Oneida County Health Department

Health departments are promoting an online training program for tobacco retailers, designed to reduce illegal sales of tobacco to minors.

Marta Koelling is Community Health Specialist for the Oneida County Health Department.  She says the online program called is free and educational. 

“It offers information and study guides on Wisconsin’s tobacco laws, checking ids, and communicating with customers.” 

Participants can choose to take an exam at the end of the training and receive a state-approved certificate.

An easy to take vitamin supplement can dramatically lower the chances that a child is born with health problems. Every four minutes a baby is born in the U.S. with birth defects.

Oneida County and other health departments were involved during January with National Birth Defects Prevention Month.


Brenda Husing, Registered Dietitian and Lactation specialist says there are ways for pregnant women to cut the risk of birth defects...

 January is National Radon Action Month. Exposure to radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Smokers have an even larger threat of developing lung cancer if radon is present in their surroundings.

Charlotte Ahrens from the Oneida County Health Department describes radon...

The Oneida and Vilas Public Health and Emergency Management Departments have released a list of facilities open 24 hours that people could go to if they need to warm up in the extreme cold.

In Oneida county, Trig's Riverwalk Centre and Wal-Mart...both in Rhinelander... are facilities that are open 24 hours. In Minocqua, Trig's and WalMart along Highway 70 are open 24 hours, as is Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff..

A bill in the Wisconsin Senate would update the language in Wisconsin's statewide smoking ban to make electronic cigarettes legal in public places. An e-cigarette is a device operated by a battery where the user inhales a water vapor. The user also inhales nicotine in the draw. The devices don't have the restrictions of tobacco cigarettes, which are banned in public places.

Oneida County Public Health Tobacco Coordinator Niki Kostrova says the feds have not yet approved them as a smoking cessation device....

Rhinelander School District's Pelican and Crescent elementary schools are closed today after large numbers of students went home sick this week. The school district closed the schools on the recommendation of the county health department.

The high absenteeism is attributed to gastrointestinal and upper respiratory problems.

National Cancer Institute

It’s National Radon Week.  Health officials are reminding people to get their homes tested for the dangerous gas to prevent long term exposure.

Oneida County Public Health Nurse Charlotte Ahrens says the problem with radon is that it’s colorless and odorless.

“People have no indicators they they’re being exposed to this gas.  The gas is produced by a breakdown of uranium in soil, and in rock and in water.”

Violations for selling tobacco to minors in the Northwoods has taken a marked decrease.

The Oneida County Health Department administers tobacco law compliance checks in a six county northern region.

Tobacco Coordinator Niki Kostrova says the downward trend from 2012 shows education is working...

Karunakar Rayker

Oneida County health officials have detected West Nile virus in a dead crow.  It’s the virus’s first appearance in the county this year.  

  Health director Linda Conlon says officials have regularly found the virus in previous years, and it’s a sign that residents should try to limit exposure to mosquito bites.

“So what that means is the residents of Oneida county need to use more precaution when they’re outside and make sure that they utilize protective measures to prevent mosquito bites.”

Art Brom

For some people Fourth of July is the perfect excuse to play with fire…but it can also be the perfect time to cause an accident or an injury.  That’s the message from Oneida County health officials, who are warning people to use caution around fireworks.  

Public Health nurse Rob Deede says this isn’t the time for experimentation.


If you’ve walked in the woods or in long grass lately…you may have noticed more ticks than usual.  

Entomologists report the recent warm and damp weather could cause an upsurge in tick populations in Wisconsin.  Rob Deede from the Oneida County Health Department says the best way to prevent tick-borne illnesses is to keep the ticks off in the first place.