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

GOP Leaders Prepare to Reform Image for Next Round of Elections
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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WISCONSIN - A 46-year-old Manitowoc man that was reported missing Thursday evening was found in northern Wisconsin on Saturday.

Manitowoc Police said David L. Mellstrom had not been seen in Manitowoc since Feb. 22 around 10 p.m. Police said they had information he was in the Eagle River area yesterday.

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MADISON (AP) - Northern Wisconsin businesses that are having trouble finding employees are hoping to lure retirees to work or keep people nearing retirement on the job longer.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that economic development experts say low unemployment rates, a lack of new workers and a growing number of people on the cusp of retirement have created a major demand for workers.

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MINOCQUA - People come to Minocqua Winter Park to play in the snow, but there's also a place within the park's 50 miles of trails where people can take a break.

"Of course when I saw the Tea House I fell in love," said Jane Wengert.

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WOODRUFF - People came together in Woodruff on Saturday to raise money for a good cause. This was the fifth year for the Carrol Lake Ice Fishing Tournament.

In total about 175 people entered into the tournament. People could win prizes and could help themselves to some food throughout the day.

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TOMAHAWK - The near freezing temperatures will help snowmobile racers compete at the 2nd Annual Winter Hatchet Nationals Ice Oval Snowmobile Race at the Tomahawk Speedway.

Last year during the race, temperatures reached far above freezing causing track co-owner Andrew Bartelt to plan ahead.

"I actually covered this entire speedway with tents and stuff like that to block the UV rays. This year we were preemptive and we put a UV blocker in the water which came along with blue coloring so it looks pretty," said Bartelt.

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RHINELANDER - A new restaurant opened in Rhinelander, on Friday.

It is been a long road for sisters Stephanie Kaether and Chris Culley to open the Historic Davenport House.

Kaether and Culley were born and raised in Rhinelander.

"We've always been close and there's no any sibling rivalry," said Kaether.

After traveling all over the world, the two sisters finally decided to follow their dream and open a restaurant in their hometown. 

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PARK FALLS - The thousands of lakes in the Northwoods make it a popular place for seaplane pilots.

But there's no place set aside to park, repair, or refuel the planes in the area.

Park Falls plans to become that Northwoods hub this year.

Mike Drover, who runs Phillips-based Long Lake Aviation, and Park Falls leaders plan build a seaplane base where the Park Falls Municipal Airport meets the Flambeau River.

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