Food industry leaders battling lawmakers over food stamps billSubmitted: 04/09/2013
Food industry leaders battling lawmakers over food stamps bill
Story By The Associated Press

MADISON - Some state lawmakers want people on food stamps to eat healthier, but Wisconsin food industry leaders say the state shouldn't tell food stamp users how to eat.

Brandon Scholz of the Wisconsin Grocers Association criticized a bill that would block food stamp users from buying items like chips, soda and candy bars.

Scholz said the bill would create an embarrassing and even contentious moment where cashiers have to tell people what they can't buy.

Republican state Rep. Dean Kaufert from Neenah sponsors the bill. He says it's intended to promote healthy eating.

Other opponents of the bill said it would be impossible to keep up with the thousands of new products each year to tell which are junk food and which ones aren't.

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RHINELANDER - The ground won't thaw for another month or so, but you can start planning your garden now.

You'll have to wait until mid-May to plant flowers, but you can get away with some vegetable seeds.

Bare root plants are also a good option for early-spring.

Those include apple trees, blueberry and raspberry bushes.

"We can help out here when you come out and make sure you get everything you need to get started.

It's mostly getting it established in the ground and you can just let it grow, says Beth Hanson.

Hanson Garden Village's Spring Preview is this Saturday and open to the public.

If you want to find out more about their spring planting classes, click below.

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MADISON - The entire state of Wisconsin will be placed under quarantine for emerald ash borer.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection announced the quarantine will take effect March 30th.

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MINOCQUA - People don't often realize what is going through police officers' heads when they arrive on a scene. Whether it's a traffic stop or a robbery, a lot of training and preparation comes before an officer can respond. The Minocqua Police Department holds a Citizen's Academy to show people in the community just what it takes to be a police officer. 

Michelle Littleton enrolled in the Citizen's Academy four years ago to see what a day in the life of an officer is really like. 

"I wanted to see behind the scenes to what they're doing each and every day," said Littleton, of Hazelhurst.
She learned there is a lot more to an officer's job than the public might realize. 

"They have a small window of opportunity to take care of themselves and protect themselves," said Littleton.
Now in its fourth year, the Citizen's Academy gives people in the community a hands on learning experience with situations like traffic stops, OWIs, and defense and arrest tactics. 

The eight-week course is a shorter version of what new officers learn in the Police Academy. Sometimes it can help people find out if a career in law enforcement is something they want to pursue.

David Wellman decided to take this year's course to see how law enforcement in Minocqua differs from in a big city. 

"I wanted to see if the smaller town police the training is the same, how they interact with the public and how things are done on a day to day basis up here with a smaller department," said Wellman, of Hazelhurst. 

Tuesday's lesson showed the students how dispatch works and how officers respond to a traffic stop. 

One of Littleton's favorite lessons was about how officers utilize their guns in a dangerous situation. 

"They set up a scenario, which was like a movie screen, where you'd actually walk into a scene and you had to determine whether or not to use lethal force," said Littleton. 

While the Citizen's Academy helps people understand what a day in the life of an officer looks like, it's also beneficial for the teachers to meet members of the community.

"It also helps me and some of the other officers. I get to meet some of the people I might not get to meet on a regular basis. It builds that trust and community relationships a lot more, I think," said Minocqua Police Officer Daniel Littleton.

The academy is held every year from March until May. Classes meet Tuesdays from 6-10 p.m. for eight weeks. 

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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander man's wallet will soon get a lot fuller.

Paul Webster is one of the lucky players who won $50,000 playing Powerball from last week's drawing.

Webster bought his ticket at Wagner's Westside Shell in Rhinelander.

Shell Cashier Brenda Novak says she doesn't know Webster, but hopes to meet him soon.

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RHINELANDER - Looking back on his 28 years as airport director, Joe Brauer says he has a lot to be proud of. 

"When we got the disabled passenger lift, the non-motorized one, we were very, very proud of that," said Brauer, who's worked as the airport director for 28 years. He's also been in the airline business for 20 years. 

Now, the longtime Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport director will be passing things off to a familiar face. 

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ARBOR VITAE - You won't want to wear your best clothes to one race in May.

Minocqua's Color Run Fundraiser is a 3K and 5K race for Arbor Vitae-Woodruff and MJ1 schools.

The race is one of the schools' biggest fundraisers for field trips, additional school supplies and equipment.

The Color Run raised almost $20,000 last year.

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RHINELANDER - Chilly temperatures and gray skies greeted people in the Northwoods on the first day of spring.

Despite the near freezing temperatures, a team of two wanted to give you a reason to smile Tuesday.

Hometown Chiropractic chiropractor Grace Nash stood along Highway 47 in Rhinelander with her coworker holding up green signs with positive messages like 'Smile it's contagious.'

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