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Oneida County's Board of Supervisors Vote Against State's Budget CutSubmitted: 02/25/2013
Story By Ryan Abney

Oneida County's Board of Supervisors Vote Against State's Budget Cut
ONEIDA COUNTY - In a tourist driven economy---our lakes might be the Northwood's most valuable resource. Wisconsin's Conservation fund helps the area protect its waterways.

But this year--the state budget cut the same fund by over a million dollars. Oneida County's Board of Supervisors has voted to send the state a resolution.

They're asking to restore the old 9.3-million dollar budget. Conservationist Jean Hansen knows what's at stake if the right steps aren't taken.

"We have a concentration of lakes that are really unique to the country. Not only to tourism but to the local people as well and if we didn't have the clean water, that would affect a lot of things. That would trickle down to the lake itself."

Conservation Chair Tom Rudolph was in favor of the board's resolution. Some people think protecting the waterways is a personal responsibility. But he thinks such a big issue takes a group effort.

"It's imperative that we protect the common good. And the lakes for example are part of the natural resources that belong to all of us, and we need to look at it from that stand point."

The final vote came out to be 14-5 in favor of the resolution.




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 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - Hodag Park received a sizable donation Thursday morning. New sand was dropped off to help the Rhinelander Parks Department grow the beach back to its original shape.

There were thousands of pounds of sand dropped off and spread out. There was a high need for this because of all the rain we've had this season.

"It was getting in pretty poor shape and washing out more and more, but this year especially, it just seems like we've lost a lot of sand. So now we're going to shape it up nicely and hopefully it'll last the year," said Rhinelander Parks Director, Jeremy Biolo.

All of that sand was donated and delivered by a company in Rhinelander.

"Musson Brothers, Inc. donated all the sand and they said we could help ourselves to as much as we want, which is unbelievable because this beach really needed some work," said Biolo. "Every little bit like that helps our community out and it improves the community. It's awesome that the Musson Brothers stepped up and would do that for us."

The beach usually has to be touched up about once a year. The parks department plans on reconstructing the beach to improve it for visitors.

"We talked to the DNR and they don't want us to go too far into the water but we can retake the shoreline that used to exist there," said Biolo.

There was an additional hole created from flooding in the back of the park that drained on to the beach. All of that was filled in and fixed.

The parks department also hopes to make more improvements throughout the season such as new docs.

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RHINELANDER - Nicolet College's Motorcycle Basic Rider Course teaches folks to safely hit the road on their bike.

The class is in full swing for the season.

Nicolet College Rider Coach Mike Murray says even experienced riders can use a "safety brush-up" this time of year.

Riders should always wear their helmet, long pants and shirts, gloves, and boots.

It's also important to keep your eyes moving for critters that come out of the woods,especially deer.

"If you know you're going to hit it: let off your brakes, hit it with your handle bars straight ahead looking straight ahead so that your bike stays straight up," says rider coach Mike Murray.

The course covers the basics about motorcycles and riding techniques.

It's meant to build confidence when you ride, so that you're prepared for emergencies on the road.

"I've been a rider for a long time. When I completed the class, I had to look back and say man there is a lot of stuff I learned here and a lot of things I was doing the wrong way," says program coordinator Mark England.

You have until October to sign up for the Basic Rider Course at Nicolet.

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MADISON - Wisconsin's prisons for young offenders could see some changes in the way they punish inmates.

A lawsuit is challenging punishment methods at the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake prisons in Lincoln County.



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ANTIGO - Shaughn Novy figured the perfect place to make a big announcement would be, literally, on her high horse.  On a brown horse, Wenesday Novy announced a significant grant to help promote a rodeo dedicated to Antigo's rich equestrian history.

Novy and her family recently opened the non-profit Black Hawk Hill Horse Park in Antigo.  It focuses on teambuilding and leadership, using horses to teach those skills.

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STEVENS POINT - Just shy of turning 96, Will Lehner's body doesn't quite work like it used to.

He's done a lot in his years, but on Wednesday, he did the one thing he never thought possible, he traded in his walker for some wings.

"Thank God that I'm here," Lehner said with a laugh.

The Pearl Harbor Navy Veteran climbed into a 1944 Boeing Stearman biplane--with a few helping hands--and took off over the skies of Stevens Point.

"I was anxious to keep going," said Lehner.

Lehner was able to enjoy this flight thanks to pilot Darryl Fisher.

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MADISON - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is urging Republican senators to reject a Medicaid expansion he turned down but that most states accepted under the health care law passed by former President Barack Obama.

Walker said in a statement Wednesday that there are "no excuses" for Republicans in Congress not to repeal the law and not allow the Medicaid expansion to grow.

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MILWAUKEE - A Milwaukee jury has acquitted a former police officer of first-degree reckless homicide in the shooting of a black man last year that ignited riots in the city.

Jurors on Wednesday found that Dominique Heaggan-Brown, who is also black, was justified when he shot 23-year-old Sylville Smith after a brief foot chase following a traffic stop Aug. 23. Smith had a gun when he ran, but prosecutors said Smith had thrown the weapon over a fence and was defenseless when Heaggan-Brown fired the shot that killed him.

Heaggan-Brown's attorneys argued the officer had to act quickly to defend himself. Bodycam footage showed 1.69 seconds passed between a shot that hit Smith in the arm - as he appeared to be tossing his gun - and the one that hit his chest.

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