RHINELANDER - You need to really get outside into nature to truly appreciate it. That's what Oneida County hopes you experience walking through its new pollinator garden behind the courthouse, which is close to completion.
Workers from Hanson's Garden Village laid out the key part to getting you into that garden along Baird Avenue on Tuesday. The gravel walkway allows water to drain into the soil, preventing runoff into the street.
A $1,500 Wisconsin Public Service Foundation grant paid for almost all of the walkway, which will lead through the garden to a picnic table. The walkway will be ADA-accessible, which will allow people with wheelchairs, strollers, and walkers to navigate the garden.
"Walking along the sidewalk is one thing, however to actually experience, to be close to the plants to see the bumblebees and butterflies cruising around [is even better]," Oneida County Land and Water Pollinator Coordinator Baerbel Ehrig said.
Crews expected to finish that portion of the walkway Tuesday or Wednesday.
The garden started to take shape last October, when students from Lakeland Union High School helped rip up sod to make way for planting. The county used a $5,000 grant from the Bayer Corporation to work on the garden.
Meanwhile, the flowers and plants (largely native plants with some similar species going in) will get planted in the garden next week. The county conservation office hopes native plants and flowers will encourage monarch butterflies and bumblebees to grow and spread across the area.
Ehrig says a 14-percent decline in monarch population across the U.S. last year means they need to work quickly. Ehrig says because the county is using flowers that have already developed instead of seeds, the impact should be nearly immediate.
"To create life, to sustain life, any kind of flowerbeds really make a difference, anywhere," Ehrig said. "Even if it's just a flower pot on the balcony."
The county needs volunteers to help plant flowers on June 27 starting at 9 a.m. Ehrig expects the garden will be finished after just one day of work.
One Antigo woman needed more space to share her folk medicine knowledge.
To keep up with demand, Kelly Keyser-Millar recently moved her 'Mortar and Pestle' shop right next door from its old location in downtown Antigo.
Digestion problems are a common reason that people come into the shop.
She recommends digestive bitters to get your system moving naturally.
"You're taking it 20 to 30 minutes before you eat. Once your digestive system is ready to go, it helps move the process along. Often where people get digestive upset is just that you're really sluggish," says Kelly.
Having a new workspace means Kelly will be busy brewing more new, folk medicine in the coming weeks.
WAUSAU - More than 115,000 people in Wisconsin live with dementia.
That number will double in the next 20 years, according to the state Department of Health Services.
Northern Wisconsin will likely see some of the biggest effects, with a population aging faster than the rest of the state. Communities and businesses can see the change coming, and at least one business seems well prepared.
"One of the first signs of dementia is financial confusion," said Rhonda Lewis, the Executive Administrative Assistant at Wausau-based River Valley Bank.
STROUD, OK - A man from Merrill died in a traffic crash in Oklahoma this week.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol confirmed Brandon Polacek, 20, was killed in a crash between a construction truck and a semi around 12:45 a.m. Wednesday near Stroud, which is between Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
RHINELANDER - A group of local veterans want to see some changes by Veterans Day.
The flagpole at the Forest Home Cemetery in Rhinelander is surrounded by a fence, trees, and a road which doesn't leave much room for the Honor Guard to preform ceremonies on Veterans Day or Memorial Day.
Quarter Master VFW Post 3143 Ralph Larson isn't happy with the placement or look of the 28-year-old flagpole.
"I'm very disappointed with the City of Rhinelander," said Larson. "It's back here in the corner and nobody can see it."
He believes that's why only a handful of people ever attend the veteran ceremonies.
"Its three to five [people]. I think the highest we ever had is ten," said Larson.
VFW Commander James Pederson says around 60 people attend Newbold's veteran ceremonies even though Rhinelander has a larger population.
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