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Rabid Bat Found in Northwestern WisconsinSubmitted: 02/05/2013
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - Wisconsin health officials are warning about the threat of being exposed to rabies from bats.

The state Department of Health Services warns that a rabid bat was diagnosed last week in the northwestern part of the state.

State veterinarian Jim Kazmierczak says it's uncommon to find a rabid bat this early in the year, but some have been found in January in the past. Most bats become inactive in winter, but some find shelter indoors and may come into contact with people or pets.

Rabies can be transmitted if there is physical contact with a bat, such as getting a nick from a bat's tooth or claw.

Twenty-nine rabid bats were detected last year in Wisconsin.





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RHINELANDER - At 51 years old, Rhinelander's Chris Moore felt off for months. In May it got worse. His wife knew something was wrong.

"Oh no we're going to call an ambulance," said Chris Moore.

Doctors diagnosed Moore with unhealthy heart muscle, an irregular heartbeat, and heart failure. His heart now works at 20 percent. Moore had to resign from his job a grave digger.

"Hardest thing I've ever done was to sit and watch," said Chris Moore.

Moore's wife Sherri only works part-time and says Chris may have to wait months to years for social security disability to kick in.

"We sold a truck, boat," said Sherri.

But it wasn't enough to pay the bills. That's when a friend unexpectedly stepped up.
 
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Unless you travel to a ranch in Florence County, where the Rock family thinks they've tapped into a special and healthy food source.

Raising bison has always seemed normal to Michael Rock. His favorite is Badaxe, who is 25 years old.
"He became my baby and I feed him maple syrup and apples all the time, that's his favorite treat," said Michael.

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"We got into it for the health issues because now we know what we're eating," said David.
David started the business about 10 years ago. These days, the Rocks have around 130 bison on their Florence County ranch.

"For me this is enjoyment because I'm outside and I'm with my family. And I like to be outside and work with them on that," said David.

Two of the Rocks' four children live and work on the ranch.

"Being able to tell them what to do. I'm still the dad, so I rule the roost. They are a big help and they do have good ideas. You do have to watch the younger generation," said David.

Their daughter, Josie, and son, Michael, help with feeding and maintaining the herd.

"My favorite are the babies. The babies when they're younger, they like fighting and playing. And they'll just be running around and playing," said Josie.

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"Bison is about the only other meat out there that they can eat. It's healthier than chicken, it's healthier than salmon, pig, beef, anything. It's the top of the line," said Karen.

Raising an animal is a large project, one that Michael would like to do for a long time.

"I like bailing hay with the tractors, I like taking care of the animals. I have a future goal, to have big barns full of them," said Michael.

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If Feingold wins the election, he faces incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) in November.

A recent Marquette University Law School poll shows Feingold leading. The link is posted below.

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