RHINELANDER - Giving blood saves lives. But just one blood bank serves every Ministry hospital in the area. They face a supply and demand fight every day.
"It's amazing how much blood the body holds. If we didn't have these backups like this, we'd be in a lot of trouble," says first time donor James Steimmetz, from Rhinelander.
The Community Blood Center supplies 100 percent of the blood to the five area Ministry hospitals and the VA hospital. It has regular donation sites, but has to take its show on the road to get all the blood that's needed.
"In this busy, stressed out world that we all live in, it's great to come to places where people are either working or working out. So we have drives all over," says Jan Hadsell, from the Community Blood Center.
Steimmetz came to the YMCA for a workout, saw the signs and thought, "why not?"
"It's the chance to save somebody's life. Everybody should give something; that's what I think," says Steimmetz.
The whole process from start to finish takes about 45 minutes. Your one pint of blood can help up to three people.
"It could be in the hospitals tomorrow. We have about a 24 hour turnaround time," says Hadsell.
And if you're a little nervous to donate for the first time, staff recommend focusing on the fact that you're helping someone.
"That someone could be someone in your family, or your neighbor, or your friend," says Hadsell.
A friend who might get a second shot at life.
You can find information on Blood Center's next blood drives at the link below.
RHINELANDER - Smartphone tracking technology can rescue lost drivers, help authorities find kidnapped victims and let parents keep tabs on their kids. However, this tracking can turn to stalking if the wrong person uses it. "It's actually something that's more common than you would think. That it's a very dangerous…it's a volatile situation because the perpetrator will know where the victim is at all times," said Tri-County Council Domestic Violence Coordinator Melissa P.
She says stalkers can find where you live, where you work, and even what stores you shop at. "The abuser starts to lose control when they go to all lengths to find their victim...If they feel like they are losing control…they have nothing else to lose," explained Melissa.
AT&T Sales Consultant Dusty Struck says stalkers can track smartphones by hacking into a built in chip. "It's like a GPS location services…basically every smartphone has a GPS chip built inside of it," said Struck.
RHINELANDER - If you did a double take driving down county highways this week, it was for good reason. Oneida County posted its weight limit restriction signs Monday. That's the earliest those signs have gone up in more than 15 years.
Usually weight limits go into effect in mid-March. Counties put them on to protect roads as frost comes out of the ground. Oneida County Highway Commissioner Bruce Stefonek tried to wait as long as possible.
MCALLEN, TX - U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan is visiting the Rio Grande valley for a firsthand look at the U.S.-Mexico border as the Trump administration steps up immigration enforcement and prepares to ask Congress to pay for a border wall.
It's the first time the Wisconsin Republican has visited the border, and protests have been announced to meet his arrival in McAllen, Texas, on Wednesday.
ONEIDA COUNTY - If your truck cracks through the ice, your first thought might be, "get off ASAP."
There are workers who head the opposite way--onto the ice to help.
That describes one local team who carefully went to work on the Willow Flowage in Oneida County in Little Rice on Tuesday.
"This ain't no joke out here," said Tom Quandt, Jr., the owner of Bulldog Off-Road Recovery Service. "I do get nervous, and today's a day I'm nervous because of the ice conditions."
That nervous energy is what likely helps Quandt and his crew carefully cross the ice and get sunken vehicles back above water level.
It's not easy. Quandt and his crew set nerves aside, driving in a bombardier about two miles off the shore on Willow Dam Road to get to the truck, which was near an island.
"I was looking at the ice," Quandt says as he describes the drive out to the car. "I was looking for holes in the ice, I was looking for the color of the ice...There was water coming up out of spots as we were driving out here."
The crew tried a few times to get the truck back on safer ice, but the car fell through again. The crew then decided to drill a trench to a nearby island and pull the car out that way.
"We can sit and play that game all day and it's not going to get us anywhere without a lot of time and labor into this," Quandt said.
The team got the car out and onto the island around 1 a.m. Wednesday.
Quandt said the owner of the car may try to tow his truck back to shore later this week.
The DNR is aware of the situation. By state statute, you have 30 days to remove your car from the ice or get a fine.
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