RHINELANDER - Within the next few weeks the water will warm up and families will start to hit the beaches at our local lakes.
The Oneida County Drowning Prevention Task Force wants parents to remember to keep their eyes open.
In the last three years three people have drowned in Oneida County. It's the leading cause of death in one to four-year-olds.
Local advocates say preventing it can be as easy as keeping your eyes on the water.
"The big thing is that parents are supervising the kids; that they're not texting, they're not reading, they're not sleeping in the sun; that there is a designated water watcher. And they can pick up the water watcher card here at the Y if they're interested in having a card for themselves," says YMCA Aquatics Director Melissa Nieman.
When groups go to the beach having a water watcher card can help adults share the responsibility.
They can take turns being in charge of paying complete attention to what's going on in the water, and tuning out everything else.
The YMCA of the Northwoods also offers the SPLASH program. It's funded through the United Way, and is free to the public. Kids can take an hour lesson on water safety.
RHINELANDER - Nineteen months ago, 10 police agencies surrounded the Tripoli home of Kenneth Welsh.
Police say Welsh caused a three-hour standoff, threatened to blow up his house, and threatened to kill his wife.
Later in court, he was convicted of two felonies and sentenced to three years in prison by Oneida County Judge Michael Bloom.
But now, those convictions and prison sentence have been erased. This month, while in prison, Welsh argued he didn't fully understand all the elements of one of the crimes to which he pleaded no contest, first-degree recklessly endangering safety. Welsh's motion put some of the blame on his defense attorney, Rod Streicher.
RHINELANDER - This holiday season, you might want to tell your child to hug family members at holiday gatherings.
The Girls Scouts of the USA hopes you won't. The organization is saying daughters don't owe anyone physical affection, and that the expectation of hugs and kisses could have bad aftereffects later in life.
"I think for some people, it is a new concept," said Melissa K., the domestic violence coordinator at Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual assault, which is based in Rhinelander.
In a post, the Girl Scouts of the USA told parents their daughters don't "owe anyone a hug. Not even at the holidays."
RHINELANDER - A number of Rhinelander police and firefighters will work a weekend morning shift in December and won't get paid for it. It's an extra task they're happy to help with.
The Rhinelander Police Department's Shop With a Cop program returns December 16. Police and firefighters take 20 third grade students from Crescent, Pelican, Zion, and Nativity schools shopping for Christmas presents at Walmart. The schools recommend students for the event.
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