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NEWS STORIES

UPDATE: West Nile now also found in Vilas CountySubmitted: 07/19/2013
Story By Newswatch 12 Team

EAGLE RIVER - From the Vilas County Health Department:

The Vilas County Public Health Department reports a dead crow found in Vilas County on 7/9/13 has tested positive for West Nile virus. This is the first bird that tested positive for West Nile virus in Vilas County since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began May 1.

"The positive bird means that residents of Vilas County need to be more vigilant in their personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites," Gina Egan, Health Officer/ Public Health Director said.

West Nile virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes acquire the virus by feeding on infected birds.

"Vilas County residents should be aware of West Nile virus and take some simple steps to protect themselves against mosquito bites," Egan said. "The West Nile virus seems to be here to stay, so the best way to avoid the disease is to reduce exposure to and eliminate breeding grounds for mosquitoes."

The Vilas County Public Health Department recommends the following:

Limit time spent outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
Apply insect repellant to clothing as well as exposed skin since mosquitoes may bite through clothing.
Make sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquito entry.
Properly dispose of items that hold water, such as tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or discarded tires.
Clean roof gutters and downspouts for proper drainage.
Turn over wheelbarrows, wading pools, boats, and canoes when not in use.
Change the water in birdbaths and pet dishes at least every three days.
Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs; drain water from pool covers.
Trim tall grass, weeds, and vines since mosquitoes use these areas to rest during hot daylight hours.
Landscape to prevent water from pooling in low-lying areas.

The majority of people (80%) who are infected with West Nile virus do not get sick. Those who do become ill usually experience mild symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle ache, rash, and fatigue. Less than 1% of people infected with the virus get seriously ill with symptoms that include high fever, muscle weakness, stiff neck, disorientation, mental confusion, tremors, confusion, paralysis, and coma. Older adults (age 50+) and those with compromised immune systems are at greater risk of developing central nervous system illness that can be fatal.

The Department of Health Services has monitored the spread of West Nile virus since 2001 among wild birds, horses, mosquitoes, and people. During 2002, the state documented its first human infections and 52 cases were reported that year.

During 2012, 57 cases of West Nile virus infection were reported among Wisconsin residents, the highest annual number of cases reported since surveillance began in Wisconsin. West Nile virus infections in humans have been reported from June through October; however, most reported becoming ill with West Nile virus in August and September.

The Wisconsin Division of Public Health will continue surveillance for West Nile virus until the end of the mosquito season. To report a sick or dead crow, blue jay, or raven, please call the Dead Bird Reporting Hotline at 1-800-433-1610.



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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 09/19/2014

- A cool summer and lots of rain hurt grape growing conditions this year. Some winemakers in the Northwoods don't have enough grapes to make wine, and they worry the harsh weather may have ruined their vineyards. Newswatch 12's Karolina Buczek went to the Brigadoon Winery to find out what winemakers are doing to make enough wine this year.

- We meet the new executive director of the Human Service Center in Rhinelander. The group helps people in Oneida, Forest and Vilas counties.

- And a recent report by the National Audubon Society says climatic changes could threaten birds in the Northwoods by the year 2080. We look at the study and hear from an expert on what we can do to stop it.

We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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Bad weather takes a toll on local vineyardsSubmitted: 09/19/2014

TRIPOLI - A cool summer and a lot of rain hurt grape growing conditions this year. Some winemakers in the Northwoods don't have enough grapes to make wine and they worry the harsh weather may have hurt their vineyards.

"Here's a couple of vines that we lost," explained David Welbes, owner of Brigadoon Winery. "They died."

Many vineyards in the Northwoods don't look good this year. The bad weather has made it nearly impossible for grapes to grow into a healthy crop.

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Update: Body of missing boater found in Kenosha CountySubmitted: 09/19/2014

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KENOSHA - Update: 9/19/14 4:15pm

Sheriff's officials say the body of a missing fisherman has been recovered from a lake in Kenosha County.

Authorities say the body of 66-year-old John Spoor, of McHenry, Illinois, was found in about 7 feet of water Friday morning.

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Fall color contest looking for best shots in NW WisconsinSubmitted: 09/19/2014

PRICE COUNTY - Fall could give you the chance to win some cash for your photography. Travel Northwest Wisconsin is looking for the best fall photos from the area.

The photos must come from areas in northwestern Wisconsin like Iron, Rusk and Sawyer County. Price County Director of Tourism Kathy Reinhard believes her area will offer good opportunities for photographers.

"It's just spectacular. It doesn't matter if you're on the trails doing silent sports, motorized sports, or if you prefer the water trails canoeing down the Flambeau River, you'll find beautiful color throughout the county."

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Northwoods program offers college courses for students with intellectual disabilitiesSubmitted: 09/19/2014

RHINELANDER - Some Northwoods groups work hard to make sure everyone can experience college.

The Jump Start program in Rhinelander teaches job skills to people with intellectual disabilities. The program is held at Nicolet College.

Nicolet College, Northland Pines and Rhinelander School Districts and Headwaters work together on the program.

Students learn skills for jobs during the fall semester.

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Northwoods churches invite people in for Back to Church SundaySubmitted: 09/19/2014

RHINELANDER - Northwoods ministers want more people to go to church this Sunday. That's true every Sunday, but they're putting a special emphasis on this week.

Calvary Baptist Church in Rhinelander is one of many churches taking part in National Back to Church Sunday.

A vast majority of Americans believe in God,but a much smaller minority attend church on a regular basis.

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Sentencing planned for attack on corrections officerSubmitted: 09/19/2014

WAUSAU - A man convicted of attacking a jail officer in Marathon County will learn his sentence today.

22 year old Fredrick Morris pled no contest to agrivated battery and battery by a prisoner.

Prosecutors say Morris was the inmate who threw a punch which knocked a Marathon County jail officer unconscious.

The attack happened last year in March.

Julie Christensen was critically injured and admitted to the hospital.

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