Lincoln County, Forest County Announce Two Additional Cases of Coronavirus Published on 05/28/2020 under News The Lincoln County Health Department announced two additional cases of COVID-19 Wednesday afternoon.

These are the 6th and 7th cases overall for Lincoln County.

A news release from the health department says both individuals are in their 60's. They are believed to have been infected through exposure during travel. Both individuals are in isolation and the health department is notifying those who have had contact with the people.

As of yesterday's update, the Lincoln County Health Department lists five people in isolation and two recovered. 637 people have been tested with negative results.
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Elsewhere in the Northwoods...

The Taylor County Health Department has confirmed a second positive test.

Forest County Health Officials announced two additional cases including the first not connected to the outbreak at the Bay at Nu Roc facility. Forest County now has 27 cases overall. One person has been cleared, one person is hospitalized, one has died; the rest remain in isolation.

In Other News

Northwoods Covid-19 Cases Continue to Climb
Published on 07/10/2020 under News Positive cases of Covid-19 are becoming more frequent in the Northwoods, with additional cases announced Thursday. The Lincoln County Health reported two new cases, bringing the overall total to twenty positive tests. Both individuals are in their 50's and are currently in isolation. Those who have been exposed to these individuals have been contacted. When we spoke with Lincoln County Health Director Shelley Hersil Thursday, she encouraged those individuals who have been identified as having been exposed to a person who has tested positive to contact their healthcare provider regarding testing regardless of symptoms. This is based on guidance from the State Department of Health. Oneida County reported another new case, the 28th overall. The health department notes the person had close contact with another person who has tested positive. Vilas County reported another case, the 14th overall. The health department confirmed it is a person in their 70's. Price County has two additional cases, bringing their overall total to six, including four this week.
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Northwoods Groups Announce Drive-Thru Job Fair
Published on 07/10/2020 under News Several groups are partnering to offer a Northwoods job fair next week, all while staying safe during the Coronavirus pandemic. The North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board, Nicolet College, and the Northern Advantage Job Center announced a collaborative drive-through job fair coming up next Wednesday in Rhinelander. They said attendees will be able to follow traffic flow in the Northern Advantage parking lot and receive information through their car window. They expect a wide range of businesses including hospitality, retail, manufacturing, construction, and professional services. The Northwoods has seen both Covid-19 cases and unemployment rates climbing. Organizers note this is a way to help connect job seekers while still taking precautions to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. The drive-through job fair will be next Wednesday, July 15, from noon to 3pm at the Northern Advantage Job Center parking lot.
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Grants Awarded for Youth Crisis Stabilization Facilities
Published on 07/10/2020 under News North Central Healthcare was awarded a grant to help develop and fund a new residential care and treatment option for youth under the age of 17 on the verge of a mental health emergency. Just three health groups will share in the $2 million in funding from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services for what is known as a youth crisis stabilization facility. Among the goals is to reach a youth early and prevent being placed in a more intensive facility. North Central Health Care is a partnership serving Lincoln, Langlade and Marathon Counties. As part of the grant, they'll receive $625,000. The facilities typically have 8 or fewer beds, and most stays are 5 days or less. A team of professionals provide care to not only the patient, but also collaborate with families and school to meet the needs of the youth when they return home. In addition to North Central Health Care, grants were also awarded to Milwaukee and Ashland Counties. Currently, there are no certified youth crisis stabilization facilities in Wisconsin. The funding was authorized in the 2017 state budget.
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DNR Encourages the Use of Life Preservers
Published on 07/10/2020 under News Officials are reminding boaters of the importance of wearing a life jackets when enjoying a day on the water. All vessels must have at least one wearable life jacket for each person on board. According to the DNR, that includes canoes, kayaks and even paddleboards. The DNR notes that today's life jackets are much more comfortable to wear than they used to be. They even make activity specific life preservers such as kayak life jackets that are cut higher. They should be in good and serviceable condition with no tears, rips, broken straps or snaps. Life jackets on board must also be readily accessible, though the DNR recommends they be worn. A number of factors can affect your ability to stay afloat if you're thrown from your boat. This includes injuries, water conditions, and even your clothing weighing you down. In addition to a life preserver any boat 16 feet or longer must have a throwable flotation device as well.
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Minor Injuries After ATV/Vehicle Crash in Oneida County
