal would make e-cigarette producers register their products and show their ingredients to the agency.
MADISON - The start of a new short-term loan program that wasn't slated to begin until July has been moved up in an effort to help businesses hurt by recent cutbacks at Oshkosh Corp.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the state's chief jobs agency, voted this week to start the pilot program earlier. It will provide loans or loan guarantees of up to $250,000 to companies for projects or expenses that may not be eligible for traditional financing.
The board says it was starting the program earlier in light of news that Oshkosh was cutting 760 jobs from its defense division because of budget cuts being made by the U.S. Department of Defense.
The loan program this year will only target businesses in Oshkosh Corp.'s supply chain
RHINELANDER - There was no severe weather Thursday, but sirens across the Northwoods were blaring at about 1:45 pm on Thursday.
That's because the National Weather Service held a statewide tornado drill.
It was part of their severe weather awareness week, and Oneida County took part in the drill.
"The sirens are only set off for warnings, in the city of Rhinelander, it's only going to be a Severe Thunderstorm Warning that is affecting the city area," said Oneida County Emergency Management Director Ken Kortenhof. "It's also going to be set off for a Tornado Warning affecting the area."
ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Railroads give businesses a chance to move loads of material for a low cost. Loggers could use rail as an alternative to trucking material, but many businesses donít get that opportunity in the Northwoods anymore.
Canadian National bought rail in the Northwoods about a decade ago. They have cut back service drastically since then.
Some counties haven't seen train travel in years, which hurts business. Now, those businesses want to reestablish rail service.
In response, a group of counties in Northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan formed the Northwoods Rail Transit Commission.
UPDATE: Police believe they made right choice in Nerf gun tickets
WAUSAU - UPDATE: 5:52pm 4/24/2014
Police believe they made the right choice handling a report of gunmen near a high school in Wausau Tuesday night.
They found out the gunmen were actually six kids playing a game with toy Nerf guns.
Police eventually ended up giving the high school seniors disorderly conduct tickets.
Some people thought the tickets were excessive, but in a press release in released Thursday by the Wausau Police Department said they "believed there was a serious, potentially life threatening situation".
Someone called the Wausau police around 9:45 p.m. Tuesday.
The person said there were people pointing guns at other people in a car.
Police say they handled the situation different than a traffic stop because of the seriousness of the call.
After police got all the seniors out of the car, they saw the nerf guns.
The teens got the disorderly conduct citations because police say they caused a disruption in the neighborhood.
Leaders at Wausau West High School said in a statement that there's "potential in a game like this for negative consequences."
Some of the students have also been placed on athletic probation.
Six kids got tickets after a battle using toy Nerf guns in Wausau.
Police issued disorderly conduct citations to the high school seniors.
Some residents of Wausau called police when they saw the young people pointing a gun at a car Tuesday night.
But, it was only a toy Nerf gun that shoots foam bullets.
Wausau West High School officials have also placed some students on athletic probation.
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