WAUSAU - Long-time Senator Herb Kohl announced his retirement last spring. He'll be replaced by Tammy Baldwin or Tommy Thompson after today's election.
Twenty four years, 13 committees and 7,209 votes in the Senate. Those are the numbers Sen. Kohl has racked up over his nearly two and a half decades representing the state of Wisconsin.
It was an experience he says was worth every minute.
"It's incredible to me that in over 24 years, people have never yelled at me, cursed me out or called me names, and you know how it is in politics. Well that is a reflection of who we are as a people in Wisconsin," says Sen. Kohl.
Being able to help people across the state is what Sen. Kohl says was the best part of his job. He feels fortunate to have been able do it without catering to special interests.
"I think I'm one of the very only people in Washington that doesn't solicit money. And if you don't do that it frees up your mind, and your time and your energy to focus entirely on what you're supposed to be doing every day, which is representing your state," says Sen. Kohl.
The Democratic Senator says he was never afraid to champion issues that were seen as Republican if it was in the interest of the state.
It's the people he says, who will keep the state strong.
"I think our future is very, very bright. I think that we are prepared to face the future. We're not a highly partisan state. Although, in the last couple of years we've become more partisan, but I think we've turned a corner to go back to the kind of state that tries to function, and does function without extreme partisan politics," says Sen. Kohl.
"It's been a great, great run and I'll never forget all the kindnesses the people of Wisconsin have shown me."
RHINELANDER - Do you find yourself looking for new places to eat out? Well, Tula's Cafe recently added a brand new location in the Northwoods. We found out what makes them unique, in our latest helping of 'Morning Meals with Marisa.'
Tula's recently reopened in Rhinelander. This is their second location and the manager told us so far, so good.
Tula's manager Lana Knack explains, "They said it's great to have a new restaurant choice to go to up in the Northwoods. Tula's is very successful in Minocqua, so we model everything that they do and it's worked very well."
They have an extensive menu with items like pigs in a blanket, cinnamon rolls and much more.
"We've got a lot of really unique breakfast items. Especially featuring the Trigs Smokehouse. Our kielbasa omelettes have gone very well. We also have a wonderful eggs benedict," adds Knack.
And of course you're going to need something to wash it all down.
Knack says, "We have liquor service to enjoy a cocktail with any of your meals starting as early as 6 a.m. for those people that are shift workers."
The decor fits right in to the Northwoods and makes for a cozy dining experience.
"It's so unique with so many booths that people come in and sit for quite a while. So it's very comfortable for them," explains Knack.
Tula's grand opening runs through Labor Day and they'll have five dollar deals all throughout. If you want to check out Tula's, they open at 6 a.m., seven days a week.
Wisconsin water supplies deal with two contaminants during 2013
WISCONSIN - Wisconsin keeps high standards for clean drinking water. On a yearly basis, they do a good job at meeting that standard, but during 2013, more water supplies were found with one of two contaminants.
One contaminant, nitrate was found in more than double the amount of water supplies during the year compared to 2012. The 56 public water supplies found with high nitrate levels is a small number out of the thousands of water supplies in the state, but it can still be a big problem.
FOREST COUNTY - Forest and timber leaders in Northern Wisconsin hosted Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) in Forest County Tuesday. The group of timber experts was touring areas of the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest (CNNF).
Both of Wisconsin's senators toured forests and forest industries in the north over the last two days.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) toured wood products businesses in Laona on Monday.
Foresters and timber experts were urging, to both senators, for more harvesting in the more than one million acres of national forest that covers Northern Wisconsin. The harvest this decade has been far below what it was in the 90s.
MANITOWISH WATERS - Cranberry growers in Wisconsin work hard every year to produce the fruit. But they may not be able to harvest as many berries this season.
Cranberry growers don't expect an overly large crop this year. This comes after several years of great harvests in the state.
The numbers might not be as high, but farmers say they won't be disappointed with this year's cranberry results.
"Overall I think it will be a decent crop," says Bob Winter, owner and manager of Vilas Cranberry Company. "There's been some hail in the southern part of the state and even in western Wisconsin, so that takes its toll, but cumulatively how much that really is remains to be seen. You never know until you get it all in the barn at the end of October."
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