CRANDON, RHINELANDER - Working with little money to spare is nothing new to Tammy Queen.
"We make it right now, but it's tight," Queen said. "It's very tight."
Queen runs the Forest County Department on Aging. She got great news last Friday.
The federal government poured more money into aging programs as part of a $1.3 trillion spending bill President Trump signed Friday.
Three-quarters of Queen's budget goes to senior meal programs in Crandon, Laona, Wabeno, Armstrong Creek, and Alvin. But she'd love to extend that. With more money, she might be able to serve seniors in places like Hiles, Argonne, and Pickerel.
"It helps you keep going," Queen said of the program. "It's not about being old. It's about making sure you're staying active after retirement."
The federal funding increase for aging programs is the first since 2010.
"Every year, we have all been talking about how we need more money, we need more money, and yet the federal government...has been talking about cuts to the aging program," Queen said.
Other local organizations will also benefit from the spending plan.
About a year ago, Trump proposed eliminating a half-billion dollars in funding for public broadcasting. WXPR public radio in Rhinelander relies on federal money for 20 percent of its budget.
Last Friday's bill kept that money in place. But until then, WXPR was planning for how it might deal with a major funding cut.
"Would it hurt us? Of course it would hurt us," said Jeff Burke, the board chair of White Pine Community Broadcasting, WXPR's umbrella group. "They would have involved program cuts, as I referred to earlier. And yes, they would have led to staff cuts as well."
Preserving federal funding will mean WXPR doesn't have to make those tough decisions.
"We're just very thankful that the legislators did what they did," Burke said.
TOMAHAWK - After a bitterly cold November, road crews in Tomahawk enjoyed a warm up on Monday. But temperatures shifting above and below freezing this week will create perfect conditions for a lot more work. John Cole is the Director of Public Works for the City of Tomahawk. He says that pothole issues are something that his crew fights all season long.
"It's job security, it's not a good job security, but it is job security for sure because you always have potholes to fill," said Cole. "When you get that expansion and contraction, we get water in those cracks, and when you get the traffic and people driving on them."
In Tomahawk, Cole sends crews out every week to look for potholes and fill them. He also sends out crews whenever they get a call about a bad pothole.
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander student made it onto her school bus and to class unhurt last Tuesday, but she almost didn't. A recent close call left Bowen Bus Service employees wondering if Rhinelander will be the next to see a student killed while simply trying to get to and from school.
On Hwy 8 last week a student was nearly hit by a truck at her bus stop, leaving the bus driver in disbelief. In a surveillance video from the bus, you can hear the bus driver say "That car like just missed you. That truck just missed her."
RHINELANDER - It's easy to slip on ice, skid on roads, or get stuck in the snow.
One thing that also happens is joint pain from common winter activities.
Shoveling heavy snow is one of the biggest problems Rhinelander Chiropractor Dr. Tony Lowenberg sees causing this pain.
He said shoveling is a physical activity that can cause excessive stress on the body; especially for people who don't lift heavy often.
"Lifting and the twisting creates wear and tear on their body. Then [people] feel it as pain and then their muscles get tight because they are not used to lifting stuff," said Dr. Lowenberg. "It's more people that are not used a physical job, shoveling can be [troublesome]."
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