winter

Six Mile Commute
4:00 am
Sat March 8, 2014

The Answer Is to Just Keep Pedaling

Rich Sweet bikes six miles to work each day, rain, shine or snow.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

With winter still holding the Northwoods in its icy grip, most of us try to avoid going out in the cold for longer than we have to.  So you might be surprised to find that one commuter relies on his bicycle to get to work all winter long, even refusing offers of car rides and choosing instead to brave the icy streets of Stevens Point.

It’s 7 a.m. on a clear morning in March, and 20 degrees below zero outside.  Rich Sweet is in his kitchen, in the process of what he calls “gearing up.”

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Meager Food Available
9:47 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Birds Face Shrinking Winter Food Supply

Robins returning in time for spring may be unprepared for wintry conditions.
Credit Marc Evans

Deer aren’t the only wildlife having a hard time finding food this winter.  

Wildlife rehabilitator Marge Gibson of the Raptor Education Group says she’s worried about many of the region’s birds.  She says the rehab center near Antigo is seeing birds like red-tailed hawks, chickadees and even robins.    

“What is unusual is the way that they’re coming in.  People are finding them really not moving very much – they’re kind of in a hypothermic state.  Their breathing is slowed, their heartrate is slowed, and they go into almost a torpor state.” 

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Frost May Bite Your Fingers
5:05 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Keep Warm on Cold Days

In a cold snap like this one, it doesn’t take long for temperatures to become a health risk. Amy Lavin is a nurse practitioner at the Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff.   She says in weather this cold, exposed skin can become frostbitten in about 5 minutes.  If you’re exercising or have certain medical conditions, you might not even notice it happening. 

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Keep Them Clear
12:20 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Snow-Blocked Vents Mean CO Danger

Snow piling up around houses can block heating vents from working properly.
Credit Aliazimi via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Snow-in-Maryland-Feb-09.JPG

With a cold snap hitting the Northwoods this weekend it can take some effort to keep your car and heating systems up and running. 

WPS Spokesperson Leah Van Zile says outdoor maintenance is important to make sure your heating appliances are working properly…especially with newer high-efficiency furnaces that vent out the side of the house. 

“For any of your vented appliances, your natural gas or vented appliances – be sure that those are kept free of ice and snow buildup.”

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A Pesky Problem
4:00 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Mosquito Madness, Even in Autumn?

Wisconsin is home to more than 50 varieties of mosquito.
Credit E. A. Goeldi

Despite several nights of frost in the past week, some Northern Wisconsin residents are still plagued by the telltale buzz of mosquitoes.  How does a mosquito survive in cold temperatures?

Common knowledge holds that once nighttime temperatures dip into the 30s, mosquito populations drop off.  But that didn’t seem to be happening last week.  Susan Paskewitz, a mosquito expert at the University of Wisconsin Madison, says it’s possible most of the still-active mosquitoes are newly formed.

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