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NEWS STORIES

GOP Leaders Talk Image OverhaulSubmitted: 05/05/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

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ROTHSCHILD - Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus wants a bold image overhaul for his party.

We spoke with him and other state leaders about how they're going to do it at the Wisconsin Republican Convention that wrapped up today in Rothschild.

"This is not a time to sulk, this is not a time to sink, this is not a time to drown your sorrows. This is a time to take stock; figure out what it is to improve on," says Congressman, and 2012 vice presidential candidate, Paul Ryan.

Take stock is exactly what RNC Chairman Reince Priebus did. In March he presented what he called an "autopsy" of the party following nationwide losses including the White House.

"We haven't run a decisive presidential race in 24 years. So what's going on? I want to talk to you about that," Priebus said to the crowd at the convention.

In the report he offered blunt criticism of the party's image. It said the majority of poll respondents viewed the GOP as a party of "stuffy old men" that is "out of touch" and even "scary".

"I think it was spot on the money. I think what Reince did was a sobering assessment of what did we do right, what did we do wrong, where do we have room for improvement? If you don't win a national election you need to do that kind of analysis," says Ryan.

"Sometimes I think our party hasn't done a good enough job of trying to reach out. And I think that's what we need to focus on, is opening up our arms as wide as we can, listening to folks who might not agree with us on every single issue," says Robin Vos, Speaker of the Assembly.

The report says the party needs to be more inclusive and connect with more female, youth, gay and minority voters. But the question is, how? Do they need to figure out how to become more moderate on issues that are important to those voters?

"I think it's a matter of kind of what our moms used to say, 'It's not what you say, but how you say it'. And I also think it's a matter of using grace and love in your tone, which is a pretty good rule to live by. I think we all try to do that in our lives. But I think in politics you have to be reminded that love and grace is part of the conversation," says Priebus.

One of those ongoing conversations on immigration reform. Ryan is a vocal supporter; to the point of publicly disagreeing with Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner at the convention this weekend.

So if some republicans want to meet democrats in the middle on an issue other republicans aren't willing to bend on-- will the infighting just be more destructive?

"There are a lot of other issues like this that have to be solved, that have been very difficult. And that's why we have got to start talking to each other," says Ryan.

Looking forward, Wisconsin republicans agree the state is the model the national GOP should follow if they want to get back into the White House.

"I think Wisconsin's really a leader for the rest of the country. We have been doing a good job of broadening our coalition," says Vos.

"I think the Republican Party of Wisconsin, nationally, has shown how republicans ought to conduct themselves," says Ryan.

"They've shown the rest of the country how to get it done, and we want to do what Wisconsin's doing all over America," says Priebus.



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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 11/25/2014

- With only one month left until Christmas, many people will be heading to stores to shop. The busiest shopping days of the year start this week. Some of the stores in Wausau's Center Mall open as early as 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. We talk with the mall's manager to see what they're expecting for holiday shopping.

- Plus, teachers at one Northwoods school wanted to encourage their students to give back to the community in time for Thanksgiving. They did that by offering up their hair. Students at Zion Lutheran School in Rhinelander got to see two of their teachers dye their hair some of the colors of the rainbow today. That's because students donated 2,000 pounds of food to a local food pantry.

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

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Newswatch 12 reports: Teen birth rate drops in the United States, still higher than other countries; Sexual education could decrease rate even moreSubmitted: 11/25/2014

WISCONSIN - Teen birth rates dropped significantly across the country in the past few years.

Despite the decline, the United States still has the highest teen birth rate compared to other developed countries.

There are many reasons the rate is going down, and there could be many explanations to why the U.S. is behind other countries.

Education could decrease the rate even more.

That could prevent more people from having to go through the difficulties of being a teen parent.

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Bill Cosby appearance canceled in Green BaySubmitted: 11/25/2014

GREEN BAY - A performing arts center in Green Bay becomes the latest to cancel an appearance by comedian Bill Cosby.

He's been accused of sexual assault by a growing number of women.

Any tickets bought with a credit card will be refunded by December 10th. The show will not be rescheduled.

In recent weeks, more than a dozen women have accused 77-year-old Cosby of sexual assault years ago. Cosby has not been charged in connection with any of the allegations.

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Sheriff: Officer involved in fatal Wisconsin crashSubmitted: 11/25/2014

ASHLAND - Authorities say a squad car from a tribal police department in northern Wisconsin has crashed head on with another vehicle and killed a passenger.

WDIO-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1tgfCLL ) the Ashland County Sheriff's Office said the crash Monday happened on Highway 2 between Ashland and Odanah (oh-DAH'-nah). It's unclear if the officer from the Chippewa's Bad River Band was on duty.

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State police boost patrols around ThanksgivingSubmitted: 11/25/2014

LANSING, MI - Michigan State Police troopers are boosting patrols as part of an effort to keep roads safe for Thanksgiving travelers.

Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort, known as Operation CARE, runs Wednesday through Sunday.

Troopers across the state will conduct high-visibility enforcement focusing on impaired driving, seat belt use, careless driving and speeding. The extra patrols are paid for with federal traffic safety funds coordinated by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.

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Newswatch 12 reports - Wisconsin's teen birth rate declines: access to birth control, 16 and Pregnant, and economy could be reasons for changeSubmitted: 11/24/2014

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WISCONSIN - More than 4,000 girls who were younger than 20 gave birth in Wisconsin in 2012.

That might sound like a lot, but that's declined 50% since 1991.

Wisconsin isn't the only state to see significant changes to teen birth rates.

The entire country's rate has declined.

Teen moms face a variety of challenges.

Marie Topping found out she was pregnant when she was 19-years-old.

Her daughter Abriella is now 18-months-old.

She remembers when she first found out she was pregnant.

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Cars vandalized, gunshots heard in Ferguson after no indictment decisionSubmitted: 11/24/2014

FERGUSON - Police cars have been vandalized and several gunshots have been heard on the streets of Ferguson after the announcement that a white police officer will not be indicted in the shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old.

About 15 minutes after St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced Officer Darren Wilson wouldn't be indicted, county police used a bullhorn to tell crowds outside the Ferguson Police Department to disperse, saying it had become an unlawful assembly.

Protesters hugged a barricade and taunted police, sometimes with expletives. Some chanted ``murderer.'' Gunshots were heard down the street and somebody threw a water bottle that bounced off a police shield.

Some in the crowd reportedly tried to stop others from taking part in vandalism and other violent reactions.

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