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GOP Leaders Prepare to Reform Image for Next Round of ElectionsSubmitted: 05/04/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


ROTHSCHILD - Wisconsin GOP leaders and a headliner from Washington rallied party members at today's convention.

Legislators say they're taking stock of the party, learning from a disappointing 2012 election cycle, and strategizing for upcoming mid-terms.

Governor Scott Walker echoed optimism heard from other speakers today. They said Wisconsin is the model the national GOP should follow.

"So I think going forward in 2014 the choice is pretty clear. We don't want to go back to the days of double digit tax increases, of billion dollar budget deficits and record job loss. Do you want to go back?" says Gov. Walker.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus says the party has the right leaders and the right message. But he says Wisconsin has a disconnect when it comes to getting that message to voters when it matters most.

"And we're winning just about everywhere, almost everything. Except we get into this presidential election cycle. And if we're being honest, we haven't won a decisive presidential race in 24 years. So what's going on? I want to talk to you about that," says Priebus.

Tomorrow night we'll have more from Priebus on his bold challenge to the GOP to soften its image.

I also sat down with 2012 vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan. He told us how he thinks Republicans can connect with disenchanted voters.

That's tomorrow night on Newswatch 12 Weekend.



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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/24/2016

- The Turtle-Flambeau was created 90 years ago when the Chippewa and Flambeau Improvement Company built the Turtle Dam. Hear from the people who manage and live on the flowage.

- Plus, we'll tell you about work that is being done on an area ATV trail.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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TOWN OF HANSEN - Investigators want to know what caused a fire at a sawmill in Wood County Monday night.

The Wood County dispatch center received phone calls at about 8:50 P.M. Monday night that the Felty Amish Sawmill was on fire in the town of Hansen.

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ANTIGO - When the lieutenant governor and state lawmakers visit Sartori Foods, the company puts them to work.  Tuesday afternoon Rebecca Kleefisch, Rep. Mary Czaja (R-Irma), and Rep. Gary Tauchen (R-Bonduel) put on hair nets and rubber boots to rub Asiago cheese and learned a thing or two about what keeps the family-owned business churning.

"This is really a lot of fun and we got our hands dirty today," Kleefisch laughed.

Czaja chose Sartori as the first stop of a day-tour of Antigo-area businesses. 

"I think [Sartori] is kind of one of the stars of the 35th Assembly District," Czaja said.  The Irma Republican's main goal of Tuesday's tours: turn workforce data into names and faces.

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IRON COUNTY - Tucked away in southern Iron County, many people consider the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage one of Wisconsin's best kept secrets.

When the Chippewa and Flambeau Improvement Company built the Turtle Dam 90 years ago, it flooded 16 natural lakes and impounded 14,000 acres creating the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage.

The company owned the land until the state bought the flowage and 114 miles of shoreline surrounding it in 1990.

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SHAWANO COUNTY - In April, the Unified School District of Antigo school board voted to close Mattoon Elementary. 

Some community members weren't happy about that.

Now, the Village of Mattoon and two other people hired a lawyer and filed a lawsuit against the district and the board.

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RHINELANDER - Figuring out what you want to do for a living can be a tough decision for a high schooler.

That's why getting to work in a local business before graduating could be a big help.

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RHINELANDER - When high school senior Valarie Puza got her invitation to Rhinelander's scholarship award ceremony, she knew she had gotten some money to help pay for college.

She had no idea she would be going home with more than $30,000 in scholarship money.

$227,425 was awarded to 84 seniors at the annual ceremony.

Puza won seven scholarships, including the Gaffney Trust Future Teacher's scholarship worth $25,000.

"At first it didn't really hit me," said Puza. "But then I just thought about it, and I thought wow, that's a couple years of college paid for. And it's a good opportunity that I got any money, let alone the amount that I did."

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