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.
RHINELANDER - A snow storm caught Hanson's Garden Village in Rhinelander off guard last weekend and collapsed a greenhouse. Now that spring weather is here, Hanson's is ready to move forward by making some adjustments. "We got by for 25 years doing what we were doing," said Hanson's Garden Village Co-owner Brent Hanson. Last weekend's spring snow storm set back Hanson's. "We thought we were ahead of schedule having that greenhouse nice and filled," said Hanson's Manager Beth Hanson.
"One bad storm and there you go. Things happen," said Brent. The storm collapsed a greenhouse holding thousands of plants. "For years we've gotten by with these lighter cheaper green houses," said Brent. "We'll be down a greenhouse for a little bit here," said Beth. Now Hanson's will only use sturdier and solid greenhouses so that collapses don't become a pattern.
RHINELANDER - Oneida County needs more foster care homes. Right now, there are nine licensed foster homes in the area, most of which are full according to the county's social services department.
Foster Care Coordinator Rachel Nelson says that in Oneida County there are 24 children currently living in foster homes. The department participated in a statewide foster care recruitment project last fall, and discovered just how great the need is.
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