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NEWS STORIES

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


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: 11/26/2014

- The Northwoods teaching assistant accused of having sex with an underage teen reached a plea deal. Find out more tonight on Newswatch 12.

- Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) wants a spot on the legislature's powerful budget committee. Find out which Northwoods lawmaker beat him to it.

- It's a double whammy for cranberry growers in the Northwoods " a smaller harvest, and lower cranberry prices. What the U.S. government is doing about it, tonight on Newswatch 12.

- Your organization can get some free help solving a challenge or working on a project. 16 members of the Leadership Oneida County program are spending 9 months getting to know the services and organizations in the county.

- And success keeps coming for a musician native to Eagle River. Autumn Skibinski and her band "Only on Tuesdays" started a Kickstarter campaign back in July to help fundraise for an Extended Play (EP) album. Lac Vieux Desert Resort Casino in Watersmeet, Michigan donated the full amount to Autumn's band. The band completed work on the project, and released the EP Tuesday. We'll have reaction from Autumn on her group's success coming up tonight.

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

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Bakeries in the Northwoods prepare for ThanksgivingSubmitted: 11/26/2014

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ST. GERMAIN - Not many "made from scratch" bakeries exist in the Northwoods.

But, the ones that do are busy preparing treats for Thanksgiving tomorrow.

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Wetland restoration plan broadens options for DNR, permit seekersSubmitted: 11/26/2014

WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin DNR puts an emphasis on keeping the state's wetland system healthy.

People and organizations now have a new option for addressing wetland damage because of construction.

When people or businesses fill in wetlands, they have to get a permit.

Before, they could restore other wetlands or buy credits from what are called wetland mitigation banks.

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Balanced plate could be best option for Thanksgiving mealSubmitted: 11/26/2014

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- Americans will eat more than 40 million turkeys Thursday, and that won't be the only delicious food on the table.

Thanksgiving can start weight gain for many people across the country. Dieticians like Jennifer Mikulich with Aspirus say this is the time of year when some patients avoid their dieticians. She believes the key to a healthy day is a balanced plate.

"You know have a balance between those foods that have some carbohydrates and those foods that don't," Mikulich said. "If you're somebody that is a really big sweet eater and you know there is pecan pie and pumpkin pie, well maybe you won't have the dinner roll and the mashed potatoes."

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Intriguing projects neededSubmitted: 11/26/2014

ONEIDA COUNTY - Your organization can get some free help solving a challenge or working on a project.

Sixteen members of the Leadership Oneida County program are spending nine months getting to know the services and organizations in the county.

One of their requirements for graduation is to complete a community project by this coming May.

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Northwoods woman accused of having sex with son's underage friend reaches plea dealSubmitted: 11/26/2014

VILAS COUNTY - The former Northwoods teaching assistant accused of having sex with an underage teen reached a plea deal in Vilas County Court on Wednesday.

41-year-old Jody Shepherd pled no contest to a felony charge of second degree sexual assault of a child under 16.

A second count was dismissed as part of the deal.

Shepherd was a special ed teaching assistant at North Lakeland School in Manitowish Waters.

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Small Business Saturday: why stores want you to shop localSubmitted: 11/26/2014

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RHINELANDER - Following Thanksgiving Day shopping and after Black Friday, Northwoods businesses hope you'll stick around for one more shopping day- Small Business Saturday.

The day encourages shoppers to stay local and help businesses in the community.
Small Business Saturday first began in 2010.

Last year consumers spent about $5.7 billion at independent stores.

Shops like Imaginuity in Rhinelander have jumped on board to bring in customers.

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