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NEWS STORIES

Gov. Walker Addresses Decision on HealthcareSubmitted: 11/16/2012
Story By Matt Doyle

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MADISON - Wisconsin won't start a state-run health insurance exchange under the Affordable Health Care Act. That's what Governor Scott Walker said today.

The state will comply with the law, but will let the Feds handle the exchanges.

Governor Walker emphasized that more than 90 percent of Wisconsin has health insurance - that's without an exchange. But Walker thinks the idea of a State-Exchange is in name only.

Instead, the Federal Government makes the final decision on everything anyway.

These exchanges are supposed to make it easier for small businesses and people to shop for insurance.

"They don't give the kind of true flexibility that would be required to provide something unique for our state, the state of Wisconsin," Governor Walker said. "Therefore, one of my biggest concerns is that had we chosen a state-run exchange it would provide long-term to the Wisconsin taxpayer and that is too high."

Some Walker supporters like the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce hoped for a state-run exchange.

Meanwhile, many opponents said Walker made the wrong decision since creating an exchange would give Wisconsin control.

The Governor says there are costs that aren't controlled and not fully-funded.

"Whether or not we like it, we're complying with the law," Walker said. "The differences between the three options under the law are really minimal, if at all, in terms of the impact on consumers. So in the end, we chose the option that provides the greatest amount of security, the greatest amount of protection for the taxpayers of the state of Wisconsin."

Today was supposed to be the deadline for states to decide on exchanges,

But yesterday the Department of Health and Human Services pushed the date to December 14.

Also a Ministry Health Care spokesperson put out a statement today saying they wanted a state-run exchange, but respect the Governor's decision.

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State water use declines in 2013Submitted: 10/22/2014

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STATEWIDE - Cooler temperatures helped the state use less water in 2013 than it did in 2012.

The state DNR found Wisconsin's groundwater and surface withdrawals dropped by 6% from the year before.

Power generation makes up 74% of the state's water use.

Cooler temperatures in 2013 meant power plants didn't need to use as much water to cool down equipment.

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Northwoods Parish raising money for school, church upgradesSubmitted: 10/22/2014

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RHINELANDER - A Northwoods Parish wants to raise at least two million dollars to renovate its schools and church.

Nativity of Our Lord Catholic School needs technology and infrastructure upgrades. One of the school's buildings hasn't been updated since the 1950s.

School leaders think it's important to also upgrade the school's wireless ability. The school has SmartBoards, iPads, and laptops, but they want the equipment to work better.

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Asian carp DNA found in Green Bay's Fox RiverSubmitted: 10/22/2014

GREEN BAY - Wisconsin wildlife officials say Asian carp DNA has been found in the Fox River in downtown Green Bay.

The state Department of Natural Resources says a single positive sample for silver carp was identified from 200 samples taken this summer in the Fox, a tributary of Lake Michigan.

The discovery by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was in the heart of the city, and was part of a survey that started at the mouth of the river and ended about five miles upstream.

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Volunteers needed for new community warming centerSubmitted: 10/22/2014

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MERRILL - The first community warming center in Merrill is set to open in less than two weeks. However, Merrill Area United Way organizers still need volunteers to help manage the center.

The group recently re-fit the former Lincoln Community Bank Drive-Thru on W. Main Street in Merrill to serve as the center. It will help homeless people stay warm from November to April at night. The Lincoln County Homelessness Task Force reported more than 20 homeless living in the area as recently as July.

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President Obama scheduled to campaign for Burke on TuesdaySubmitted: 10/22/2014

MADISON - A date has been set for President Barack Obama's campaign stop in Milwaukee next week with Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke.

Burke's campaign spokesman Joe Zepecki says that Obama will be with Burke on Tuesday. The president's stop comes as Burke is locked in a tight race against Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

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Spending less on HalloweenSubmitted: 10/22/2014

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RHINELANDER - The average person will spend $77 this year on Halloween costumes, decorations, and candy.

The Goodwill in Rhinelander hopes you'll look good for much less. Goodwill has Halloween items like hats, trick-or-treat baskets to full costumes.

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20 flu-related hospitalizations in Wisconsin so far in OctoberSubmitted: 10/22/2014

MADISON - State health officials say the flu season is off to a strong start in Wisconsin.

State epidemiologist Thomas Haupt says influenza hospitalizations have been unexpectedly on the rise in October. 20 people have been hospitalized in the past three weeks. Haupt tells WISN-TV (http://bit.ly/1wo5JOD ) one or two hospitalizations are common this time of year, but not 20.

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