Aspirus, Marshfield Clinic Receive Grants to Increase Rural Coverage Published on 09/10/2019 under News
Several local healthcare providers will benefit from state grants aimed at increasing coverage in rural areas.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced the grants last week which seek to expand education and training for health professionals. Eight grants were awarded in two separate categories. Combined they total more than $750,000 over a two year period.

The Advanced Practice Clinician Grants will help rural health care providers increase the number of physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses by supporting clinical training sites. Locally, both Aspirus and Marshfield Clinic were among the four providers selected to receive an APC grant.

The Allied Health Professionals Education and Training Grants are intended to assist rural hospitals in filling "high need, high demand" positions that are not doctors or nurses. This includes medical assistants, mental health counselors, and nursing assistants. Again, there were four grants, and once again Marshfield Clinic was selected.

Both grants were authorized in the 2017 state budget.

In Other News

Lincoln County 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Assigned to Committee
Published on 01/22/2020 under News A proposal to declare Lincoln County a 2nd amendment sanctuary was instead directed to committee. The Lincoln County Board took up the measure during their meeting Tuesday evening. Similar resolutions are being introduced by a number of municipalities and counties around the state. Supports aim to re-enforce the belief that local officials could reject laws they deem as an infringement on 2nd amendment rights. Around a dozen people spoke during last night's public comment; an even split in favor of and opposing the resolution. When introducing the Lincoln County resolution, Supervisor Calvin Callahan took the atypical step of bypassing committee and bringing the proposal directly to the full board. After some debate, the supervisors instead voted 13-9 to assign the resolution to the Administrative and Legislative Committee. Callahan released a statement to the media following the meeting calling it a "sad day for Lincoln County." He says, "We need to be proactive, we needed to pass this resolution, I am trying to protect the future of the second amendment, and standing up to gun control is a must."
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Snowmobile Safety Week Part 2: Ice Safety
Published on 01/22/2020 under News State officials are reminding snowmobile riders to continue using caution on area waterways. Throughout International Snowmobile Safety Week, the DNR has offered various tips on safe operation. In part two, we're focusing on riding on trails crossing Wisconsin's lakes and rivers. As we told you on Monday, Wisconsin has already seen five snowmobile deaths in January. Two fatal incidents in Oneida County were the result of riders going through on Lake Nokomis. DNR Captain April Dombrowski, who is overseeing the outreach, says, "Nobody wants the sudden surprise of breaking through ice or riding into open water conditions." She encouraged riders to do some research before hitting the trails by checking ice conditions with local clubs or sports shops. She says fluctuating temperatures, snowfalls and snow melts lead to often-changing conditions. The DNR says ice should be considered unpredictable, and it's never completely safe. Lastly, Dombrowski said, "Common sense is the greatest ally in preventing ice-related accidents."
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Woman Ordered to Pay Restitution in Skimming ATM Deposits from Minocqua Gas Station
Published on 01/22/2020 under News A woman accused of taking cash from a Minocqua gas station where she worked has reached a plea agreement. Gina Ozelie appeared in Oneida County Court yesterday for the hearing yesterday. According to court records, the 49 year old pleaded 'no contest' to a single count of theft in a business setting between $10,000 and $100,000. Ozelie was charged in August with skimming cash from the gas station's ATM deposits over the course of a year. Investigators said that added up to approximately $25,000. After the plea agreement, the case moved directly into sentencing. Ozelie received a 3 year withheld sentence. She was ordered to serve four months in jail. She'll also have to pay restitution, plus another 10%, nearly $28,000.
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Nicolet College Launches Winter/Spring Learning in Retirement
Published on 01/22/2020 under News Retired residents have another opportunity to return to the classroom over the next few months. Yesterday, Nicolet College launched the second semester of Learning in Retirement. The ongoing series allows participants to take classes on a wide variety of topics. Each course ranges from a single sessions to weekly or monthly meetings. The courses allow participants to unlock a new skill, learn more about a specific topic, and interact with those sharing a similar interest. As always, the courses cover a wide range of topics. This Winter/Spring series includes Green Building, Motorcycling Women, Native American Powwows, and Mental Health. Some classes will even hit the road with tours at the Raptor Education Group and the UW-Madison Research Station in Rhinelander. Nicolet says they have about 300 members of their Learning in Retirement program. Enrollees can take as many, or as few courses as they'd like each year. Enrollment is available on the Nicolet website. The first courses got underway this week with offerings through May 22.
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Rep. Felzkowski Praises Bills on Overnight Camps; School District Grade Level Sharing
