Northwoods Covid-19 Update: Lincoln County Reports First Death Published on 08/11/2020 under News Lincoln County Reports First Covid-Related Death:
The Lincoln County Health Department is confirming the first death in Lincoln County associated with COVID-19.

The individual was in their 30's and had underlying health conditions. Lincoln County Health Director Shelley Hersil says, "We are saddened by the loss of one of our community members."

She also encouraged a continued community approach to protecting one another including frequent hand-washing, practicing physical distancing, wearing face-coverings, and staying home when sick.

Northwoods Covid-19 Test Results

As for testing in the area, Lincoln County reported 1 new case of Covid-19. The individual is in their 60's and is currently isolating. The County has 68 cases overall, just 8 are active.

The number of Covid cases continues to climb in Oneida County. The Health Department reported 23 new positive tests Monday, bringing the overall total to 154 cases. There are 52 active cases, including 4 people currently hospitalized with Covid-19 complications

Vilas County reported 7 new cases Monday. The county has 64 cases overall; 50 are listed as active.

National Guard Testing

The Lincoln County Health Department will partner with the Wisconsin National Guard to hold a community testing event Friday at the Merrill Festival Grounds.

The Oneida County Health Department says they are starting to receive results from their community testing held on Saturday. More than 300 samples were collected. The Health Department says they will issue a summary once all results are in.

