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NEWS STORIES

Lawmakers Choose State Leaders in CapitolSubmitted: 11/13/2012

MADISON - Newly selected state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos tells his Republican colleagues that he will work together with Democrats to set a new tone in Wisconsin.

Vos was unopposed for speaker Tuesday. He will take over when the Legislature reconvenes in January with Republicans in control of the Assembly just as they were the prior two years.

But Vos says no party has a monopoly on good ideas and he wants to be inclusive in how he leads.

Vos also promises to carry out an aggressive agenda, focused on reforming the state's income tax code, balancing the state budget, cutting regulations and improving education.

Rep. Scott Suder was also selected by GOP lawmakers as Republican majority leader for the next two years.

Sen. Chris Larson of Milwaukee was elected as Democratic leader in the state Senate.

Larson was chosen Tuesday during a closed-door meeting of Democrats who are in the minority in the Senate heading into the 2013 session. Larson was challenged by state Sen. Jon Erpenbach for the leadership post.

Erpenbach is a 14-year veteran of the Senate who previously served as minority leader a decade ago. The 32-year-old Larson was just elected in 2010 and has emerged as one of Gov. Scott Walker's sharpest critics.

Larson says he is committed to working with Walker and Republicans in the majority. Larson says he intends to be a voice for the middle class.

Republicans hold an 18-15 majority in the Senate. The Republican leader is Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau.

Story By: The Associated Press

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Rhinelander food pantry volunteers Submitted: 04/17/2014

RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Area Food Pantry relies heavily on volunteers. Here is a look inside the operation.

(Click the video to watch)

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Record breaking snowfall knocks the power out Submitted: 04/17/2014

RHINELANDER - Our record breaking snow storm left more than 6,000 people across the Northwoods without power.

WPS had to rely on 20 extra crews from Green Bay, Wausau and Menominee to get the job done.

But getting to the outages was a challenge.

A representative for WPS says workers are expected even more outages to be reported.

"Not all of the back roads are plowed yet and that's where a lot of outages are located," said Leah Van Zile, WPS Community Relations leader. "Throughout the day as the temperatures warm, we expect to receive additional calls due to the unloading of snow off of the tree branches."

Eagle River had one of the highest number of customers affected by the outages.

Representatives for WPS say this was one of the hardest winters they've had to deal with.

"We've had some really really severe wind chills which has really made the temperatures below zero. Typically, only in emergencies do we work in those conditions," said Van Zile. "But pretty much any other time, whether it's a rain storm, a snow storm, a wind storm, our guys are out there working, getting that power back on."

The number of outages dropped below 4,000 since earlier today.

If you're still without power to call 1800-450-7240.

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Asian Lady Beetles come out after winteringSubmitted: 04/17/2014

ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Do bugs seem to be everywhere in your home, even though there's snow outside? One type of bug in Wisconsin spends the winter inside our houses! They look like Lady Bugs, but they are actually not native to this country.

"They're actually called a multi-colored Asian Lady Beetle. They can be anywhere from a pale yellow to a darker orange and they have black spots on them but you'll see some that don't have spots," says Kerri Ison, UW Oneida County Extension.

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New suit filed over gay marriage banSubmitted: 04/17/2014

MADISON - A same-sex couple wants the Wisconsin Supreme Court to strike down the state's gay marriage ban.

The couple filed a lawsuit directly with the high court Wednesday, bypassing the trial and appellate courts.

The lawsuit says the pair lives in Milwaukee County and married in San Diego.

They claim Wisconsin's gay marriage ban denies them federal rights afforded to opposite-sex married couples.

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Meth bust in town of Pine LakeSubmitted: 04/16/2014

RHINELANDER - Police arrested four people in a meth bust near Rhinelander.

The Oneida County Sheriff’s Department says the bust went down yesterday in the town of Pine Lake.

Arrested were 38 year old Gerry Frederick, 55 year old Thomas Franz, 40 year old Scott Dumpprope and 46 year old Carrie Steinmetz.

Potential charges include conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house.

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Northwoods landfill increases recyclingSubmitted: 04/16/2014

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RHINELANDER - A landfill near Rhinelander saw more recycling last year.

The Oneida County Solid Waste Department had an increase in recycled materials in 2013.

People might be buying more because of an improving economy, but that's not the only reason for the increase.

The contracts from disposal companies also play a major role.

"The contract for the city of Rhinelander had come up and it was re-bid," said Oneida County Solid Waste Superintendent Brian Dutcher. "Northern Waste at the time was awarded that bid or that contract. All of the materials that they picked up for the city came out here."

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Artists, engineers combine for campus, national paper venture in northcentral WisconsinSubmitted: 04/16/2014

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STEVENS POINT - College and professional artists need special cotton-fiber paper for painting, drawing, and printing.

UW-Stevens Point's art students bought that expensive paper from traditional European mills for years.

Meanwhile, UWSP’s Paper Science and Engineering Department taught students about the papermaking business on its huge paper machine just a building away on campus.

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