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NEWS STORIES

Democrats hoping Gov. Walker will decide on federal Medicaid coverageSubmitted: 02/05/2013
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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 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - A bipartisan group of lawmakers is urging Republican Gov. Scott Walker to reconsider his decision to reject a Menominee Tribe casino in Kenosha.

Ten lawmakers, including Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, sent Walker the letter Wednesday.

Walker said Friday he was not going to approve the $800 million casino, citing concerns over potential losses to the state due to terms of a compact with the Forest County Potawatomi Tribe.

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RHINELANDER - Many hunters know the animals they hunt live off of a certain type of tree.

If those trees aren't around, the animal species could struggle to stay alive.

A part of the U.S. Farm Bill called the Regional Conservation Partnership Program will pay forest landowners for clearing younger types of forest.

"It's important in this area because normally what we are doing is setting back the successional stages of the forest," Wisconsin Young Forest Partnership Habitat Coordinator Callie Bertsch said. "This would have normally happened by a natural disturbance, like wind and fire. Obviously we still have wind disturbances, but we suppress fires a lot."

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CRANDON - Prosecutors think a Forest County woman protected her boyfriend after he threw her young son across a room in 2013.

Jennifer Shepard is charged with three felonies in the wake of the incident, including abuse, neglect, and helping a felon. Her boyfriend, Brandon Brunette, was sentenced to fifteen years in prison in October for throwing the boy.

Shepard was in court today to face another felony charge.

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LAONA - The Laona Fire Department got a new fire truck this month with many updated features. The department thinks it will be able to protect its community more effectively after the major upgrade.

The department has a few trucks that are getting old, but they hope to slowly get rid of the aging fire trucks and replace them with newer equipment. Laona Fire Chief David Rosio said the department had some help getting the new truck.

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HURLEY - Cars in line wrap around block after block on the snowy streets of Hurley.

"Well, I got here at 11:15, and now I'm through the line, and it's 1:30," says Cindy Brannigan. "But it's worth it."

She calls this time of each month, the last week, "the hard time" for many families in the area. The next paycheck or Social Security check is a week away.

Sometimes, the food supply at home is almost gone.

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CRANDON - A Crandon man will spend more than ten years in prison for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl last year.

34-year-old Gerald Schleisner found out his sentence Tuesday.

This was the second time Schleisner has been convicted of sexually assaulting a child.

He was convicted in 2007 in Milwaukee County.

Schleisner apologized to the victim in court Tuesday.

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PELICAN LAKE - Police don't know what caused a fuel truck to crash near Pelican Lake Tuesday.

Thankfully the truck didn't spill any of its payload.

The accident happened around 10 a.m. Tuesday morning on Highway 45 just north of Pelican Lake. The truck made its way over an embankment before stopping in a thick area of trees.

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