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Democrats hoping Gov. Walker will decide on federal Medicaid coverageSubmitted: 02/05/2013
Democrats hoping Gov. Walker will decide on federal Medicaid coverage
Story By The Associated Press

MADISON - Democratic lawmakers and health care advocates are calling on Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans who control the Legislature to expand Medicaid coverage as allowed under the federal health care overhaul law.

Walker has not said if he will take advantage of the voluntary expansion. He has indicated his decision won't be announced until when he releases his two-year state spending plan on Feb. 19.

Expanding Medicaid in Wisconsin as allowed could result in 175,000 uninsured childless adults getting coverage.

State Rep. Jon Richards of Milwaukee says Walker should follow the lead of other Republican governors who have agreed to take the federal money to pay for the expansion. Under the law, the federal government would pay for the added costs through 2016.

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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander woman stole nearly $30,000 from the car dealership that she worked at, according to a criminal complaint.

Police arrested Anna Petersen this week and prosecutors charged her with a felony of theft in a business setting.  She made her initial appearance in Oneida County Court Tuesday afternoon.

Her bosses at Rhinelander GM told detectives Petersen, 41, authorized at least five checks to be cashed as "petty cash" over the last two months.  The checks totaled to $28,796.86.

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WAUSAU - Gov. Scott Walker sees health insurance premiums going up and insurers leaving Wisconsin's Obamacare marketplaces.

He has a plan he says will help fix both problems.

After touring the new cardiac intensive care unit at Aspirus Wausau Hospital on Tuesday, Walker promoted his plan.

"In my mind, Washington has failed [on health care]. Wisconsin is going to lead," he said.

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RHINELANDER - Voting polls opened for the Wisconsin Supreme Court Primary Election Tuesday.

However, election officials had mixed feelings about the number of voters showing up.

Election Official Patty Fitzpatrick worked at the Oneida County Department of Aging voting location.
She saw a low number of voters, but she doesn't think that's because of weather.

"A lot of people view the election for judges as kind of a snooze, which is unfortunate because it really is important, because it's the judges who are upholding the law and making the law," said Fitzpatrick.

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RHINELANDER - If you paid attention to the Rhinelander Library's Facebook page Monday night, you would've seen a strange sight. Dozens of furry friends had a sleepover party at the library.

Kids dropped off their favorite stuffed animals, and could then watch what the animals were getting up to over Facebook. Library staff had plenty of activities for the animals including story time, snack time, and play time.

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MERRILL - A 27-year veteran of the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office hopes to become that department's next leader.  Lieutenant Ken Schneider announced his candidacy for Lincoln County Sheriff on Tuesday afternoon.

Current Sheriff Jeff Jaeger announced he would retire at the end of his term, which finishes in early 2019.  Jaeger has been sheriff for 11 years.

Schneider currently serves as senior patrol supervisor.  He started his career with the LCSO as a corrections officer.  In the past, Schneider supervised the Sheriff's Office detectives, telecommunications division, and was SWAT team supervisor.

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THE NORTHWOODS - When you book a hotel or rent a house you expect a certain level of standard when it comes to health and safety.

With a recent change in state short-term rental laws, Oneida County worries about getting every place inspected.

Currently there are about 220 rentals in Oneida County that require an annual inspection from the Oneida County Health Department, with only three environmental health specialists to do so.

A new law makes it easier for people to rent their homes, which will likely add to their work load. 

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WAUSAU - Wausau police believe a dead man may have been killed.  In a press release, the Wausau Police Department says officers responded to reports of a dead body in the 1000 block of Kickbusch Street on Tuesday around 10 a.m.

Investigators noted "suspicious circumstances" with the death.  The department is investigating the case as a homicide.

Deputy Chief Ben Bliven tells Newswatch 12 police do not have any suspects under arrest as of 12:50 p.m.  Bliven also did not release how the man died.

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