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NEWS STORIES

No deal reached: Wisconsin lawmakers discuss Sequester cutsSubmitted: 02/28/2013
Story By Lane Kimble


WASHINGTON, D.C. - We hoped Congress could compromise, but hopes to avoid the Sequester seem to be all but gone Thursday night.

It looks like billions of dollars in mandatory federal cuts will happen starting Friday.

The Senate voted on two bills aimed at avoiding the sequester Thursday.

One was GOP backed and one Democratic, but both failed to get the necessary votes to pass.

Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin was hoping to cut, what she calls, outdated tax loopholes and deals that ship jobs overseas.

"Both of these are just common sense, have mass support throughout the United States and ought to be part of our plan, in a balanced, responsible and credible way, reduce our defecit," Senator Baldwin said.

But that didn't happen.

Meanwhile, the House went home for the weekend without a vote. They're not scheduled to be back on the floor until Monday.

Wisconsin Representative Sean Duffy thinks cuts can be made to "non essential services", but the choice is ultimately up to the President.

"Our government spends $3.5, $3.6 trillion a year," Rep. Duffy said. "This is two percent of that. We can easily continue with our essential services. But if the president wants to cut the meat of those services, he'll have the discretion to do it and he can make it painful."

The President will meet with lawmakers late Thursday night, but it's not likely a deal will be reached.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - A Republican lawmaker has reintroduced a bill that would outlaw using GPS to secretly track someone.

Under Rep. Adam Neylon's bill, anyone who secretly placing a GPS device on another person's vehicle would be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to nine months in jail and $10,000 in fines.

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WAUSAU - Enrollment for health coverage will end soon. That's why healthcare providers participated in "Super Saturday".

Bridge Clinic in Wausau welcomed people to sign up for health insurance options Saturday.

The Open Enrollment deadline is February 15th. If you don't sign up before then, it could cost you $325 or more depending on your income.

"We recommend just make an informed choice. Don't just let it lapse and get the penalty, be surprised with a penalty later on. Come in, make an informed choice. There are health care options," said Bridge Community Health Clinic Executive Director Laura Scudiere.

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MILWAUKEE - A winter storm warning will go into effect in the Milwaukee area and far southern Wisconsin on Saturday night " and the National Weather Service says as much as 10 inches of snow could fall in Kenosha County by early Monday.

Snow is forecast to begin falling late Saturday and continue all day Sunday. Lake-effect snow is expected to combine with a low pressure system from the south to drive up snowfall totals in far southeast Wisconsin. Milwaukee could see up to 9 inches.

Blowing and drifting snow is expected and winds could gust to over 30 mph, making travel dangerous.

Other parts of the state, including Sheboygan, Dodge, and Waukesha counties, will be under a winter weather advisory starting Saturday night. Snow accumulations could reach 4 to 7 inches.

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NEW YORK - More than 2 million Toyota, Chrysler and Honda vehicles are being recalled for a second fix for faulty air bags that may inadvertently inflate while the car is running.

The recall includes some Acura MDX, Dodge Viper, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Honda Odyssey, Pontiac Vibe, Toyota Corolla and Toyota Avalon models made from 2002 to 2004.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says all the vehicles covered in Saturday's announcement had already been under a recall for the faulty air bags, but the carmakers' original attempts to fix the defects only worked about 85 percent of the time.

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HUDSON - A standoff between police and a man in Hudson has ended with the man taken into custody.

Hudson Police Chief Marty Jensen says a man with a "known history of violence" was arrested shortly before 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Police were initially called to the house at 3 a.m. Jensen says the man had trashed his ex-girlfriend's home and phone, but she was able to get to a friend's house and call police.

The woman told police there was a handgun in the house. Roughly eight nearby homes were evacuated as police and the SWAT team tried to get the man to come outside.

Jensen says no shots were fired, but authorities used tear gas and other chemicals during the standoff.

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ST. GERMAIN - Bikinis and snowmobiles don't typically mix. Except, when you're at the St. Germain Bikini Run.

The event draws a huge crowd every year and it raised thousands of dollars for charity.

"We started with six girls and maybe $8000 seven years ago. Now, we're up to 33 girls today and more than $50,000," says Mark Hiller, the St. Germain Radar Run race director. "Every year it just grows, and grows."

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NORTHWOODS - The U.S. Forest Service will hire thousands of temporary workers this spring. Leaders at the Chequamegon Nicolet Forest Service want to hire more than 50 temporary employees to work during summer. They're looking for people with diverse backgrounds and plenty of experience.

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