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Life expectancy drops in Wisconsin due to alcohol, drugsSubmitted: 08/19/2019
Life expectancy drops in Wisconsin due to alcohol, drugs
Story By Associated Press

Photos By MGN Image

MADISON - A new report says life expectancy in Wisconsin has dropped for two years in a row fueled by increased deaths from alcohol abuse and opioids.

The Wisconsin Policy Forum report released Monday finds that while Wisconsin is mirroring a national trend in shorter life expectancies overall, the state loses ground due to alcohol and opioid deaths and increased mortality among black people.

Drug and alcohol deaths in Wisconsin have more than tripled since 1999. The state's drug death rate has more than quadrupled since 1999.

In Milwaukee County, the opioid death rate for all races was more than twice the statewide rate between 2013 and 2017.

The life expectancy for a baby born in Wisconsin between 2015 and 2017 is 80 years, down from 80.2 years for babies born two years earlier.

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CRANDON - "New year, 2020, a new decade, what could possibly go wrong?" wondered James Aldridge, a traveling CNA who works in Rhinelander.

The answer was his car, which broke down on the way into Crandon from his hometown of Philadelphia.

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But when four wheels fail, there's always two.

"Obviously, you can see that it doesn't require gas," Aldridge said of his bicycle. "So I could save money on gas and I would have enough to buy my car at the end of the summer."

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"I think that its worse than it should be," said Hoskins.

On June 1, Hoskins was walking into her apartment on Monday wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt when she heard a man yelling.

Hoskins took to snapchat minutes after the incident, describing what happened next.


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EAGLE RIVER - Up North Beerfest and the National Championship Musky Open Tournament have both been postponed until the summer of 2021 due to concerns of the spread of COVID-19.

The Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, along with the Musky Clubs Alliance of Wisconsin jointly made the decision to delay the annual fishing tournament.

The Chamber made the difficult decision to postpone the beer festival.

Up North Beerfest will return June 11-12, 2021. The Musky Open will next be held August 20-22, 2021.

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PHELPS - Today, the Robbins family broke ground on their new home, courtesy of Habitat for Humanity.

"This is really exciting," said Dave Havel of the Northwoods Habitat for Humanity chapter. "With all of the issues we've had as a nation as a community. It's really great that we're moving forward and able to help this local family here in Phelps."

Excavation will start in the next few weeks - the next step in what both Rebecca and Cory call their dream home.

"They'll never know what this means to this family," said Rebecca Robbins. "They'll never know what this means to us. I have shed a few tears already and I'm sure a lot more to come. They'll just never know what this means to our family."

It will mean some freedom for Rebecca's daughter Jade.

"I will finally have my own room, after sharing a room with my older brother, then sharing one with my little brother," said Jade Robbins.

Cory works with Select Builders, the local contractor out of Eagle River hired by Habitat for Humanity.

"I can't believe I can do this," said Cory Robbins. "I mean, I've always dreamed of owning my own home and now I'm actually going to help build it."

This will be the 23rd home that Habitat for Humanity has helped build in the Northwoods, and the first one in Phelps.

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STEVENS POINT, WI - On Friday, June 5th after an approximately 10-month investigation, police detectives executed a search warrant at a residence in the town of Dewey in Portage County. 

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MADISON - Organizers of the World Dairy Expo in Madison have canceled this year's event because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

It's the first time the annual trade show has been canceled in its 53-year history. 

Event organizers said they made the decision Thursday because of COVID-19 travel restrictions and health orders issued by the City of Madison and Dane County. 

The event  described as the Super Bowl of dairy  attracts tens of thousands of people from around the world. 

In 2019, the event attracted more than 62,000 people from nearly 100 countries.

 Organizers say the event will return in the fall of 2021.

 But the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports there are no plans to reschedule for this year.

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MILWAUKEE - For the first time in 53 years, summer in Milwaukee won't have a Summerfest.

The crown jewel for the City of Festivals, and the largest music festival in the United States, was canceled for the first time, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Thursday morning in a unanimous vote by the board of Summerfest's parent company, Milwaukee World Festival Inc.

"Given the information available today, and the uncertainty surrounding very large gatherings, we cannot in good conscience proceed with the festival this year," Don Smiley, Milwaukee World Festival CEO, said in a statement. "The immediate future presents multiple levels of risk for our fans, and we choose the side of safety."

Refunds for Summerfest general-admission tickets are available at summerfest.com through July 17. 2020 general admission tickets and passes will also be honored for Summerfest 2021. Summerfest officials said dates for next year will be announced in the coming weeks.

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