WAUSAU - While the fiscal cliff crisis wears on, a group in Wausau wants Congressman Sean Duffy to end it before time runs out.
Members of Wisconsin Jobs Now rallied in downtown Wausau this afternoon. They say they're there to urge the Congressman to listen to the middle class.
"This whole fiscal cliff debate that we've been hearing about for quite some time now could all end if they would just extend middle class tax cuts and end tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. There's an awful lot of research out there that proves this would not hurt job creation. And there's also the patriotic millionaires that have been begging for years to pay a higher tax rate because they believe it's the patriotic thing to do," says Joel Lewis, from Wausau.
Congressional Republicans have been negotiating for all Bush-era tax breaks to stay in place, and to cut spending on entitlement programs...
But Democrats want America's wealthiest to pay a little more.
"We're handing out some literature just to explain what this vote is about, how they can affect it by calling Sean Duffy or writing to him or lobbying; just to increase awareness," says Lewis.
Duffy's spokesman John Gentzel sent us this statement: "Congressman Duffy continues to work toward a serious bipartisan resolution to the fiscal cliff that grows our economy through reduced Government spending and prevents Wisconsin's middle-class families from getting hit with a tax increase."
RHINELANDER - You could find teachers working at Culver's tonight. They served students and their families for the Rhinelander Middle School.
It was all part of Teachers Night at Culver's. A percentage of the evening's sales went to James Williams Middle School. Teachers say they liked taking on the new job.
"We're excited about meeting people that I have never met before, parents of students I don't have. I'm also excited to see parents I do know and families," said Adair Sexton, the Middle School Band Director.
RHINELANDER - Technology seems to change almost daily. That's why the City of Rhinelander Public Works Department is growing its use of radio water meter devices.
A little blue box takes in signals from radio water meters on certain homes installed with radio meters. Workers don't even need to get out of their cars to get a reading.
More than 200 homes in Rhinelander use the technology, but there are more then 3200 water customers in the area.
But Rhinelander Public Works Director Tim Kingman says the radio meters make the process much faster.
"An employee can go into a an area where these radio read instruments or meters are used and touch a button and it collects several if not dozens of meter readings at a time," Kingman said.
Tom Roeser reads meters, installs radio meters and does other kind of work for the Rhinelander Water Department. He has to walk through plenty of yards to get to readers.
"Oh yeah I get asked what I'm doing a lot," Roeser said.
For most of the properties in Rhinelander, Roeser uses a touch stick to automatically send readings to a wireless receiver he carries with him.
"You don't have to scroll to find out where you are in your route," Roeser said. "You can just read it and it moves into the hand held and you can continue on."
If the reader doesn't work, Roeser punches in the reading by hand. The department installs the radio meters on homes that are more spaced out, which helps speed up the process.
Rhinelander bills water quarterly, so every three months. A city wide radio meter system would speed up the process so much the city could have monthly billing. The upgrade would help customers find water waste issues sooner because they would see signs of it in their bill more often.
"We try to do that frequently as possibly can," Kingman said. "But with a quarterly system we're not able to do that as quickly as we would desire."
Kingman says right now it wouldn't be worth it to upgrade the entire system. The cost would outweigh the benefits to taxpayers and customers. So they'll take their time and upgrade little by little.
"We're trying to do two or three percent a year,"Kingman said.
That means Roeser will have plenty of walking ahead of him, but that's what he likes.
"The radar reads are fine, especially on the long runs," Roeser said. "But I like doing the walking."
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Neither Rockfleet Broadcasting / Northland Television, Inc. nor By Request Web Designs shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, or misprints.