Improving health and wellness in the Northwoods // WJFW TV-12, WJFWDT 12.1 and Newswatch 12


RHINELANDER – PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals that, traditionally, have been used to protect industrial materials like carpeting and furniture.

Evidence shows the chemicals could potentially be harmful to humans and affect things like decreased female fertility, liver damage, high cholesterol, and cancer.

Last year after a local water well tested positive for the chemicals the problem became more apparent.

Dr. James Tinjum, an environmental consultant in Rhinelander, warns of the potential consequences of discovering more PFAS chemicals.

“The city is at the tipping point. If one more well goes down, it may not be enough water to supply demand,” said Tinjum.

He added that if the city does reach this point residents will have to cut back on water.

“Not having availability to that water due to potential PFAS contamination is a serious consideration that needs to be addressed going forward,” said Tinjum.

WISCONSIN – Wisconsin Democrats marked the start of the Democratic National Convention on Monday by blaming President Donald Trump for botching the response to the coronavirus pandemic, which they said forced them to cancel the in-person gathering that would have brought about 50,000 people to Milwaukee.

Instead, when the convention officially starts on Monday night, the event will be delivered virtually, with speakers offering prerecorded or live comments delivered online. Wisconsin Democrats tried to put a positive spin on the situation during an online “Welcome to Wisconsin” convention kick-off event Monday morning.

RHINELANDER – For small businesses adaptivity is key to survival during the COVID-19 pandemic. And that is exactly what Wash-Mart Laundromat in Rhinelander is doing. They haven’t allowed both the national coin shortage and virus from stopping their regulars from coming in. They say that it has not stopped their customers from coming in.
“Customers haven’t changed or had have any issues at all,” said Rhinelander Laundromat owner, Bobbie Keso-Mode.
Their main concern hasn’t been the coin shortage, but the fact they are missing one of their main customers this season, summer camps/
“I would have to guess there is probably about 12 camps that are up here in the NorthWoods between Oneida. Violate and Forest County. Even Lane Lands…even some of those were coming to this Laundry Mat because it is convenient here. They would come and use the LaundryMat and go shopping while they were in town. And head back to these camps. So we are down this business this year.
The company has adapted their services to cater to customers who are trying to practice further social distancing with their Drop-Off Laundry Service.
“Some of the elder people they just would not comfortable coming in with the public and so they want to stay and social distance as much as possible and so they would just drop their laundry off for me to do it and then come back and pick it up,” said Laundromat owner, Bobbie Keso-Mode.
Even though the Wash-Mart is using a coin operated system, it hasn’t discouraged their regulars from getting a load done.
“Well I have to. Cause the machines needs to clients and its a necessity. And I just grab them and use them and wash my hands,” said David Dorn, a regular at the faculty.
Dorn has been a regular at the Laundromat for the past four years and says there is one reason why he keeps coming back.
“Its clean. Its super clean. All the time.”
Customers can bring in their clothes for an additional charge per pound and Keso-Mode will individually wash, dry and fold all laundry. While continuing to practice CDC recommended social distancing guidelines. 

MILWAUKEE – Downtown Milwaukee restaurant owner Omar Shaikh envisioned overflowing crowds, packed dining rooms and a big payday when the Democratic National Convention came to town.

Shaikh, chairman of the VISIT Milwaukee board, also saw the international attention hosting a convention would bring as a chance for the city along the shores of Lake Michigan to show the world how it’s evolved from a Rust Belt manufacturing hub to a thriving, diverse, modern community.


Antigo residents have spent many summer nights in the city park enjoying some music, but this year COVID-19 had some other plans.

Until Sunday when the city held its first concert in the park of the year.

“Music makes people feel good,” Hip Pocket lead singer, Joe Fittante said it best. 

But, feeling good has been a rare occurrence this summer.


Wisconsin residents in rural locations may often take for granted their access to health care.

In a year where health care workers have been busy due to COVID-19, they’re finally getting some recognition.

The Health Resources and Services Administration recently ranked the state of Wisconsin third best in the country for health care quality and improvement.

An achievement that has been built up by countless workers.

“We’re really proud of that and we’re proud of Aspirus‘ contributions. At Asprius we have always had rigorous quality standards regardless of their size,” said Lisa Rowe-Peplinski, Vice President of System Care Coordination at Aspirus.

She also said the accomplishment was a statewide effort, ranging from rural hospitals to larger facilities.

“It’s a heavy focus on data sharing, transparency, and learning from each other so that we can continue to have performance improvement across all our sites even if we’re in a competitive landscape. We share with each other and learn best practices from each other.”

Aspirus is helping networking safer and efficient measures across their hospitals in order to help the state climb even further in the rankings.


People of all ages gathered today and marched down 400 blocks in Wausau to recognize the 100th anniversary of the Women’s right to vote.

The American Association of University Women(AAUW) spent the last year planning the celebration of the barriers that generations of women overcame. However, today was different then other marches.

The difference between today and previous matches is that they are covering more than one side of history. Speakers from the community…shared the struggles of their ancestors and reminded community members of the importance of voting.

“And if we don’t remind people that the right to vote is a privilege and a responsibility that was hard fought for by many we don’t want to lose it,” said Vickie Richmond Hawkis, Suffragette Reenactment.