RHINELANDER - Hodag Country Fest may be one big party.
But if you're not careful, you can become one of the many people that need medical attention from a little too much partying.
"Since we started on Wednesday morning we've had less than 10 people that we've had to treat in some way," says Cathy Stange, Hodag Country Fest's EMS Coordinator.
She knows that number will rise. She's been Hodag Country Fest's EMS coordinator for a decade.
The 4-day music festival is a playground to country music fans.
But sometimes the fun can go a little too far.
"We see even a greater increase in the patient population that comes in," says Chris Krebs, Director of St. Mary's Patient Care Services.
June and July are the busiest months for Saint Mary's Hospital in Rhinelander.
Hodag Country Fest adds to the 10 to 15 percent increase in traffic for the hospital.
"It's weather dependent. The hotter it is, the more dehydration we see. The more sunburns. If it's a wetter year, we see less of that," adds Krebs.
Medical professionals at both Country Fest and St. Mary's say the most popular medical issues they treat are dehydration, small cuts, and sprains.
But one issue may be surprising: carbon monoxide poisoning.
"We need to have people be careful with their generators and with running vehicles next to a tent or a camper because those fumes can go into the camper and cause carbon monoxide poisoning," Stange says.
To be sure they're helping everyone who may need them, there are at least six to ten medical professionals on-site at all times.
"We have carts that go out throughout the campgrounds including the overflow campgrounds. And we also have walking crews that go out into the show area," Stange adds.
So how can you avoid getting sick or injured at Hodag Fest?
"Be careful. Be aware of your surroundings. Drink plenty of fluids. Keep in mind that alcohol and caffeine dehydrate," urges Stange.
But do enjoy the festival.
"Hodag is meant to be fun. It's meant to be relaxing. We want the attendees to have a great time. Be safe. But if you do have something come up, we're here for you," says Krebs.
RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Salvation Army hopes to raise $40,000 in its bell ringing campaign again this year. It reached that goal during the holidays a year ago.
Volunteers kicked off the bell ringing drive at Trig's and Shopko on Friday. Eighty-six percent of money raised stays in the Rhinelander area to help families in emergencies.
"We're very excited that we're keeping our goal at 40 (thousand dollars) this year, and we're hoping that people are continuing to be generous in helping us reach that goal," Rhinelander Salvation Army Kettle Coordinator Kim Swisher said. "People are friendly, they're excited, they're like, 'Oh, it's bell ringing time!' [That] always means the holidays. We're excited about that."
You'll see volunteers at Trig's and Shopko through the holidays. Bell ringing starts at Walmart next week.
ROSENDALE, WI - An explosion and fire at a cheese plant in Fond du Lac County sent one person to the hospital.
The sheriff's office says 36-year-old Travis Klotzbach, of Brandon, was using a cutting torch on an empty 55-gallon barrel in the auto shop at Knaus Cheese near Rosendale when the explosion happened just after 7 a.m. Friday.
TOMAHAWK - Thirty-two-year-old Eric Lee Moen of Wausau is charged with shooting and killing his friend of four and a half years, Charles K. Ramp with a long gun. Moen is currently in Lincoln County Jail on a $1 million cash bond.
On Friday morning, Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins held a press conference to explain what police think led up to the shooting.
UPDATE: The suspected shooter from a homicide in Tomahawk has been identified as Eric Lee Moen, 32. Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins confirmed Moen is being held in the Lincoln County Jail for a 1st-degree intentional homicide charge.
The Lincoln County Clerk of Courts reports Moen is being held on a $1 million cash bond. He has yet to appear in court, but an initial appearance has been set for Monday at 1:30 p.m.
Online court records show Moen was convicted of various traffic offenses. He was also convicted of misdemeanor battery in Portage County from a 2002 case.
Elvins plans to release more information Friday afternoon.
Tomahawk police identified the victim in the city's first shooting homicide in years. Friday morning, Police Chief Al Elvins announced Charles K. Ramp, 52, was shot and killed outside his home on W. Mohawk Drive Thursday night.
Police arrested the suspected shooter, a 32-year-old man from Wausau, but did not identify him. The suspect was found about 130 miles away in Lake Hallie, which is near Eau Claire.
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