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Number of Flu Cases Growing in MilwaukeeSubmitted: 01/09/2013
Story By The Associated Press

MILWAUKEE - Emergency rooms at many Milwaukee area hospitals are being inundated with older patients who have severe flu-like symptoms.

Over the past 10 days, many of those emergency departments have been forced to divert incoming ambulances to other hospitals.

A Milwaukee Health Department official says five to eight of Milwaukee County's 11 hospitals have reported rolling diversions - temporary, periodic shutdowns of emergency departments except for life-threatening cases - because staff and beds are strained by an influx of patients hit hard with the flu.

Other cities around Wisconsin have not reported hospitals being inundated with influenza cases yet.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - State superintendent candidate Lowell Holtz sent a campaign-focused email detailing his support among Republicans using his Whitnall Public School email address during a school day.

The email sent in May appears to be in violation of the state law prohibiting the use of government resources for campaign work.

The email was provided to The Associated Press by the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now which received it through an open records request.

Holtz did not respond to a request for comment.

Former chief state elections administrator Kevin Kennedy says the email does break the law, but it's not likely to rise to the level of something warranting prosecution. Kennedy says it shows more of a lack of judgment than criminal act.

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OCONOMOWOC - A Wisconsin couple is charged with child neglect and suffocation after police say they gagged and "hog-tied" a 12-year-old boy with duct tape while they went out to dinner in December.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the victim's mother and stepfather, of Oconomowoc, each face misdemeanor counts of child neglect and felony counts of suffocation as parties to the crime. The woman faces an additional charge.

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RHINELANDER - The Oneida County woman accused of mistreating animals in her rescue won't go to court next week.

The Oneida County District Attorney's Office confirmed Friday morning that Stephanie Schneider's court appearance Monday has been pushed back.

Police seized 39 dogs from her "It Matters to One" animal rescue in Sugar Camp earlier this month.

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MERCER - Kids across northcentral Wisconsin woke up to the two best words they could hear on Friday: snow day.

Districts all over the area cancelled school because of the winter storm.

As far as we can tell, Mercer was the only school in the area to have class today.

Believe it or not, that was good news for most kids in the area.

View the attached video to see more.

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HAYWARD - Organizers of the American Birkebeiner ski race have canceled this year's event in northern Wisconsin.

A snow storm that's dumped more than 10 inches of snow in parts of Wisconsin since Thursday missed the Hayward and Cable area where the annual cross-country race is held. Officials say record high temperatures and rain recently have left the Birkie course unsafe for a race on Saturday.

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WAUSAU - Earlier this week the Trump administration withdrew protection of federal transgender bathroom rules.

Those rules protect transgender students' right to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity, even if that is different than their gender assigned at birth.

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RHINELANDER - When it snows here in the Northwoods, we usually think about driving conditions and shoveling our driveways. But turns out dealing with the snow can mean both work and play.

If you're sick of digging out your car, try being Chuck Doemel.

"This year's been a really, really mild winter. I can only think of about seven times that we've had to plow and move the snow and move the cars around," said Doemel of Rhinelander Honda.

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