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NEWS STORIES

State of the Art Surgical Robot in the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 12/13/2012
Story By Michael Crusan

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WOODRUFF - Imagine a surgical procedure with faster recovery, less pain and fewer complications and risks.

Thanks to the efforts of area doctors and community members that dream is a reality in Woodruff.

Remarkable only begins to describe the da Vinci Surgical Robot.
Ministry Howard Young Hospital Director of Surgical Services Mike Gibbons says, "We were able to attain this technology in a hospital this size, which is pretty rare."

The Marshfield Clinic and Ministry Howard Young Hospital teamed up to perform some of the latest and most advanced surgeries in medicine.

Dr. John Twelmeyer with the Marshfield Clinic says, "The surgeon sits at the console and operates the arms of the da Vinci with just two fingers on each side."

At the helm of the da Vinci surgical robot the technology is something you might think that you'd find down at the Mayo Clinic or in the Cook County Hospital in Chicago.

But actually, it's found right here in the Northwoods.

That's because patients and doctors all got together because they wanted to see something they could bring into a Northwoods community here at the Howard Young Medical Center so patients could have quicker recovery times and more accurate procedures.

Gibbons says, "The people we've talked to have been incredibly amazed that they've been able to have this done here locally."

The robot can move past the limitations of the human hand with it's four robotic arms and high definition imagery.

Twelmeyer explains, "Instruments actually have more maneuverability than the human wrist does. So you can get in there and do very delicate dissections that you wouldn't otherwise be able to do with the regular laparoscopic equipment."

The da Vinci isn't able to perform every kind of operation, but the list is growing.

Gibbons says, "Currently, in addition to gynecology, we also offer urology services for operations of the prostate and kidney. As well as general surgery for colon surgery, gall bladder and things of that nature."

Twelmeyer says, even though the robot is reliable and can handle most procedures with ease, human hands are always on standby, "The whole O.R. crew is still in the room. The only difference is the surgeon isn't standing at the tableside. He or she is standing or sitting at the console."

Using the latest in medical technology and within a short drive for some of the most rural patients in the state.

The four surgeons who are trained to use the da Vinci Surgical Robot have already exceeded their operation goals in the first few months it's been up and running.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Put on your dancing shoes! Rhinelander is offering a ballroom dancing classSubmitted: 09/30/2014

RHINELANDER - Do you have a wedding or social event coming up... but feel like you have two left feet?
Well, there's still time to learn some fancy footwork of your own.

The Rhinelander Community Education program will be holding a ballroom class next Tuesday, October 7th.
You can come alone or as a couple, but you must register beforehand.
The instructor will go over the basics of swing, waltz and polka.

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Nearly 17,000 attended Beef-A-Rama, more than 2013 total Submitted: 09/29/2014

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MINOCQUA - Leaders at the Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce believe nearly 17,000 people came to the area for Beef-A-Rama.

Last year, about 15,000 people attended. Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Krystal Westfahl believes the significance of the 50th anniversary celebration played a role.

"It was huge for us to have this 50th anniversary, but I also think the fact that the weather was so great," said Westfahl. "People are just really getting to know the Minocqua area as just being full of life."

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Local pharmacies and clinics prep flu vaccineSubmitted: 09/29/2014

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RHINELANDER - About 62 million Americans got their flu shot as of September 19.

Health leaders believe that the flu shot is the best way to prevent getting sick this season.

Pharmacies and clinics in the Northwoods are prepared to hand out flu shots.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say manufacturers believe 151-159 million doses of flu vaccine will be produced this season.

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Naked, screaming man arrested at Capitol rotundaSubmitted: 09/29/2014

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MADISON - State officials are looking into how a naked man found his way into the Wisconsin state Capitol's rotunda.

The man appeared undressed in the rotunda around 4 p.m. Monday and began shouting at the top of his lungs. It was unclear what he was saying.

A Capitol Police officer quickly led him away.

Stephanie Marquis is a spokeswoman for the state Department of Administration, which oversees the Capitol Police. She says the man was screaming that he was Jesus Christ. She says he will be taken to jail on suspicion of disorderly conduct and lewd and lascivious behavior.

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Lawmaker's daughter faces new drug chargesSubmitted: 09/29/2014

GREEN BAY - The daughter of a Wisconsin lawmaker faces new criminal charges accusing her of possessing narcotics.

Twenty-five-year-old Cassie Nygren of Marinette appeared in Brown County court on Monday after being arrested Friday morning. Nygren faces two counts of possession of narcotic drugs and one count of possessing an illegally obtained prescription.

Nygren's struggle with heroin has made her a face of recovery and prompted her father, Republican state Rep. John Nygren, to draft legislation aimed at helping addicts.

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Deer crashes may increase across the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 09/29/2014

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WAUSAU - You may start seeing more and more deer on the side of the road.

October is one of the worst months for deer crashes. Deer are on the move during that month because it is their mating season.

State patrol officers urge people to use caution when driving on dark highways.

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FAA: 2 weeks to reopen Chicago-area control centerSubmitted: 09/29/2014

CHICAGO - The Federal Aviation Administration says it will take about two weeks to fully reopen a Chicago-area control center where an act of sabotage brought the city's two international airports to a halt last week.

The FAA said Sunday it hopes to return the facility to full service by Oct. 13.

Authorities say a contract employee started a fire Friday at regional control center in suburban Aurora and then attempted to commit suicide. More than 2,000 flights were canceled that day at O'Hare and Midway international airports, disrupting travel nationwide.

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