State GOP Legislators Come to Central Wisconsin For Annual DinnerSubmitted: 02/03/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

ROTHSCHILD - It was a packed house at the Patriot Center in Rothschild Saturday night.

The Lincoln Day Dinner kicked off with a bit of mingling, but the event was really about getting involved in your government.

"I think if more people would do it, I think our country would be better served, said Congressman Sean Duffy.

"We have so many people out here engaging in the process today. On the Republican side is excellent and it's a great way when the democrats do it too. This is government participation and to come out and see your governor, your assemblymen, your senator… yea that's fantastic."

This is the second annual dinner.

Legislatures from different counties came as one and discussed different topics.

State Representative of the 87th District Mary Williams loves everything about events like this.

"I have one of the largest districts in the state. So it's rather hard to get to everybody when we do doors, you know to get to everybody," Williams said.

"But in an event like this just think of all the people that you can meet inside your district and outside your district."

The main message Governor Scott Walker wanted the people take away is that Republican needs to reconstruct the bases of their party.

"Their dream is that someday that through their hard work and determination they'll live their own life and pursue their own jobs and start their own company, to make their kids get an education that allows them to do a better job than they did," said Governor Walker.

"That's the message we need to take because that's a relevant message in every one of those groups I mentioned, every other person in this state and in this country. That's the message that republicans need to deliver because that's the bases of our party."

The event included speeches from state senators, state reps and of course, good old fashioned campaigning.

"There's a primary election February 19th and I'd like all of the voters out there to remember to go to the polls and to vote for Pat Roggensack." said Supreme Court Justice Pat Roggensack.

"This is probably the biggest audience I've talked in front of, especially this race," said Representative Don Pridemore.

"So it allows more efficiency in terms of campaigning strategy. That's why I'm so glad to be here and glad I was invited."

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RHINELANDER - Harvest Hoedown started Saturday at noon at the Woodpecker Bar and Grill in Rhinelander.

The event had a hay maze, horse drawn carriage rides, food, and live music all afternoon.

"I think it's going great. We got a little sunshine right now. We got probably a couple hundred people here. People are buying food, spending money. It's what we're after," said Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Executive Director Guy Hanson.

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NEKOOSA - People in Nekoosa could go back in time this weekend.

Volunteers at Pointe Basse recreated a historical camp portraying lives of people from the 1700s and early 1800s.

Volunteers from all across the U.S. all had a piece of history to share.

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EAGLE RIVER - Eagle River hosted its 36th annual Cranberry Fest during October's first weekend.

Organizers say the weather this year brought in many more visitors.

"People come to this whether there's good weather of bad weather," said Executive Director of the Eagle River Chamber Kim Emerson. "And with this year being great weather, we had above-average crowds and it was just spectacular. We're so happy about that."

By 3 p.m. Saturday, the World's Largest Cranberry Cheesecake had already been devoured. Sales of slices go towards the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. 

Organizers said they also almost sold out of cranberries, but they said they would still have more to sell on Sunday. 

There were also dozens of craft vendors, food and wine and cranberry marsh tours.

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RHINELANDER - A Wisconsin brewing company executive wants businesses to hire more veterans.

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ACROSS WISCONSIN - Abbotsford 62, Thorp 6

Algoma 24, Sturgeon Bay 8

Almond-Bancroft 61, Tigerton/Marion 6

Amherst 56, Manawa 6

Antigo 42, Lakeland 28

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MERRILL - Firefighters need to be prepared to rescue people from more than just fires.

People can get trapped in tree stands, water, or a tight spot. 

Local fire departments respond to those emergencies.

Merrill's first Citizen's Fire Academy learned about these specialized rescues Thursday night.

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VILAS COUNTY - In July, Karen Wessel gave her life to save a boy from drowning in Vilas County's Star Lake.  Now she is being recognized for her heroism.

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission announced Wessel as one of 22 recipients of the Carnegie medal.  It's presented to people who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while trying to save the life of another.

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