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.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - On a busy stretch of Highway 47 near Lac du Flambeau -- where hundreds of wheels spin at 55 miles-per-hour each day -- just one tire drags at a slower pace, pulled by one man: the Tire Man.
"I guess I'm the only one nutty enough to do it, I suppose," Frank Tarantino said with a laugh.
Tarantino lives in Mercer, but trains for marathons in Lac du Flambeau. He started pulling a tire on a chain a few years ago after reading about it in a fitness magazine. People often stop to take his picture.
"Little by little you run a little further, a little further," Tarantino said.
RHINELANDER - Cancer survivors and supporters gathered at Ministry St. Mary's Hospital for the 10th annual Celebration of Life Thursday. The event honors those battling cancer or survivors of cancer and shows people what kinds of services the James Beck Cancer Center offers.
The center's namesake lost his life to cancer, but now others will be able to benefit from his gift to the hospital.
"With his vision and his dollars we were able to put this cancer center here in Rhinelander so patients don't have to travel to larger cities," said Director of Cancer Services Kimberly Hetland.
This year's speaker was Mike Regole, a survivor of tonsil cancer. He spoke about his experience at the center, how family and support affected his journey, and how he ran a business while having cancer.
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