ONEIDA CO. - The DNR now calls the Lincoln-Oneida county line the likely "epicenter" of chronic wasting disease in wild Northwoods deer.
Testing after last fall's hunt found a CWD-positive deer in the Crescent Corner area southwest of Rhinelander. It's the third wild deer to be found infected in a close radius since 2017.
"It was also in that same area, within a one-and-a-half-mile radius of the other two. That tells us that likely is the epicenter, as it were, of our local wild deer infection," said DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz.
The DNR made a strong push for hunters to submit deer heads in Oneida and surrounding counties last fall. Hunters responded, allowing hundreds of deer to be tested for CWD.
"There, we had to really put an intensive effort into tell us, are we even sampling in the right area? Do we have a large enough sample area? Just how serious is the infection?" Holtz said.
But out of all those tests, only one has come back CWD-positive so far.
Sampling found no infected wild deer near a Three Lakes game farm. That farm produced the first CWD-positive captive deer in the Northwoods in 2015.
The DNR is still testing some deer submitted last fall. If their deer tests positive, the hunter is notified immediately.
WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump announced Friday that the United States will cut ties with the World Health Organization.
"China has total control over the World Health Organization despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying, which is approximately $450 million a year," Trump said during a press conference from the White House Rose Garden.
"The world needs answers from China on the virus. We must have transparency. Why is it that China shut off infected people from Wuhan to all other parts of China?" he added. "It didn't go to Beijing, it went nowhere else, but they allowed them to freely travel throughout the world, including Europe and the United States."
Trump has repeatedly criticized the WHO's response to the coronavirus, which has hit the U.S. worse than any other country, amid scrutiny of his own administration's response to the pandemic. He has claimed WHO is "China-centric" and blames the agency for advising against China travel bans early in the outbreak.
RHINELANDER - 114 colorful flower baskets will soon flood the streets of downtown Rhinelander.
For eight years the master gardeners at Forth Floral have put their effort into making downtown appealing to visitors.
Every April, petunias--one of the easiest flowers to grow and maintain--are picked out by color and grown in the greenhouse.
After that, each basket is displayed in June and watered every day for the rest of the season.
Forth Floral co-owner Ruth Hempel knows the impact the flowers have on people.
"Oh, people just love the hanging baskets. It's just been a real boost, it's good for our community as well as all the visitors that come to town. It just makes downtown a really beautiful place," she said.
A committee works with downtown to fund a campaign to fund the planting and maintenance of the flowers.
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the group is struggling to find people to help nurture the plants.
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