Use caution, and know the fireworks laws this Independence Day
Story By Lyndsey Stemm
RHINELANDER - Independence Day and fireworks go hand in hand. Unfortunately so do fireworks and injuries.
So before you start lighting fuses, the Oneida County Health Department has a few safety tips. Their first tip -- just don't light off fireworks.
They'd like for you to leave fireworks to the professionals. But if you do decide to celebrate the holiday with a bang, the department has two major pieces of advice.
"A: we want to make sure that adults are the ones lighting the fireworks out of reach of children. And don't let the children ignite the fireworks. Never trust a dud. Let it sit and then douse it with water. Another thing would be always having water handy," says Rob Deede, an Oneida County Public Health Nurse.
Deede says letting kids play with fireworks is the biggest mistake people make. He also reminds you to follow directions on the packaging, never point a firework at another person, only light one firework at time and leave pets inside.
The Oneida County Health Department has more firework safety tips on their website- you can find that on our links page.
Each town has its own rules about which fireworks you're allowed to have.
Rhinelander has a ban on anything that explodes or leaves the ground, unless you have a permit. That means inside the city limits you can only use smaller fireworks that do things like make noise, and shower sparklers.
Police will be on the lookout for people breaking the rules.
"Our city adopts the state statutes concerning fireworks. You would be looking at roughly a $263.50 fine for a fireworks violation within the City of Rhinelander. Certainly, that amount can change if it's in one of the outlying townships or other communities within the county," says Ron Lueneburg from the Rhinelander Police Department.
You're responsible for fining out what your town allows. And if you let things get out of control and set something on fire, you'll be held responsible.
Captain Lueneburg recommends leaving the pyrotechnics to the professionals. Rhinelander's fireworks show will be Thursday night over Boom Lake.
RHINELANDER - This year the PotatoFest in Rhinelander will still have the favorites, like the French Fry Frenzy and Polka Sunday.
But there will also be a few new additions like a beanbag toss tournament, and potato pantyhose bowling.
"The pantyhose bowling that's where you wear a pantyhose on your head and it's filled with a potato, and then you have to swing your head to knock pins, or knock the ball down to knock the pins over," said DRI Executive Director Maggie Steffen.
VILAS COUNTY - Whether you're in the Northwoods for Labor Day Weekend or you call it home, you will have to be more careful around mosquitoes.
A dead crow in Vilas County tested positive for West Nile Virus, which is carried by mosquitoes.
According to a Vilas County Public Health Department press release, this is the first bird this summer to test positive for it.
Gina Egan of the Vilas County Health Department said over the years the county has found infected birds.
Egan suggests avoiding mosquitoes and wearing bug spray. She also suggests getting rid of standing water outside your home, such as bird baths or gutters.
Public health nurses stress that most people who do get West Nile do not get sick.
"Twenty percent of the people have it really mild," said Oneida County public health nurse Dawn Klink. "Eighty percent of the people have no symptoms. And less than one percent get really really deathly ill. And those are usually the ones that get tested for it and go in. Other people just think they've got a bug and don't go in."
Nurses want you to call the local health department if you do see a dead bird.
If you do feel you have severe symptoms of West Nile, nurses say to go to your doctor to get tested.
MINOCQUA - Heading back to school makes many students stress about what they are going to wear, especially when it comes to that first day look. And educators at one Northwoods school want their students to know that dressing for success, is more important than dressing to fit in.
At Lakeland Union High School, the dress code is designed to promote making wise fashion choices. Administrators say they want students to get in the routine of dressing, as if they're going to work.
"We're teaching them how to get ready for college and how to get ready for a career that they're going to be going into, 'career and college readiness', we want to make sure that they understand 'dressing for success', and a lot of times we spend a lot of time talking from that point of view," said Lakeland Union High School principal Jim Bouche.
Lakeland Union High School doesn't require uniforms, but they do have specific guidelines in place. They don't spell out what students can wear, but instead tell them what they can't. The overall goal is to keep kids focused in class.
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