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NEWS STORIES

Local Effects of Sequestration UnclearSubmitted: 02/25/2013
Story By Lex Gray

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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.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Wisconsin election officials scramble on voter IDSubmitted: 09/15/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin election officials are scrambling to deal with the reinstatement of the requirement that voters show photo identification when casting ballots.

The law was reinstated last Friday by a federal appeals court in Chicago, just hours after hearing arguments in the case.

Government Accountability Board spokesman Reid Magney said Monday that the biggest immediate issue is what to do about more than 11,800 absentee ballots that have already been mailed, and perhaps returned, without the voter showing the required identification.

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Man arrested after 25 dead cows found Submitted: 09/15/2014

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BARRON - Authorities say a 47-year-old western Wisconsin man was arrested after officials discovered 25 dead cows on his farm.

The Barron County sheriff's office says the man was taken into custody Saturday on suspicion of mistreating animals and failing to provide food and drink to animals.

The Leader-Telegram reports the man was booked into jail, released and is due in court next month.

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Insurance expert: Faster you act, sooner you'll have coverage if you lost BadgerCareSubmitted: 09/15/2014

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MADISON - People who lost BadgerCare coverage after changes this year will get another chance to find health insurance on the federal online exchange this fall.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will give those people until November 2nd to enroll.

Security Health Plan Director of Marketing Marty Anderson says the company has insured around 31,000 people in Wisconsin from their plans offered on the federal exchange. He believes the extension was necessary and will help people who were confused by the changes to their coverage.

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Rhinelander District Library hires new directorSubmitted: 09/15/2014

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RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander District Library will welcome a new director at the end of October.

The library's board hired Virginia Woods Roberts to lead the library.

She's currently the director of the Chippewa Falls Library.

The board interviewed three other candidates.

Roberts has a master's degree in both library science and art.

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What clerks face with reinstatement of voter ID law Submitted: 09/15/2014

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ONEIDA COUNTY - You'll need a photo ID to vote in the November general election.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago reinstated Wisconsin's photo ID law on Friday.

Election workers should be able to handle the change at the polls in November.

But nearly 12,000 absentee ballots have already been sent out around the state.

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Judge halts proceedings in child stabbing caseSubmitted: 09/15/2014

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WAUKESHA - A judge has halted court proceedings for one of two 12-year-old girls accused of trying to kill a classmate to please a fictional character called Slender Man.

The girl's attorney, Maura McMahon, told Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren on Monday that she has questions about the girl's ability to assist in her own defense. Bohren ordered a competency examination to be completed within 30 days.

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Tomahawk man accused of growing marijuanaSubmitted: 09/15/2014

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TOMAHAWK - A 45 year old Tomahawk man sits in Lincoln County jail facing drug charges after police found marijuana growing on county land.

Last week, deputies were investigating a complaint of possible illegal camping on county land off of County Rd CC in the Town of Wilson. That's where they found a camp site with marijuana being grown.

Police found the suspect at the site yesterday morning.

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