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NEWS STORIES

Local Effects of Sequestration UnclearSubmitted: 02/25/2013

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RHINELANDER - First, we went off the fiscal cliff. Then, Washington lawmakers pulled us back up -- but not for long.

Now, the country faces what politicians are calling "the sequester."

If Congress can't reach a deal by Friday, $85 billion will be cut from public programs.

In Wisconsin, that includes schools, the military, and programs for the environment, seniors, public health, child care, and more.

That comes from a 50-page report from the White House on how Wisconsin would be affected.

The report didn't give an exact or estimated dollar amount, and no one around the Northwoods seems to know exactly how they'd be affected, either.

That's true for Dianne Jacobson, director of the Oneida County Department on Aging.

The federal government funds twenty percent of her department.

"That's a significant amount but as I said, we don't want anyone that we serve to worry, 'Oh they're going to cut that program or they're going to reduce that.'" Jacobson said. "We always will have to look based on the funding that we get, but at this point, we are not anticipating a cut of our services."

Jacobson encourages seniors to talk to their local representatives.

Congressman Sean Duffy spoke to us on the phone from Washington, D.C.

He said he wants to prevent cuts to essential services, but the compromise should be about cutting spending, not raising taxes, as the President has proposed.

"We think we have to get our spending under control. And if we don't, you can't tax your way out of this problem," Duffy said. "I'm trying to look for ways, per the prior agreement with the President, to get us to a place where we can actually live within our means. And that means to start cutting the fat and waste within the federal budget."

The Federal Aviation Administration would be included in the cuts, but the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport is so small, it likely wouldn't be affected.

But the Chippewa Valley Airport would close.

Story By: Lex Gray

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Speeding past orange barrels could bring $300 fineSubmitted: 07/28/2014

MINNESOTA - Getting caught speeding through a road construction work zone is about to get more costly in Minnesota.

Starting Friday, the offense comes with an automatic $300 fine plus the normal traffic ticket surcharges. That's under a new state law approved during the legislative session.

Officials from the Department of Transportation, a highway contractor and the State Patrol planned a news conference Monday to highlight the change. They hope the steeper penalty will serve as a deterrent.

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Golden Harvest opens its doors at a new locationSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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RHINELANDER - Doors officially opened for one Northwoods Grocery store.

Golden Harvest Market welcomed customers to their new location on County Road G Monday. The 17,000 square foot building has been under construction since November.

Timothy Conjurske, Golden Harvest's president, says the entire team has been working extremely hard the past few weeks.

"We've already added a few thousand items in all categories," says Conjurske. "Also, the deli is new and will be opening here in the next week or two. We're slowly working our way up to more production in that area."

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Merrill's downtown mural by student artists evokes history, cultureSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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MERRILL - "We normally do murals inside the high school by famous artists, and we do a re-creation of their work," says Merrill high school junior McKenzie Broeking.

But Broeking is painting with six other juniors, not only outside of the high school, but completely outdoors.

"They've run out of room in the high school for these murals. They have many of them now in the school. They decided to move their talents outside," says Art Lersch, a Community Resource Development Educator with the Lincoln County UW-Extension.

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80-year-old dies after getting hit by trainSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS - An 80-year-old woman died Sunday in Wisconsin Rapids after getting hit by a train.

Police say Joyce Huber, 80, died at the scene.

Huber tried to cross the tracks and was hit by a Canadian National Railway train that was going south.

Police say the railroad crossing safety arms and lights were working.

They also say the train's horn was working.

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UPDATE: Missing man found dead in car underwaterSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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IRONWOOD, MI - Police found a missing Hurley man in his car underwater in Ironwood, Sunday.

74-year-old Duane Jussila's car was found underwater under about 10 feet of water in an area off of Alfred Wright Boulevard.

Jussila was reported missing July 5th. The man was suffering from dementia.

Police are still investigating.


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Study: fist bumps spread 90% fewer germs than handshakesSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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NATIONWIDE - You could spread fewer germs by going with the fist bump instead of a handshake.

A new study from Aberystwyth University in Wales shows a fist bump spreads 90 percent fewer germs compared to a handshake. That could be the difference between staying healthy and getting sick.

"That portion of our hands is subjected to every surface area, desktops, and countertops as well," said Oneida County Public Health Nurse Charlotte Ahrens. "We probably have a gazillion germs that are hitting that surface at any given point in time."

Researchers say the fist bump may be more hygienic because of its speed and smaller surface area. Health leaders like Ahrens say the transfer of some germs can actually help us.

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Wisconsin man gets 9.5 years for drunk drivingSubmitted: 07/28/2014

MILWAUKEE - A Wisconsin man has been sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison for leading police on a drunken driving chase that ended in a near-fatal crash.

The Journal Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/1nSZKzi ) 41-year-old Kevin Hutchins Jr. of Milwaukee reached speeds of 100 mph during a seven-mile police chase. Deputy Scott Griffin was critically injured when Hutchins' vehicle bounced off of a barricade and smashed into his squad car.

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