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.
Cooking for people with multiple, chronic health conditions
MINOCQUA - For people struggling with chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease, cooking can be a challenge.
But being careful with how you cook doesn't mean your meal has to be bland.
One dietician teaches the "Cooking for Multiple Diseases" class at Nicolet College in Minocqua.
People taking her class need help finding the best recipes for their conditions.
"Maybe they have diabetes and their spouse has heart disease. Or other people in the family may have a different disease," said Mary Sikora-Petersen, a Registered dietician. "They want to know, how [to] cook a meal that's going to be for everybody in the family."
Petersen also stresses the importance of using healthier ingredients without losing flavor. One way to do that is by using seed-based seasonings and avoiding too much salt.
"[Add] flavors to food without adding salt. Certainly, salt adds flavor," said Petersen. "But there are other ways to add flavor, such as adding ground seasonings, adding fresh herbs to the foods."
Petersen also recommends using light olive oils and whole wheat products.
GREEN BAY - Two people convicted of mistreating cows at a Brown County dairy farm have been fined hundreds of dollars.
Lucia Martinez pleaded no contest Tuesday to two counts of mistreating animals, and Abelardo Jaimes pleaded no contest to one count. As part of a plea deal the charge was downgraded from a misdemeanor to a forfeiture.
Prosecutor David Lasee says with fines and court costs, Martinez will owe about $1,100, while Jaimes will have to pay $600 to $700.
Martinez, Jaimes and two others were charged after Mercy for Animals, an animal-rights group, secretly recorded workers beating injured cows.
Jaimes' attorney, Luca Lopes Fagundes, says workers were told they needed to make sure sick cows didn't remain down because they could die.
A message left with Martinez's attorney wasn't immediately returned.
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