In Other News

One Dead, Two Injured in Oneida County Crash
Published on 09/18/2020 under News One person is dead, several others injured following a crash in Oneida County yesterday morning. According to the Sheriff's Office, multiple 911 calls reported a two car, head-on collision at the intersection of Highway 8 and County Highway N in the Town of Woodboro. The incident happened at shortly after 10am. Upon arrival deputies say each of the vehicle's drivers, along with a passenger were injured in the crash. That passenger was being transported by Medivac helicopter, but died while en route. The victim's name has not been released, pending notification of family. The report indicates that each of the drivers was brought to area hospitals by ambulance. No updates on their conditions were reported. No other information was released on the crash, which remains under investigation.
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Positive Covid-19 Test at Tomahawk High School
Published on 09/18/2020 under News A number of Tomahawk students and staff are isolating after a positive Covid-19 test. According to district administrator Terry Reynolds, the individual who tested positive was present at the High School last week. Per district protocols, 5 staff members and 7 students have been identified and notified as being close contacts who will self-quarantine for a two week period. The district has established "close contact" as those within 6 feet for longer than 14 minutes in a 24 hour time period. Reynolds wrote the exposure was limited to just one classroom area in the building.  This area has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
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Thunder Ride Roars as Thunder Parade Replacement
Published on 09/18/2020 under News The on-again;off-again Fall Ride Thunder Parade will see a few changes this year. The rumble of the motorcycle is almost as iconic as the bike itself. For thirty years now, the Tomahawk Fall Ride has been highlighted by the Friday night Thunder Parade, an evening cruise with upwards of a thousand motorcycles. The 2020 Thunder Parade was originally organized by the Tomahawk Main Street Organization. They decided to cancel this year's downtown street dance and thunder parade applications. Earlier this month, the Northern Wisconsin Riders Group attempted a last minute effort to revive the parade in it's previous form. In a typical year, the city must apply for a waiver from the state because of the parade's impact on Highway 86. With the application coming just two weeks before the event, the Council ultimately rejected the request due to the timing and the need for that state permit. Not willing to see the event go quiet. The Riders Group instead re-branded the event as a Thunder Ride. While it won't include the typical city street closures for the usual parade, the route will take riders on the traditional route. They expect to leave from the Kings Road area at around 6:30 from the 18 mile cruise. We have additional information on the WJJQ Community Calendar.
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National Guard Testing in Merrill
Published on 09/18/2020 under News The Wisconsin National Guard will return to the Northwoods this afternoon for another community testing event in Lincoln County. According to the Lincoln County Health Department, the Guard will be staging a drive-thru style nasal swab testing at the Merrill Festival Grounds in Merrill. This is the third testing event held in Lincoln County this summer and will follow a similar format. In recent months, the guard has launched their Covid-Connect website which allows those being tested to register online ahead of time to help speed up the process. They will also take registration on the grounds. They do ask that everyone attending wear a face covering and remain in their vehicle. Anyone tested who has symptoms will be expected to self-isolate until test results come back. That testing event runs from 11am to 7pm while testing supplies last.
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Lincoln County Board Urges Verso Mill Assistance
Published on 09/18/2020 under News Back in July, Verso idled their paper mills in Duluth and Wisconsin Rapids creating a ripple effect that has impacted the state's forest industry. Earlier this week, the Lincoln County Board passed a resolution urging the state to provide assistance to the mill and other industries impacted by the closure. The forest products industry is the number one employer in Lincoln County. According to the resolution, approximately 8% of the pulpwood volume harvested in Lincoln County is typically consumed by the Verso mill in Wisconsin Rapids. The resolution asks the governor and state legislature to direct assistance in any way possible to allow the continuation of mill operations, work to identify new markets for forest products, and provide flexibility and assistance to replace lost revenues.
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Local Covid-19 Testing; Public Exposure Risk in Merrill
Published on 09/18/2020 under News Checking Covid testing in the Northwoods... Lincoln County reported 5 new cases Thursday. The county has 125 overall including 30 active cases. Oneida County reports 13 new cases. They have 307 cases overall, 54 active and 2 hospitalizations. Vilas County did not provide a Thursday update. Langlade County has 118 cases after two new positives. There are 28 active cases. The two people who had been hospitalized have now been released. Cases continue to surge in Forest County with another 7 reported yesterday. The County now has 190 positive tests including more than 100 since September 1. ______ The Lincoln County Health Department is notifying the public of another public exposure risk. They typically issue these statements following a positive Covid-19 test where contact tracing is not able to identify potential exposure risks. The newest exposure was at the Avenue Bar in Merrill. Two people tested positive who spent time at establishment: •Wednesday, September 9, noon -10 pm •Thursday, September 10, noon – 8 pm •Friday, September 11, noon- 7:30 pm LCHD has been working with Avenue Bar to notify staff and the public and assure proper disinfection and best practices are being followed moving forward. Those who were at the bar on those days should monitor their symptoms.
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Main Street Stop Signs; Open Intox Waiver Among Tomahawk Fall Ride Precautions
Published on 09/18/2020 under News While there are no city sanctioned Fall Ride events this week, the City of Tomahawk has put in place some precautions for visitors attending events at businesses downtown. Tomahawk Main Street is a traditional destination highlighted by the closure of Main Street for the Street Dance on Friday and Saturday evening of Fall Ride. With the cancellation of that event, Main Street will remain open to traffic this weekend. In order to accommodate the anticipated increase in pedestrian and bike traffic, the city will instead set up stop signs at each intersection on Main St. Back in July the city also granted an open intoxicants waiver in the city. Among the goals is to prevent crowding inside establishments. An amendment to the ordinance will exclude glass containers from waiver. This was done for both clean-up and safety purposes. Officials also encourage motorists to slow down and drive attentively.
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Oneida County Horse Tests for Eastern Equine Encephalitis
Published on 09/18/2020 under News A horse here in the Northwoods has tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis. The Oneida County Health Department confirmed the positive test for Triple E in a horse located in the county. Most commonly found in horses, the virus can infect humans as well. Known human infections are rare, but two cases have been reported in western Wisconsin this summer including one fatal. Prior to this year, there had only been 3 human cases found in Wisconsin. The virus is mosquito-spread to humans, horses and animals. It doesn't pass between infected people or animals. The health department notes that the positive test in a local horse confirms that there are mosquitoes actively carrying the virus in the Northwoods.
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Hatchet Cross Country Teams Compete at Medford
Published on 09/18/2020 under Sports The Hatchet Cross-Country team traveled to Medford Area High School for a dual meet on their school grounds on Thursday. In the boys race Hatchet's Noah Buckwalter and Drew Bolder and Joe Sullivan from Medford took command early establishing a lead pack. In the woods, just before the 3000 meter mark Sullivan made a nice move, which neither Hatchet could cover as he blistered the 5K distance in a nice time of 16:50. Noah (2nd) and Drew (3rd) followed in times of 17:30 and 17:39, respectively. Alex Norman had his best race to date (4th-18:07), and along with teammates Owen Dickrell (5th-18:20),Arden Ziert (7th-18:42), Presley Gutbrod (8th-19:05), and Hunter VanRyen (9th-19:09) left little doubt which team was controlling their own destiny by the finish. The Hatchets placed all seven varsity runners in the top 9 spots as they cruised to a 21-40 dual meet title. Other finishers for Tomahawk were: Ethan Liebnitz 14th, Brett Borchardt 16th and Jacob Towle 17th. Eight out of ten boys that competed had either seasonal bests or career best 5K efforts! In the girl's race Medford showed they are the team to beat in the GNC as they took the top four spots and placed six in the top ten to best Tomahawk by a 17-41 tally. Tomahawk was led by freshman Rachael Reilly as she placed 5th in a personal best 5K time of 20:54. Other scorers for the lady Hatchets were: Greta Tjugum 6th (21:16), Emily Lacina 9th (21:44), Macey Mann 10th (21:50), Morgan Hansmann 11th (22:25-PR), and Geena Wanta 14th (23:06-PR). Rounding out the finishers for Tomahawk: Kate Reilly (15th), Tiana Gerstenberger (16th), Marie Gorell (17th), Ava Dragosh (18th), Kambyl Mattke (19th) and Autumn Peissig (21st). Eight out of thirteen girls that competed had either seasonal bests or career best 5K efforts! Next meet for Tomahawk is next Thursday as the Hatchets travel to Park Falls for a dual meet.
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Hatchet Volleyball Team Loses Home Opener
Published on 09/18/2020 under Sports The Tomahawk Hatchet Volleyball Teams hosted Lakeland on Thursday night at the Fieldhouse and in the Varsity contest, Lakeland defeated Tomahawk three games to two. The T-Birds won games one, two and five to improve to 1-1, while Tomahawk falls to 0-2. Game scores were:  20-25, 26-28, 25-20, 26-24, 8-15 Meghan Scholz led Tomahawk with 12 kills and Katie Pierce had nine.  Kallie Massa had five aces for Tomahawk. JV1 beat Lakeland two sets to one with scores of 25-21, 25-18, and 20-25. Top scorers for the night where Macy Jankiewicz with 5 kills and Bella Weber with 2 aces. The offense was led by Ashley Beck with 8 assists, and the defense was led by Emily Scholz with 9 digs and Kaylee Scholz with 1 block. The JV2 also defeated Lakeland, three games to none. Tomahawk will host Northland Pines on Tuesday night, with the JV and JV2 matches at 5:30 pm and the Varsity best of five at 7:00 pm.  WJJQ will have the Fehrman Orthodontics Coaches Show at 6:35 pm.
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