Covid Cases, Deaths Continue to Climb in the Northwoods Published on 11/20/2020 under News
Unfortunately, in addition to a growing number of positive cases, we've also seen the number of covid-related deaths continue to climb.

The Lincoln County Health Department has received confirmation 5 additional covid-related deaths in recent days. They ranged in age from their 50's to their 90's. Following yesterday's update, the death toll now stands at 21. Oneida County Health Department confirmed 4 additional covid-related deaths bringing their total to 30.

As for testing in the area...

Lincoln County reported 44 new cases, the county has 1,666 with 270 listed as active.

Oneida County added 55 new cases bringing their total to 1,997. They were unable to provide an update on the active cases or hospitalizations yesterday.

Price County added 13 more positive tests, the county has 640.

Langlade County reported 11 new cases, the county total stands at 1,417. The Health Department also offered a reminder of a National Guard testing event at the Health Service Center boardroom from 8-4pm.

In Other News

Cerny's Greenhouse Brings Christmas Spirit
Published on 11/30/2020 under News While it's not necessarily growing season in the Northwoods, one local greenhouse stays busy during the holidays. We recently spoke with Justin Cerny of Cerny's Greenhouse ahead of their busy holiday season. At this time of year their focus turns to fresh hand made wreaths, roping, kissing balls and their crop of poinsettias which are locally grown each year. While shoppers travel from around the Northwoods to Cerny's, their reach extends throughout the country thanks to their shipping program. What started as 20-30 wreaths annually, Cerny says they now ship around 600 wreaths throughout the country each year. He also noted that some people will get their entire gift giving done in one stop by purchasing 6-8 wreaths for friends and family. As always they have a variety of sizes and styles based on the needs of customer. While orders into the middle of December should arrive by Christmas, Cerny says their sales pick up in late November so that people can get out to enjoy them throughout the holiday season. While the Coronavirus put on hold their annual holiday open house this past weekend, as well as their popular wreath making classes, they continue to offer sales in person, by phone, and on their website. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Cerny ended the conversation by taking the time to appreciate both his customers and employees which he noted have allowed them to stay in business over the past 40 years. You can hear that entire conversation in the WJJQ audiocenter.
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Area Unemployment Estimates Up Slightly in October
Published on 11/30/2020 under News After steadily coming down in recent months, area unemployment estimates ticked up slightly. The Department of Workforce Development released the October jobs figures late last week. The most recent unemployment numbers remain around a quarter of what they were during the peak in May amid the safer-at-home order. Here in Lincoln County the October estimate was up three tenths of a percentage point when compared to September. The October rate was 4%. That's tied for 18th best in the state. The Oneida County estimate went from 4.7 percent in September to 5.1 percent in October. The Vilas County estimate went from 4.6 percent in September to 5.1 percent in October. All three Northwoods counties were up slightly when compared to October 2019.
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Lincoln County Sheriff's Report: Two Injured in Weekend Crash
Published on 11/30/2020 under News Two people were injured in a single vehicle crash in Lincoln County over the weekend. According to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, that accident happened Saturday evening at just before midnight. Responders were called to State Road 17 near Theis Road in the Town of Harrison. The driver told deputies she swerved to avoid a deer, left the roadway, and struck a tree. Two vehicle occupants were transported to Ascension St. Mary's Hospital for treatment of undisclosed injuries._____ A few other notes from the Lincoln County Sheriff's Report... Pine River firefighters were called to a vehicle on fire on a property on Center Road Wednesday afternoon. The deputy arrived to find the front of a Ford pickup truck engulfed in flames. Firefighters were able to control the fire with minimal damage to a nearby building, however the truck is considered a total loss. No injuries were reported. A 24 year old Merrill man was arrested Wednesday after deputies responded to an open line 9111 call in the Town of Corning. The man was taken into custody for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, knowingly violating a restraining order and bail jumping. Deputies stopped to check on the stalled motorist on State Road 17 in the Town of Schley Thursday evening. After making contact, a 40 year old Arizona man was cited for a first offense OWI. The number of deer collisions was down with just 6 reported this past week on Lincoln County roadways.
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"Shop Safe, Shop Smart" on Cyber Monday; Holiday Season
Published on 11/30/2020 under News After Black Friday and Shop local Saturday, today marks the third in a holiday shopping trio...Cyber Monday. The Better Business Bureau is reminding online consumers to "Shop Safe, Shop Smart" on not only Cyber Monday, but the entire holiday shopping season. Amid the pandemic, they anticipate more consumers will look online for gift giving this year giving scammers additional opportunities. The Bureau says a little bit of extra research can prevent future headaches. •Research before you buy. If the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. •Beware of fake websites: Check the URL, watch for bad grammar, research the age of the domain, search for contact information, and read online reviews. •Make sure the website is secure. Look for the "https" in the URL (the extra s is for "secure") and a small lock icon on the address bar. •Never enter payment or personal information into a website with only "http" – it is NOT secure. •Be careful purchasing sought-after products, especially during the holiday season.The risk of online purchase scams rises during the holidays because more people are making online purchases, and scammers offer the most popular products for the season at great prices. •Beware of making quick purchases while scrolling through social media. Scammers have access to tools they need to learn about your buying behaviors, offering exactly what you want at enticingly low prices. •Use secure and traceable transactions and payment methods.According to BBB's research, those paid with a credit card were less likely to lose money. Be cautious when paying by digital wallet apps, prepaid money cards, or other non-traditional payment methods. •Shipment tracking information can be faked. Look closely to make sure it is a legitimate business. Avoid clicking on the tracking link.
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DNR Launches 2021 'Keep Wildlife Wild' Student Poster Contest
