WASHINGTON - Northwoods Republican Congressman Sean Duffy thinks his rural background is perfect for his latest role in Congress.
Duffy will be the new Vice-Chairman of a subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit.
That's contained under the House Financial Services Committee.
"Being born and raised in rural America, I understand how important our small community credit unions are. They're the lifeblood of economic growth within our community," Duffy says.
Duffy's subcommittee will take a more relevant role after the 2008 financial collapse and the Dodd-Frank legislation that followed it.
"Our small community banks were not the cause of the financial crisis. But often times, they bear the brunt of the new rules and regulations that have come out. The cost of compliance, the cost of these regulations are far higher for them. So that's a focus for me," he says.
Within the Financial Services Committee, Duffy also serves on the Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing, and Community Opportunity.
Milwaukee Democrat Gwen Moore is the only other Wisconsinite on Financial Services.
VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County finally got what it wanted. For fifteen years, the county had needed someone to act as a full-time Recreational Officer--someone to monitor public safety on the snowmobile and ATV trails as well as the lakes and rivers. Now, Vilas County Deputy Sheriff Randy Schneider will fill that role.
PHILLIPS - The Price County Sheriff's Office wants to find out what it needs to do to get a K-9 officer. Sheriff Brian Schmidt believes a new dog would improve the office's ability to find drugs.
The county doesn't have its own K-9 officer. However, they do turn to other departments for help.
"What we would utilize is surrounding counties, and it is at their discretion," Schmidt said. "Like Rhinelander, we utilize their dog on occasion, maybe once or twice a year. But again, it is their dog, so they have their needs come first. So if we have our own equipment, our needs are met with our equipment."
WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling received a record number of phone calls to the helpline in 2014â€"14,731 to be exact. This is a 5.6 percent increase from calls received in 2013.
Some of the callers reported having to file for bankruptcy or having thoughts of suicide. The report from the Council also calculated $47,000 as the average gambling debt of callers in 2014, and $20,000 as the median debt.
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