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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
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 10/23/2014

- You can vote in the upcoming election before November 4th. In-person absentee voting started Monday. We'll tell you what Northwoods clerks say about how the process has been going.

- Plus, North Central Technical College recently received a huge grant that will go to their geriatric healthcare program. We'll hear from leaders at NTC on why the money is so important to our community.

We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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International group considers Wisconsin one of four most improved states in energy efficiency Submitted: 10/23/2014

WISCONSIN - An international energy efficiency group ranked Wisconsin in the top four most improved states in the U.S. when it comes to energy efficiency.

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is an international non-profit. The group pushes for better energy efficiency around the world.

They ranked Wisconsin 23rd in the U.S. last year, but Wisconsin made their most improved list for 2014.

"A shift in efficiency administrators had caused a temporary drop in saving," ACEEE State Policy Research Analyst Annie Gilleo said. "We are seeing that Wisconsin is once again realizing consistent levels of electricity and natural gas savings."

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Appeals court rejects John Doe rehearing requestSubmitted: 10/23/2014

MADISON - A federal appeals court has unanimously rejected a conservative group's request to reconsider a ruling last month tossing a lawsuit challenging an investigation into possible illegal campaign coordination.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday rejected the request from Wisconsin Club for Growth to rehear the case after a three-judge panel last month sided with investigators.

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Hunters kill 98 Wisconsin wolves, season could be over soonSubmitted: 10/23/2014

WISCONSIN - It looks like Wisconsin's third wolf season could be over soon.

The season began on Oct. 15. It's slated to run until Feb. 28 or until hunters reach the 150-animal statewide kill limit.

The Department of Natural Resources says hunters had bagged 98 wolves as of Wednesday, leaving them 52 shy of the statewide quota. The DNR closed four of its six wolf zones over the last week after hunters quickly reached or exceeded zone-specific kill limits.

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Dems fault Walker for not seeking preschool grantSubmitted: 10/23/2014

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker's administration has not applied for up to $60 million in preschool development grants from the federal government, a move Democrats decried as irresponsible.

The deadline for states to apply for as much as $250 million from the U.S. departments of Education and Health and Human Services is Friday.

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National Food Day encourages healthy choicesSubmitted: 10/23/2014

RHINELANDER - Healthy food choices will be easy to find in the Northwoods Friday!

National Food Day is sponsored by the Northwoods LEAN Coalition. LEAN stands for Linking Education, Activity, and Nutrition. They want to help people find opportunities to make healthy choices.

One option is to head to Trigs in Rhinelander to find healthy recipe demonstrations.

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Most voucher students came from private schoolsSubmitted: 10/23/2014

MADISON - The vast majority of students receiving a taxpayer-subsidized voucher to attend private school this year did not go to a Wisconsin public school last year.

Data released Thursday by the state Department of Public Instruction shows that just over 19 percent of the 538 students who entered the statewide program this year attended a public school last year.

Over the two years of the program, just under 20 percent of those receiving a voucher came from a public school.

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