Published on 11/30/2020 under News The DNR is encouraging young artists to enter their annual Keep Wildlife Wild poster contest which launched earlier this month. The contest is open to Wisconsin fourth, fifth and sixth graders. The goal of the contest is to create a poster that teaches the importance of enjoying and observing wildlife in the wild and not keeping wildlife in homes or as pets. While the poster contest is relatively new, the Keep Wildlife Wild initiative began in 2014 with a focus on providing information on animal behavior, tips on how to determine if a wild animal is truly orphaned and what to do if someone finds a wild animal in need of assistance. Amanda Kamps is a DNR conservation specialist who oversees the initiative. In announcing the poster contest, she says, "The young artists never disappoint. The artwork and creativity we saw in the first two years of the poster contest impressed all the judges. It's inspiring to know these future leaders understand the importance of keeping our wildlife wild." Multiple winners will be selected from each grade level and will be announced during Keep Wildlife Wild week in April. Rules and registration information is available on the DNR website.
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Tomahawk Kicks Off Christmas with Tree Lighting Ceremony Friday
Published on 11/27/2020 under News With Thanksgiving now behind us, the Tomahawk Community will quickly switch over to the Christmas season. Those festivities begin this evening with the annual tree lightning ceremony. Earlier this week, we were joined by Delpha Halverson, one of the Tomahawk Christmas Fairies. Along with Roxanne Consolver and Mary Smith, the trio set out to revitalize community holiday festivities. Coming up tonight, she says they've arranged for Santa to parade down Wisconsin Avenue and light the Christmas tree located in the fountain boulevard at the end of Main Street. The Main Street Christmas tree was brought back last year after a several year absence. A local Relay for Life team arranges for people to sponsor the red, white, and green bulbs in honor of loved ones. In addition to the tree lighting ceremony, tonight's Kickoff to Christmas will also launch the Letters to Santa project which allows children to contact St. Nick. Halverson explained that tonight's event is just the starting point for a season of celebrations that will culminate with the Hometown Christmas on December 11. Among the highlights will be the return of the live mannequins, caroling and other activities which we'll share as that date approaches. The theme this year is "Christmas songs." As for tonight's tree lighting, Santa will make his way down Main Street at 4:45pm with the lighting at 5pm sharp.
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Shop Small Saturday Important for Struggling Local Businesses
Published on 11/27/2020 under News While there are deals aplenty from big box stores on Black Friday, a promotion focused on local businesses is in store for tomorrow. That campaign is known as Shop Small Saturday; the national event began in 2010 and continues to expand. Here in Tomahawk, businesses combine their shop local campaigns with Kickoff to Christmas. Businesses throughout the North 4th and Main Street corridors will offer deals to get Christmas shopping underway. Local organizers noted it important it is to keep money in your community, and also emphasized how much those businesses, in turn, help their communities. Amid the pandemic and less foot traffic, this year's holiday shopping season is seen as more critical than ever for small businesses. Even in a normal year, the campaign invites people to experience stores they may not typically shop in. Participating businesses will have the familiar Shop Small Saturday displays and logos.
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Most Nicolet College Classes Will Continue Online this Spring
Published on 11/27/2020 under News Nicolet College is preparing to offer a majority of their instruction online during the spring semester. At this time, about 80 percent of Nicolet classes are being delivered virtually. When students do have to be on campus for hands-on, lab-based instruction, schedules are staggered to limit the number of students in a lab at any one time and masks are required when indoors. Kate Ferrel, executive vice-president of academic and student affairs says, "The college was well-positioned to transition the majority of classes to online delivery and we will continue with that format in the upcoming term." Ferrel added, "The safety of our students and staff is our top priority, and after seeing how well both students and the college adapted to this unprecedented change, we decided the best route was to continue down this path." The Nicolet Spring Semester is scheduled to begin January 6.
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Chequamegon-Nicolet Forest Receives Two Awards from Storm Clean Up
Published on 11/27/2020 under News The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest received a pair of awards this month for their recent storm recovery efforts. The Eastern Regional Forester's Honor Awards were presented for outstanding achievements during fiscal year 2020, which ended Sept. 30. To our east, the Lakewood-Laona district, received an award for the productive and sustainable use of National Forest lands following a July 2019 windstorm that damaged trees on more than 100,000 acres. According to the announcement, the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest was the top timber producing national forest in the country this past year, due in large part to the salvage operations from this storm. The other award was awarded to the Great Divide Ranger District in Northern Wisconsin for work "facilitating rural prosperity and economic development." The district recently completed a four-year effort to recover from severe weather in July 2016 that caused over $22 million in flood damage to roads, trails, culverts and bridges. Acting Forest Supervisor Dawn Laybolt says, "Recovery from these storms took collaboration across the forest and partnership with other agencies. It's gratifying to see the individuals and teams recognized for their hard work. We commend and thank them all."
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Practice Food Safety on Thanksgiving
Published on 11/26/2020 under News Thanksgiving marks the start of the winter holiday season with plenty of food to be prepared. Health officials are reminding home cooks to remember proper food safety. Whether creating a simple turkey dinner or an elaborate feast, food safety rules generally remain the same. First keep everything in your kitchen clean. Wash your hands before and after handling food as well as during preparation. Also keep utensils, cutting boards, knives and countertops clean. Separate to avoid cross contamination. Keep foods separate from raw eggs, meat and poultry. A good tip is to keep two cutting boards, one for food that will be cooked, and one for non-cooked foods. As for Cook, make sure that food reaches the proper internal temperature. For a turkey, the FDA recommends 165 degrees in the innermost portion of the thigh. Speaking of food temperatures, the health department highlighted the 'danger zone.' Always keep hot food hot, above 135 degrees; and keep cold food cold, below 41 degrees. Bacteria grow more easily in the temperatures between. Chill left overs after serving. Try to refrigerate them within two hours after serving.
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