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.
WAUSAU - Students at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau got to see Tibetan monks create a work of art steeped in Buddhist history.
The Mandala Sand Art is an ancient Tantric Buddhist tradition dating back thousands of years.
The Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery are on an international tour called Mystical Arts of Tibet where they create mandalas in front of an audience.
"The colored patterns we are using, we are following the scriptures, the Buddhist scriptures. It's a very old tradition, more than 2,500 years ago," says Geshe Loden, head of the Mystical Arts of Tibet.
The monks' last visit to Northcentral Technical College in 2011 was so popular, they were invited back.
"At NTC we feel like it's important to offer our students a variety of different programming, and one of the things we feel our responsibility to do is expose our students to other cultures, other religions, other ideas," says Director of Student Development Shawn Sullivan.
The monks work hours at a time placing sand delicately in the lines of the intricate pattern.
The mandala will take them four days to complete, but the beautiful creation won't last long.
"After finishing this, making the mandala, we consecrate this completed mandala, and we dismantle it to symbolize the impermanence of all the conditioned things, all the phenomena," says Loden.
The monks' tour raises money for more than 3,000 monasteries in India. They also do it to raise awareness about the plight of Tibetans.
"Lord Buddha had started this, and that tradition keeps going on."
RHINELANDER - The Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce group held a seminar at Nicolet College in Rhinelander Tuesday, to plan how to make Wisconsin more attractive to skilled workers and manufacturing businesses.
WMC's president believes the shortage in younger people in the industry has to do with two big misconceptions about manufacturing.
"The younger kids, as do their parents, have a perception on what manufacturing looks like and it's about 40 years out of date. If you're in an advanced manufacturing facility now, it's clean, it's high-tech, the engineers and technicians are working together," said Jim Morgan."We have a perception problem. I think we still have a definition of success that's says unless you have a four-year degree, you're not successful."
Morgan says groups like WMC work to change that perception. He believes workers with a two-year degree are just as successful in the industry.
So far, WMC held seminars at nine other technical colleges. For Rhinelander, more manufacturers could mean more economic independence.
"The Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce is looking to see how it can help and partner with local manufacturers to make the Rhinelander area a more favorable place for them to locate their businesses, as well as to attract and retain skilled workers to make those businesses successful," said Dana DeMet, Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce director.
Over the next six months, WMC will continue to look for ways to attract more workers and businesses to the state.
In December, it hopes to have 1000 representatives for a meeting in Milwaukee focusing on how manufacturing will benefit the state.
WMC also works with the University of Wisconsin system and the Wisconsin Technical Colleges.
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Rockfleet Broadcasting / Northland Television, Inc. and By Request Web Designs shall not be held responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, or misprints.