RHINELANDER - Natural disasters don't happen often in the Northwoods.
But Oneida County Emergency Management needs to make sure their fire departments know what to do if it does.
Oneida County Airport wasn't just for planes this weekend.
Fire departments and more than 40 firefighters trained for a natural disaster Saturday morning.
They practice every other month, but nothing like this.
"This is the first time we actually incorporated MABAS, our Mutual Aid Box Alarm System into a water shuttle drill." said Oneida County Emergency Management director, Ken Kortenhof.
MABAS is a system that Wisconsin adopted in 2006.
"Basically what that does, we pre-plan them ahead of time and they don't have to worry about deciding at the time which units to call and where they're coming from," Kortenhof said.
"It's a good system and it works well with the fire service."
Five different stations set up on the airports runway.
First stop was checking in.
The second station was incident command post.
"Right now they're directing the different tanker trucks and different tender trucks where to go and how to shuttle water." said Kortenhof.
After that it's off to the lake to fill the tankers.
Each truck can hold about one thousand gallons of water.
Then they have to find a place to put the extra water.
"When we're at a fire or something, we have what's called drop tanks. The tenders come in and they fill those drop tanks up and then those drop tanks feed the engines. The engines spray on to the fire." Kortenhof said.
Firefighters say the training helps departments communicate better.
"We have a number of different departments that specifically don't work together," Kortenhof said.
"The MABAS system and exercises like this give them the ability to work together and to practice what they're doing. So in the event they have to in real life, it goes a lot smoother."
A smoother response could save lives during a disaster.
MADISON - Unemployment is down in nearly all Wisconsin cities and counties.
The state Department of Workforce Development reported Wednesday that unemployment rates decreased or remained the same in 29 of the state's 32 largest cities in June. The rates also went down or remained the same in all but four counties.
WAUSAU - Wausau opened its doors to new students who traveled to study 7000 miles from home. Collaboration between multiple UW system schools, most notably UW Marathon County and UW Madison, and the Wausau School District created the Summer International Student Program for Chinese Students.
THREE LAKES - Research shows lakes with no shoreline development generally produce bigger, faster-growing fish. Lakes with heavily developed shorelines, full of homes, lawns, beaches, and docks, have the opposite effect.
Researchers at the UW-Madison Trout Lake Station in Boulder Junction want to know more about that dynamic.
STEVENS POINT - Watching her grandsons, Ben and Marty, learn to play in harmony with a large group of strangers, Jeanne Wieland knew the outdoor concert was a proud moment.
"Nice to see them develop the confidence in their abilities," Wieland said.
Wieland drove up to Stevens Point from northwestern Illinois to join her family at the UW-Stevens Point's "American Suzuki Institute."
The week-long camp brings together more than 1,000 students and families to learn the Suzuki method.
"There are so many ways to get the kids focused on what they're doing and if they, like normal kids, get off they are able to bring them back," Wieland said of the camp's instructors. "It's not painful."
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