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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
Naked, screaming man arrested at Capitol rotundaSubmitted: 09/29/2014

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MADISON - State officials are looking into how a naked man found his way into the Wisconsin state Capitol's rotunda.

The man appeared undressed in the rotunda around 4 p.m. Monday and began shouting at the top of his lungs. It was unclear what he was saying.

A Capitol Police officer quickly led him away.

Stephanie Marquis is a spokeswoman for the state Department of Administration, which oversees the Capitol Police. She says the man was screaming that he was Jesus Christ. She says he will be taken to jail on suspicion of disorderly conduct and lewd and lascivious behavior.

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Local pharmacies and clinics prep flu vaccineSubmitted: 09/29/2014

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RHINELANDER - About 62 million Americans got their flu shot as of September 19.

Health leaders believe that the flu shot is the best way to prevent getting sick this season.

Pharmacies and clinics in the Northwoods are prepared to hand out flu shots.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say manufacturers believe 151-159 million doses of flu vaccine will be produced this season.

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Wisconsin DNR reports $11.7m in timber salesSubmitted: 09/29/2014

WISCONSIN - The state Department of Natural Resources says Wisconsin saw record timber sales from state lands during the last fiscal year.

DNR Chief Forester Paul DeLong says timber sales totaled $11.71 million during the year that ended June 30. That's up from $10.8 million during fiscal year 2013.

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Local group helps fight Ebola in AfricaSubmitted: 09/29/2014

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RHINELANDER - The Ebola virus may seem to be a world away... but people right here in the Northwoods are helping to fight it.

Wise Intentional Leadership Development, otherwise known as WILD, is doing their part to raise money. The Rhinelander based group began training and developing young people in Africa in 2001.

"Our primary purpose, mission is to offer leadership development with a Christian perspective and really focus on the youth, cause over half the population in Africa is 25 and younger," explains WILD Executive Director Mike Prom. "So if we can help develop the youth, we can help change Africa."

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Lawmaker's daughter faces new drug chargesSubmitted: 09/29/2014

GREEN BAY - The daughter of a Wisconsin lawmaker faces new criminal charges accusing her of possessing narcotics.

Twenty-five-year-old Cassie Nygren of Marinette appeared in Brown County court on Monday after being arrested Friday morning. Nygren faces two counts of possession of narcotic drugs and one count of possessing an illegally obtained prescription.

Nygren's struggle with heroin has made her a face of recovery and prompted her father, Republican state Rep. John Nygren, to draft legislation aimed at helping addicts.

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Free internet marketing help offered to small businessesSubmitted: 09/29/2014

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ONEIDA AND VILAS COUNTIES - Small businesses can struggle to make their presence known.

Websites and social media could help them reach more people. But designing a website can be a challenge.

UW Extension will offer free internet marketing training to some Northwoods small businesses.

Small business owners and employees from Oneida, Vilas, Bayfield and Ashland counties can participate in the training.

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FAA: 2 weeks to reopen Chicago-area control centerSubmitted: 09/29/2014

CHICAGO - The Federal Aviation Administration says it will take about two weeks to fully reopen a Chicago-area control center where an act of sabotage brought the city's two international airports to a halt last week.

The FAA said Sunday it hopes to return the facility to full service by Oct. 13.

Authorities say a contract employee started a fire Friday at regional control center in suburban Aurora and then attempted to commit suicide. More than 2,000 flights were canceled that day at O'Hare and Midway international airports, disrupting travel nationwide.

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