Check your sunscreenSubmitted: 05/30/2014
Story By Lauren Stephenson

Check your sunscreen
RHINELANDER - Before you head outside this weekend, you should not only put on, but check your sunscreen.

Sunscreen can expire.

Heat and direct sunlight, especially, can lower sunscreen's effectiveness.

"The reason for that is because over time sunscreen can alter or degrade and have less of a protective effect against the sun," said Marta Koelling of the Oneida County Health Department.

If your sunscreen doesn't have an expiration date on it, assume it's good for three years.

Health experts recommend you use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher to protect yourself from skin cancer.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.

"It's estimated that 1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer at some point in their life. Most of the time, that comes from sun exposure - UV light exposure," Koelling said.

Health experts also recommend you reapply sunscreen every two hours.

If you've been in the water, sweating or toweling off, you need to reapply your sunscreen.

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New park opens in MerrillSubmitted: 07/15/2019

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MERRILL - A section of downtown Merrill sat empty for years after a roof collapsed. The building had to be torn down.

It left a hole in a place where many communities struggled to bring activity back to downtown. Now, the space has a new use.

A new pocket park in downtown Merrill will allow people to enjoy what the area has to offer.

"After looking for a developer for the property and not finding anybody, we decided that it probably wouldn't be used anytime soon and that a downtown park would be a nice amenity," said Merrill City Administrator David Johnson.

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TOMAHAWK - Loons often fight for territory. Last month, a battle over a lake saved a life.

After surgery and weeks of recovery, a 15-year-old loon was released to Lake Alice east of Tomahawk.
"It's an amazing experience seeing any patient that comes in being released back into the wild," said REGI director of rehabilitation Audrey Gassett.

Raptor Education Group, or REGI, got a call on June 23 about an injured loon on Lake Mabel, east of Tomahawk. An x-ray revealed two lead sinkers in its belly.

Dr. Sarah Lautzenhiser performed surgery on the bird a few weeks ago.

"Seeing her out in her element and preening herself and diving - it's really great to be part of something like that," said Lautzenhiser.

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RHINELANDER - A Northwoods man already facing a child sex assault charge found himself in more trouble.  

Police arrested Brandon Darnick early Friday morning.

According to the criminal complaint, Darnick's ex-girlfriend claims he showed up at her home in Minocqua after midnight Friday morning and kicked her door in.  A broken night stand was also found.

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RHINELANDER - A Michigan man with a warrant out for his arrest led police in the Northwoods on a high-speed chase before crashing Sunday night.

Kevin A. Block, 47, was in the hospital under police guard as of Monday morning.

According to the Rhinelander Police Department, an officer responded to Walmart around 7:45 p.m. Sunday on a report of shoplifting.  The suspect, later identified as Block, left the store before police got there.

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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander family that helped create dozens of jobs and sent its own children through local public schools will boost a major project at Rhinelander High School.

The Hodag Schools Foundation announced Tony and Lori Haug pledged $250,000 to help build and maintain a multi-million dollar indoor sports dome.  The pledge will come over the course of several years.

The Haugs have lived in Rhinelander for 21 years.  Tony retired as president at Advanced Barrier Extrusions (ABX) after helping create more than 60 jobs there.  Lori served on the HSF Board of Directors and Rhinelander Schools Education Foundation.  Their three children all graduated from RHS.

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RHINELANDER - Fishermen still choose lead sinkers more than any other kind of metal, according to a local sporting goods store owner. It's mostly because of tradition and price. 

Mel's Trading Post sells lead and non-toxic tin sinkers. Owner Mitch Mode said people generally go for the cheaper option.

"The difference in price, the disparity between lead - inexpensive, and non-toxic - much more expensive, basically means people are still using lead sinker," said Mode. "That's the bottom line."

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PINE RIVER - UPDATE: Police found a missing elderly man after he got lost driving a UTV in southern Lincoln County.

The Marathon County Sheriff's Office reported the 84-year-old man was found in good health around 11 a.m. Monday.

He had last been seen around 5:30 a.m. driving his UTV on Highway P in Pine River, which is southeast of the city of Merrill.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, Pine River, and Birnamwood fire departments helped MCSO with the search.

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