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NEWS STORIES

Oneida County prepares for Affordable Care ActSubmitted: 07/06/2013

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RHINELANDER - The Affordable Care Act might make it easier for individuals to have health insurance.

But Oneida County thinks they'll need to increase their workforce to make that happen.

Oneida County Social Services hopes to hire two more case workers.

But the labor relations board and the county board still need to approve the hires.

Social Services wants to be ready to help people apply for health insurance.

Amy Mayo, Oneida County Support Programs Supervisor, says, "The caseload and the volume of work that we'll need to process as a department as a whole will definitely increase for everybody. We're spending this time right now looking at different efficiencies and things we can do to make it as smooth a process as we can for the clients."

The Act, also known as Obamacare, created a marketplace where Americans can buy insurance with the help of the government.

Mayo says a person's income determines the insurance program a person can enroll in.

"Badgercare, again, will be children under 300 percent poverty level, adults under 100 percent poverty level. Marketplace will handle the people that are over 100 percent poverty level and the children over 300 percent poverty level," she says.

Mayo says it can be confusing so it's best to contact Social Services.

They will help you figure out what program you are eligible for.

"With the marketplace, clients also have the ability to apply locally. We will do an income test in the application. They will have to verify their income. If they fall over the 100 percent poverty level as an adult, then we would transfer that application or send them on to the marketplace," says Mayo.

Applications for the Federal Program open October 1st.

Coverage begins January 1st.

Story By: Lauren Stephenson

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Act 10, voter ID, domestic registry decisions nearSubmitted: 07/29/2014

MADISON - The Wisconsin Supreme Court plans to rule Thursday in three major cases.

The court is planning to issue its ruling on the collective bargaining changes Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican Legislature approved in 2011, despite massive protests that led to a series of recall elections.

Elements of the law have been upheld by the state Supreme Court and two federal courts already.

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Upper Penninsula mayor pleads guilty to embezzlementSubmitted: 07/29/2014

ESCANABA, MI - The former mayor of a small Michigan town has admitted to embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from a local service club.

The Daily Press reports (http://bit.ly/1qh77zh ) Leo Evans of Escanaba pleaded guilty Monday to a felony embezzlement charge. He also agreed to pay restitution.

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One person dead after being pulled from lakeSubmitted: 07/29/2014

WOODRUFF - Woodruff police want to know what happened to a person who died after ending up in the water.

The Woodruff Police Department was called to Indian Mounds boat landing about 4:30 p.m. Monday.

Two DNR rangers there had pulled an unconscious male from the lake.

Medical personnel at the scene told officers the victim had died, and the coroner was called.

An autopsy will be performed.

No name will be released until the victim is positively identified.


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Green Bay to consider cell phone ban for driversSubmitted: 07/29/2014

GREEN BAY - Rhinelander and Wausau tried to make streets safer by banning cell phones while driving.

Now Green Bay is the latest city in Wisconsin to consider banning cell phones behind the wheel.

A Green Bay Alderman says he's almost been hit several times by someone talking on their cell phone while driving.

That included his trip to City Hall Monday night.

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Volunteers start setting up Oneida County FairSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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RHINELANDER - Volunteers started preparations Monday for the Oneida County Fair.

About 50 people helped set up.

A lot of work was completed ahead of schedule thanks to volunteers.

Fair leaders think most of the setup will be done Monday.

"We're hoping to be done pretty much today with the initial setup," says Fair Coordinator Nancy Gehrig. "K&M Amusement is already setting up today, which normally they aren't setting up until Tuesday. So yeah, we're ahead of the game already."

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Merrill's downtown mural by student artists evokes history, cultureSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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MERRILL - "We normally do murals inside the high school by famous artists, and we do a re-creation of their work," says Merrill high school junior McKenzie Broeking.

But Broeking is painting with six other juniors, not only outside of the high school, but completely outdoors.

"They've run out of room in the high school for these murals. They have many of them now in the school. They decided to move their talents outside," says Art Lersch, a Community Resource Development Educator with the Lincoln County UW-Extension.

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Study: fist bumps spread 90% fewer germs than handshakesSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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NATIONWIDE - You could spread fewer germs by going with the fist bump instead of a handshake.

A new study from Aberystwyth University in Wales shows a fist bump spreads 90 percent fewer germs compared to a handshake. That could be the difference between staying healthy and getting sick.

"That portion of our hands is subjected to every surface area, desktops, and countertops as well," said Oneida County Public Health Nurse Charlotte Ahrens. "We probably have a gazillion germs that are hitting that surface at any given point in time."

Researchers say the fist bump may be more hygienic because of its speed and smaller surface area. Health leaders like Ahrens say the transfer of some germs can actually help us.

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