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Tourist Spending Increased in 2012 for Oneida CountySubmitted: 05/03/2013
Story By Kailey Burton

Tourist Spending Increased in 2012 for Oneida County
ONEIDA COUNTY - This year it seems like tourists may NEVER come if this weather keeps up, but last year in Oneida County tourism was up.

Visitors spent 5.56% more than they did the year before. That's an extra $10 million for a total of $186 million.

Popular events consistently bring in visitors, but THIS much of an increase could mean the economy is getting better, and teamwork in advertising is paying off.

"The prices are rising, maybe less flights, people aren't flying as much. Because we're a 'drive-to' destination in Wisconsin, that boosts our overall toursim. And when you think of visiting Wisconsin, a lot of people think of the Northwoods so we hope to capture some of that," said Lara Reed, with the Oneida County Tourism Council.

Tourist dollars helped support more than 1,500 jobs in Oneida County in 2012. One of the biggest events is Hodag Country Festival. That draws in an average of $3 million PER DAY.


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NORTHWOODS - Next Monday's solar eclipse will look fascinating, but it can damage your eyes for a lifetime.

It's never safe to look directly at the sun's rays, even though there will be a partial eclipse here in the Northwoods.

Regular sunglasses won't protect you, so if you plan to view the solar eclipse you need special solar eclipse sunglasses.

Those glasses are one size fits all, so it's important to check they are snug on your child's head, too.

Kids are curious, and may want to fixate on the crescent beam of light.

"We know children are going to want to peek over the top and in just 20 to 30 seconds they could be doing damage to their eye, " says Dr. Jill Redman.

The solar eclipse light is not as intense as regular sunlight.

You won't actually feel the damage being done until the next day because the reflex to turn away won't be there.

"Missing blurry vision and central vision. Afterwards you could have light sensitivity. You could also have watering eyes. But some of the damage with maculopathy can be permanent," says Dr. Ben Redman.

Dr. Ben says if you don't have those special solar glasses, the safest option is to avoid it entirely and watch online.

When in doubt, call your eye doctor.

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RHINELANDER - Marshfield Clinic calls Oneida County's rejection of a Minocqua hospital an "erroneous application of the law."

Marshfield Clinic cites 14 court decisions from across the country in its appeal of the Planning Committee's June vote to deny a conditional use permit (CUP).

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TOMAHAWK - You probably won't think about the Christmas season for quite some time. But at the Steigerwaldt Tree Farms in Tomahawk, the Christmas season is a year round affair. 
 
For Steigerwaldt Tree Farms President and CEO Ed Steigerwaldt...'Oh, Christmas Tree' took on a different meaning at a young age.

"I started working the tree fields with my dad when I was eight or nine years old," said Steigerwaldt.
Decades later, he's still in those fields, singing a different tune this time of year.

August means trees won't be cut for several months. Planting happened in the spring, but it's still a busy time getting trees sheared and tagged.

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RHINELANDER - Our nervous system controls the whole show when it comes to our bodies, especially how they feel.

Chiropractic care is one method people use to keep that system moving.

Hometown Chiropractic is new to Rhinelander, but it's no stranger to the Northwoods; its main location is in Tomahawk.


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RHINELANDER - You probably wouldn't consider a dark, smelly alley an ideal place to sit and relax.  Maggie Steffen agrees, which is why she's planning to transform an alley on Brown Street in Rhinelander.

Steffen plans to tackle the project in three phases.  Phase one is lighting the alley, which sits between The Brick restaurant and Bath and Body Creations.  Downtown Rhinelander, Inc. agreed to pay about $2,800 for five LED lights if the city  would pay for the electricity.  

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RHINELANDER - DNR Furbearer Research Scientist Dr. Nathan Roberts calls bobcats "a conservation success story."
Their population numbers are up across the United States.

The DNR doubled the harvest quota this year at 750 bobcats because of that healthy population size.

"While the population's grown, we've also increased our understanding of bobcats considerably. Working together with hunters and trappers across the state we've increased our understanding of bobcats and our ability to monitor bobcats," said Roberts.

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CRANDON - The lawyer for Sokaogon Chippewa Tribal Chair Chris McGeshick repeated that allegations of battery and false imprisonment are "absolutely false" at McGeshick's first appearance in Forest County Court Wednesday.

McGeshick faces one felony count and two misdemeanor counts in Forest County Court.

A former tribal member told police McGeshick slammed him against a wall at the Sokaogon Chippewa Tribal Offices in late June.

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