WASHINGTON - Stop us if you've heard this one before - Republicans and Democrats are struggling to agree on a deal.
The Fiscal Cliff is under a month away.
We've heard from the President and national leaders, but what do northern Wisconsin congressmen think we should do?
Northwoods Republican Sean Duffy and central Wisconsin Democrat Ron Kind each say they need to compromise with the other side.
But by the sounds of it, that might be a tough task.
"This is an offer that every Democrat in the House and the Senate voted against last year. The liberals in Congress said no to it," Duffy says.
"My guess is that we'll have to vote with one hand and hold our nose with the other because there will be some unpopular things that will be in it, but that's the definition of compromise," says Kind.
Republicans like Duffy are pushing for reform to entitlement programs like Medicare.
Kind and Democrats would like to see taxes go up on the very wealthy.
"I have no problem talking about how we put revenue on the table if we have substantial spending cuts and reforms to entitlements," says Duffy.
"There are some certain big spending categories that we have to address. Rising health care costs is the largest and fastest growing area of spending. I'd like to see us pay for the value of care, not the volume of care," Kind says.
That Fiscal Cliff hits at the end of the year.
If elected officials can't agree to a deal by the end of the year, it will trigger automatic tax hikes and deep spending cuts.
ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - 4.7 might seem like just a random number, but it gives us an idea of just how cold it was this year. 4.7 degrees was the average temperature for this winter. It's the coldest winter in more than a century.
It’s common to see these sights and hear these sounds in a typical winter. But this year, we heard them a bit more. The Northwoods fought through it’s snowiest and coldest winter on record. What made it so rare was the persistent cold.
NORTHWOODS - Home sales fell in the state of Wisconsin, but they're on the rise in the Northwoods.
Real Estate experts say home sales are up 5% in Oneida County. Home sales for the Northwoods are up 4%. Experts say right now it's a buyers market.
“If you're a seller right now you are probably going to be seeing some low ball offers,” says Ashlei Highfill, Century 21 Sales Associate. “We just encourage people to respond to any offer that they get not to just reject it or be offended but these days we are seeing a lot of buyers coming in and offering a lot less than what sellers are asking for.”
Experts say fewer homes are being foreclosed. This allows more families to make first time home purchases.
“It’s great to see that people are obviously getting back to work so they can afford to take that opportunity to put their family in their first home it's exciting for all of us,” says Highfill. “We're always happy to see somebody get that first house for their kids we're seeing some people that are making more money now so they're buying a move up house.”
Overall home sales in Wisconsin fell 11% compared to this time last year.
MERRILL - Hospitals can sometimes scare kids and even many adults.
That's why one Northwoods hospital wants those kids to be comfortable with doctors if they ever need their help.
Merrill kindergarteners visited Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center on Wednesday.
The kids got to see an ambulance, physical therapy and x rays.
"We try to show them that you know what, the hospital isn't so scary. And we bring them through different areas that they may experience when they come in or they have a family member here. And a lot of times children, if they don't know, they're very afraid. A hospital can be very intimidating, says Jane Bentz, Director of Foundation and Community Outreach.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - People from all over the Northwoods celebrated Earth Day today. Students at Lac du Flambeau school participated in a natural resources fair today.
Classes, groups and individual students submitted projects to be judged. By doing the projects they learned the importance of Earth Day.
“Polluting could harm the earth and if that harms the earth later on we won't have a better earth to do stuff on like camping, or fishing, hiking and taking walks,” says Sky Risingsun, a Lac du Flambeau student.
35 projects were judged in the science competition. Each student was given a white spruce seed to take home and plant in their own yard.
“It's a white spruce which is a native tree to this area,” says Bryan Hoover, Lac du Flambeau Energy and Air Quality Coordinator. “We've got almost 500 of them and every student is going to take one home so that they can pick a spot in their yard to plant the new tree and watch that tree grow as it matures.”
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