Published on 01/22/2020 under News A Northwoods Legislator is hoping a series of bills passed by the Assembly Tuesday will help rural Wisconsin, and the Northwoods in particular. Rep. Mary Felzkowski released statements following the passage of several packages of bills she co-authored. The first set addresses overnight recreation camps. It is aimed at alleviating duplicate or what she described as "burdensome" regulations. It passed with bi-partisan support. Felzkowski says, "These camps are hidden gems tucked throughout the Northwoods, bringing campers from dozens of countries here to experience our beautiful natural resources and grow fond memories of Wisconsin that last a lifetime," A second bill would provide a funding mechanism for neighboring school districts looking to share whole grade levels. Felzkowski used the hypothetical Districts A and B. She explained that District A could take both district's students in grade 6-8 while District B would take high school students from both districts. The hope is that district's pursuing collaboration would be able to maximize resources and put more funding in the classroom. Felzkowski says, "This is just one more tool that enables schools to retain valued teachers and offer a variety of courses they would otherwise not be able to." Each bill still needs to go through the Senate.
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Lincoln County Board to Take Up 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Resolution
Published on 01/21/2020 under News The Lincoln County Board will consider a resolution this evening that would declare the county a 2nd amendment sanctuary. A number of other communities and counties are considering similar measures. The general goal is to re-enforce the belief that local officials could reject laws they deem as an infringement on 2nd amendment rights. The Lincoln County resolution was introduced directly to the full board by 13th district supervisor Calvin Callahan last week. Oneida and Langlade Counties are each considering similar actions, but their measures remain at the committee level. Last week, the City of Merrill passed their own sanctuary resolution, while St. Germain decided to send theirs to their voters for a referendum vote.
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Lincoln County Health Department Warns of Youth Cigarillo Use
Published on 01/21/2020 under News While much of the focus is on youth vaping, some Northwoods health officials are concerned about another product...cigarillos. Cigarillo is roughly translated as "little cigar." The Lincoln County Health Department recently shared data from a Wisconsin survey showing the overall sale rate of tobacco products to youth has remained stable, but the product most often sold to youth were cigarillos. Shelley Hersil serves as both the Lincoln County Health Director and on the Northwoods Tobacco Free Coalition. She called the sales to young people 'concerning.' She says, "Many of these cigarillos can be bought for as cheap as three for 99 cents, and unlike cigarettes, they come in candy and fruit flavors like Grape and Cherry, making them more appealing to kids." They also don't need to be sold behind the counter. While cigarillos may be flavored and displayed differently than conventional cigarettes, the Health Department says they carry the same health risks and often times have more nicotine than a regular cigarette. Hersil says, "Any of these are reason enough for concern, but cigarillos are also increasing health disparities since they're often sold aggressively in communities that are already more impacted by tobacco." The Coalition encourages any tobacco retailer to visit witobaccocheck.org to utilize free trailing to help prevent future underage sales.
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Two Injured in Lincoln County Accident Monday
Published on 01/21/2020 under News Two people were injured in a two vehicle accident in Lincoln County yesterday afternoon. According to the Department of Transportation, that crash happened at shortly before 1pm on State Road 17. The Merrill Fire Department incident report showed that one person was entrapped in their vehicle. Responders had to extricate that individual through the roof. Two individuals were transported to area hospitals for treatment. No update on their condition was provided. Crews were on the scene for a little more than an hour.
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Rhinelander Students Collect Record Number of Jeans
Published on 01/21/2020 under News A group of Rhinelander students proved there's still plenty of denim to go around here in the Northwoods. Over the past month, the Rhinelander High School FBLA/DECA conducted their annual 'Jeans for Teens' event. The students set up numerous drop-off locations around district's various campuses, as well as businesses in the community. They also held several drives at Hodag sporting events. The project, inspired by a statewide drive, has continued to grow each year. This year, the students were proud to announce collecting more than 650 pairs of jeans. Over the past 6 years, the Rhinelander students have collected more than 2,000 pairs of jeans. Pants that are still in good condition will be donated to Frederick Place temporary housing shelter. Once their needs are fulfilled, the extra jeans will be distributed to others in need in the Northwoods. Jeans that have seen better days will be utilized for rags and other purposes. In the announcement, the students wanted to thank everyone who contributed.
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Tomahawk Cafeterias Exploring World-Wide Cuisine this Week
Published on 01/21/2020 under News As students return to the class Tuesday after a long weekend, they'll also take a culinary trip around the globe. A number of Northwoods school lunch services will be participating in a Department of Public Instruction program known as Around the World in 80 Trays. Among the goals is to explore new cultures through food and get students interested in trying new dishes. We heard from Tomahawk's Food Service Director Dustin Tessmer. He shared this week's menu which will bring students to Germany, Mexico, Italy and the Far East. Among the regional cuisine the students will get to sample stir fries, German braised cabbage and spaghetti tossed in marinara among. The Elementary, Middle, and High Schools will all be participating with decorated cafeterias and encouraging staff to partner with cultural conversations. Also utilizing Taher Food Service, the Rhinelander School District will be offering a similar program this week.
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