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Gov. Walker, Sen. Baldwin reflect on post-sequester battleSubmitted: 03/05/2013
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com

Gov. Walker, Sen. Baldwin reflect on post-sequester battle
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The President promised we'd start to feel the effects of the sequester soon. But not everyone's convinced he did enough to stop them from happening.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was in Washington last month. He and other governors met with President Obama to give him their take on the budget crisis.

"One of the suggestions I raised to the President of the United States was that if he didn't like, and I think most of us agree, the arbitrary nature of the sequester cuts, the perfect alternative is for him to do what most governors have done over the last two years, and that is bring his cabinet in, put together a responsible list of reductions, and provide it as an alternative," Walker said.

But Democrats disgree on where spending cuts should come from.

Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin thinks there are way too many tax loopholes for the rich.

"The Buffett Rule is one of them," Baldwin said. "That says the simple fact that someone who makes over $100,000,000 or $2,000,000 per year should not pay at a lower tax rate using multiple loopholes than middle class, hardworking families. Another one is just closing the loopholes, the incentives in our tax code for companies that ship jobs overseas."

Senator Baldwin also agrees the government needs to spend less money.

But she doesn't agree with the programs Republicans necessarily want to cut.

The forced sequester cuts totaled $85 billion affecting government and military programs across the nation.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

NORTHWESTERN WI - Heavy rains have caused an earthen dam to fail in a rural area of northwestern Wisconsin.

Douglas County Emergency Management Director Keith Kesler says he's unaware of any evacuations from the damage Monday. Few people live in the area.

Kesler says water is overtopping the Radigan Flowage Dam west of Dairlyland after several days of rain.

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MERCER -
People knew "Bike the Heart" as Vilas County's bike trail system.

Now that's changing as Mercer is now a part of "Bike the Heart."

That means the entire trail is more than 50 miles long!

But you'll have to wait until next month for Mercer's piece to be totally paved.

"It's been going for a long time. To be the last sort of Northern point of the trail for now, we are honored and excited about it," says Mercer Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Beth Wetzler.

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RHINELANDER - Wearing his black gown and mortarboard, Derek Pranke looked every bit the part of a proud graduate on Monday afternoon.

"We all pulled straight A's," Pranke said of his graduating class.

But Pranke knew his outfit beat the one he got used to wearing the last few years.

"[Class was] better than wasting time and just sitting and doing nothing in prison," Pranke said.

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ASHLAND COUNTY - Police believe a man died because of flooding in Ashland County. 

First responders found Thomas Koeper, 75, of Mason, Wisconsin near his truck in the Township of White River. 

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A culvert that collapsed after the weekend rainfall has caused Rocky Run Road west of Hwy 51 in Harshaw to be closed according to Cassian Town Chairman Tim Augustine. 


Augustine said in an email that the culvert is unsafe to be driven over. The Cassian Town Board has been working with property owners to get the culvert project underway. 

Construction to replace culvert is currently scheduled for July.

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - Camp American Legion recently opened up for visitors this year, but campers will notice some big changes.

The entire top floor of the main building was redone with new flooring and new bathrooms. The camp also cleared the way to put in concrete outside the front entrance to be used as a future spot for music and other outdoor gatherings.

But those aren't the only projects underway. 

"The other one that we worked on was the front entrance and the sunroom entrance out here actually on the second floor, and that got a complete facelift on it also," said Camp Director Don Grundy. "We got stone work on the outside, all new windows, that we'll now be able to use these spaces in the winter." 

Grundy hopes to be able to have winter programming in the future. The camp will also have a grand opening for a new building for families of the fallen this coming Wednesday.


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LAKE TOMAHAWK -
Heavy rain this weekend nearly delayed the start of Lake Tomahawk's snowshoe baseball season.

The Snowhawks will begin their 12 game schedule Monday night against Newswatch 12.

Early Monday, it looked like the field at Snowshoe Park might be too wet to play on.

Snowhawks Manager Jeff Smith said the sun Monday afternoon has helped prepare the wood chips on the field for the game.

"Once you get them ruffed up, it kind of pulls the moisture out. It's kind of nice to have the sun going, because it will dry some of that right up. It takes a little while, it takes a little wind, but with everything going on now it's going to make big improvements by game time," said Smith.

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