RHINELANDER - New numbers released by the Army show an alarming increase in suicides.
Army suicide data from 2012 showed the highest numbers on record.
In 2012 there were 182 potential active-duty suicides.
130 cases were confirmed and 52 still remain under investigation.
Tim Bahr runs a peer support group for veterans at the Rhinelander VA clinic.
He says one suicide is too many.
"For someone who has served as long as I have, and with so many organizations, in the military. My first response is terror. Sympathy for the families, empathy and just you shake your head and what could you have done better," said peer support specialist Tim Bahr.
The Army says it's continuing to take agressive measures to prevent suicide.
That includes programs like the "Strong Bonds Program" and "Suicide Prevention Month."
The Rhinelander VA clinic doesn't offer programs for active military members.
But they do offer support for veterans who have served.
"There's places that they can go, and here in Rhinelander unfortunately this is the only place in the United States where we do a peer support recovery program, and we've got a behavior health team that has a peer specialist on it, so we're able to service those veterans who are suicidal, who do have those challenges," said Bahr.
MERRILL - You won't find candy bars or chips in the new vending machine at Ministry Good Samaritan in Merrill. This machine dispenses prescription medication.
It won't replace the regular pharmacist. But it will help patients who visit the hospital late at night.
"It allows patients to receive full prescriptions after hours for the local pharmacies. So if you have babe in arms that's sick that needs a prescription, we can fill that full prescription and get you on your way within less than five minutes," says Pharmacy Manager Jim Mason.
The machine has anything you would need for infections or pain; the kind of things a person goes to the ER for.
It's the fifth machine in Ministry facilities. Pharmacy Manager Jim Mason says they have a track record of safety. Each prescription is triple checked before it's dispensed.
"There has never been an error from dispensing the InstyMeds. So it's extremely safe, and it's well over a million prescriptions through InstyMeds," says Mason.
So far the Good Samaritan machine has filled around a hundred prescriptions. Doctors and patients say it's worked out well.
WOODRUFF - The capitol may be far away but one of our local legislators wants to bring it closer. Assemblyman Rob Swearingen is meeting with constituents around the 34th district.
He visited Woodruff and Eagle River today.
Swearingen is five months into his freshman term. He wants to make sure people can put a face to his name.
He also wants reach those who might be skeptical of him because of his political party.
"You get that, just because I have the "R" in the back of my name that you're automatically not going to be friendly to those issues. And we encourage you to reach out. I may respond and it may not be the response you want to hear, but if you're going to ask me an honest question I'm going to give you an honest answer," says Rep. Swearingen.
Swearingen says everyone's working hard on the budget in Madison. He's hearing a lot of concerns about school funding locally.
"I just really feel that people should be engaged with their own local legislators so the legislator knows them, and knows how they feel. And I showed him my tax bill and he got a real perspective for someone who's on a fixed income and how all the costs for education impact one of his constituents," says Shirley Kufeldt, from Conover.
"We're looking for more funding for the K-12 funding program. I think there's been a lot of heightened awareness in the capital on both sides of the isle and in the Governor's office. So I'm looking for hopefully some good results to help rural schools as the budget moves forward before the Governor signs it in the first part of July," says Rep. Swearingen.
Swearingen's first budget motion was to allow Nicolet College to be eligible for state aid based on enrollment. That motion passed unanimously.
He says his weekly drive to his office in Madison is a reality check.
"There's the state capitol and you realize that your office is inside that building. It's a really surreal feeling to walk into that building each morning. Every time I press that button, whether it's green or red, I am voting on behalf of over 50,000 people in the 34th Assembly District. And that is something you don't take lightly," says Rep. Swearingen.
Swearingen will continue district dialogues on Monday. He'll be in Florence, Rhinelander and Crandon.
Florence, May 20th 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM Maxsells Restaurant Inn & Pub, 209 Central Ave, (US Highway 2)
Crandon, May 20th 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM Forest County Courthouse, Board Room
ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - A week with little to no rain pushed fire risks dangerously high across northern Wisconsin. A fire in Bayfield spanning 9-thousand acres destroyed 17 homes. Fire crews want everyone to be smart about burning this time of year.
A small burn got out of control on Loop Heights Road in Pine Lake today. Fire Chief, Brian Gehrig, says the weather conditions make it easy for fires to get out of control.
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Neither Rockfleet Broadcasting / Northland Television, Inc. nor By Request Web Designs shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, or misprints.