Published on 07/10/2020 under News Only minor injuries were reported after a vehicle rear-ended an ATV in Oneida County yesterday afternoon. According to the Sheriff's Office, that accident happened in the Town of Monico at shortly before 4:30pm. The ATV was occupied by two juveniles. Deputies found that both youths suffered minor injuries. They were not transported to a hospital after conferring with the parents. The initial investigation showed the ATV pulled out in front of the westbound vehicle. The operator of the ATV said they did not see the vehicle approaching. The Sheriff's Office confirmed the ATV operator did have an ATV safety license, and said neither of the youth were wearing a helmet. The incident remains under investigation.
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Ascension Discontinuing Woodruff Based Spirit 2 Helicopter, Spirit 3 Plane
Published on 07/09/2020 under News Ascension announced changes to its air medical transport operations in northern Wisconsin which will include the discontinuation of their Spirit 2 helicopter based at Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff. The decision comes after a review of the current landscape of medical transportation services available, realignment of facilities in the region and patient volumes. Stewart Watson, the Vice President-Clinical with Ascension Wisconsin North Region says, "There are many changing dynamics in the delivery of healthcare services in the region that created the need for these difficult decisions." He says, "Our review concluded that our air medical transport needs would be best met with a single helicopter strategically placed at the Central Wisconsin Airport (CWA) at Mosinee." Spirit will still maintain a critical care ground base and resources for transport out of Woodruff from Howard Young Medical Center. Additional Spirit ground bases are located in Rhinelander,Weston and Stevens Point. The changes are expected to be implemented by the end of the year. In the same release, they also announced the end of their Spirit 3 fixed-wing aircraft based at the Lakeland Airport in Arbor Vitae.
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Northwoods Cases of Covid-19 Continue to Rise
Published on 07/09/2020 under News Cases of Covid-19 continue to rise here in the Northwoods. In Lincoln County, the Health Department reported two additional cases on Wednesday. The individuals are in their 20's and 50's, respectively,  and both are currently isolating. We spoke with Lincoln County Health Director Shelley Hersil, who says that Lincoln County cases have doubled since July 1. She says they are seeing more cases spread through family gatherings and celebrations. She also noted that they have seen positive tests from those showing no symptoms to those she described as "pretty sick" and having difficulty breathing. Oneida County reported two additional cases Wednesday bringing their total 27 cases. Forest County reported 4 positive tests bringing their total to four. Nine people are in isolation and two remain hospitalized. One of the lowest totals in the state, Price County Public Health announced two additional cases bringing their total to four.
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Loon from Mercer Lake Released After Tangle with Fishing Line
Published on 07/09/2020 under News A Northern Wisconsin loon caught up in some fishing line has a second chance at life thanks to some local teamwork. Kevin and Linda Grenzer, who've dedicated their time to rescuing loons, had another successful release yesterday afternoon. The loon came from Mercer Lake. Despite being tangled in the fishing line, the bird still provided a challenge. By day 4, after numerous attempts, they were finally able to capture the loon Sunday. They found a hook embedded in the loon's side with the line wrapped around its tail and wing. The bird was transported to the Raptor Education Group. After a few days in recovery, the loon was released on a neutral area lake Wednesday afternoon to re-acclimate. The rescue also serves as a good reminder for anglers to properly dispose of fishing line.
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Oneida County Kicks Off 'Virtual Fair' Thursday
Published on 07/09/2020 under News Fair season in Northern Wisconsin kicks off this evening, with a month-long virtual fair in Oneida County. While most fairs in the area postponed their events due to the Coronavirus, the Oneida County Fair organizers turned to technology. Late last month, they announced plans to host their fair online this year. Many of the upcoming events are being kept under wraps at this time. In a Facebook video, coordinator Tom Barnett teased a partnership with area restaurants to recreate some popular fair foods. He also introduced Olly Oneida, the social distancing bear. Many of their popular contests will be back including the "Sexiest Men's Legs in a Kilt" which starts Friday. All events, through August, are being featured on the Fair Facebook page. As for tonight's kick-off, they'll have an opening ceremony, an address from Mayor Chris Frederickson and a performance by the Hodag King Kerry Exotic at 7pm.
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Verso Shutdown Could Affect County Forest Lands
Published on 07/09/2020 under News The Verso paper mill shutdowns in Wisconsin Rapids and Duluth could have a ripple effect on the Northwoods forest industry. The Verso closures were announced last month and will directly affect more than 1,000 mill workers. We recently heard from the Wisconsin County Forests Association. The Rhinelander-based group includes 29 member counties. They noted that the two Verso mills consume roughly 25% of the total raw material harvested in Wisconsin, much of which comes off of county forest lands. They said, losing this market also puts sustainable forest management, including the viability of our healthy forests, in jeopardy. The harvest also provides much needed revenue to county budgets. Association Board president Norman Bickford says, "This has the potential to negatively alter the course of forest management in Wisconsin and all the abundant benefits our healthy forests provide." He added, "WCFA stands ready to assist and support emerging efforts to keep timber markets intact, operational and viable in the State of Wisconsin."
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