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NEWS STORIES

President Obama Makes Emotional Plea for Gun ReformSubmitted: 02/12/2013
Story By Lex Gray


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Several weeks ago, you saw President Obama roll out an aggressively progressive agenda during his inauguration speech.

Tonight, the nation watched to see if that theme would continue in the State of the Union address.

At first, the president rehashed many of the topics that dominated his campaign.
He talked health care, tax code and immigration reform.

He talked about bringing jobs back home, improving education, and moving toward sustainable energy.

But just after the one hour mark, the President seemed to change his tone.

That's because there's been one big change since he was reelected - the Sandy Hook shooting.

The President called on the House and Senate to at least vote on his gun reform proposals.

Gabby Giffords was in the audience, along with more than two dozen others affected by gun violence.

"Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote," said the President, continuing on with other examples of gun violence. "They deserve a simple vote."

He said the country has debated gun violence before, but "this time it's different."

He called for "common sense reform," in particular requiring background checks for individuals who want to buy guns.

He also talked about police chiefs working together to get high capacity magazines off the streets.

In the audience was Oak Creek shooting survivor Lieutenant Brian Murphy.

"Brian was the first to arrive, and he did not consider his own safety," the President said. "He fought back until help arrived, and ordered his fellow officers to protect the safety of the fellow Americans worshiping inside, even as he lay bleeding from 12 bullet wounds."

The President also said 34,000 troops will be home by the end of this year, and the war in Afghanistan will be finished by the end of next year.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

NORTHWOODS - Our nation celebrates its independence in three days. People in the Northwoods are planning how they want to view fireworks. Will they buy their own, or will they see a community show?

Peter Anderson has been a fireworks organizer for the city of Eagle River for several years.

"We've been doing it for a long time," he said. "We hire a fireworks company to come in and do it every year for us. It's just kind of a tradition to celebrate the 4th of July."

Many communities in the Northwoods put on firework displays. And those displays can cost quite a bit of money.

"Right around $9000 is what we spend in Eagle River," said Anderson. "It all goes right towards the fireworks. Everything else is volunteer; we get the land donated to us, we get everybody's time donated to us, and all of the money goes directly towards the fireworks."

Anderson says a big reason his community does a display is so people can celebrate on the fourth safely.

"I'm on the fire department; that's one of the reasons why I got involved with it was to have a nice big community firework display so that people don't have to do their own displays," said Anderson.

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It's part of the SafeRide Home Program, funded mainly by the tavern league.

About 150 people use the SafeRide Home program every month in Lincoln County.

The program's success could be one reason it will get less money from state grants.

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