NEWS STORIES

GOP Leaders Talk Image OverhaulSubmitted: 05/05/2013

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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.



Story By: Lyndsey Stemm

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Wisconsin DNR lightens 22 year restrictions on largemouth bass Submitted: 04/21/2014

WISCONSIN - Anglers in northern Wisconsin can keep largemouth bass this season for the first time in 22 years.

The bass season has been catch-and-release in northern Wisconsin since 1992.

But DNR leaders say the fish is doing so well that this year anglers can take them home. The largemouth season runs from May 3 to March 1, 2015.

Some restrictions still apply on smallmouths in the northern zone, however. Anglers still must immediately release smallmouth bass caught between May 3 and June 20.

But between June 21 and March, they can take home smallmouth bass that are 14 inches long.

Daily bag limits are five bass total

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OWI hefty, but not enough to keep from drunk driving Submitted: 04/21/2014

WISCONSIN - OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — The fine for a first drunken-driving offense, including court costs and surcharges, can be as high as $1,000. But industry experts are questioning whether heavy fines serve as effective enough deterrents.

A Northwestern Media report says the actual fine ranges from $150 to $300. But court costs can add $600 to $700.

Nina Emerson is a former director of the Resource Center for Impaired Driving at the University of Wisconsin Law School. She says a hefty fine is a "hollow threat." She says options like sobriety checkpoints are what get people's attention.

Democratic state Representative Jon Richards of Milwaukee says fines play an important role in deterring drunken drivers. He says it's just one part of the deterrence effort, and he'd like to see overall penalties get tougher.

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Wisconsin DNR assessing winter deer killSubmitted: 04/20/2014

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MADISON - Wisconsin wildlife officials are using road-kill and radio-tracking data to assess the harsh winter's effect on the state's deer herd.

Department of Natural Resources staffers are looking for 10 carcasses in every county so they can check a number of biological signs, such as fat stores and pregnancy.

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Support for survivors of suicide Submitted: 04/20/2014

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RHINELANDER - Losing someone to suicide can be difficult.

But it's a reality some families in the Northwoods have to live with.

The suicide rate in north-central Wisconsin has gone up in 2013.

Suicide experts believe high levels of depression and alcoholism in Wisconsin contribute to more suicides.

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Celebrating Easter Sunday traditionally Submitted: 04/20/2014

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RHINELANDER - People celebrate Easter Sunday in different forms of fashion.

Some might have Easter breakfast or have their own Easter Egg Hunt.

Others might take a traditional route and head to church.

Newswatch 12’s Shardaa Gray found out how one church celebrates Easter Sunday.

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First indoor Easter egg huntSubmitted: 04/20/2014

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MANITOWISH WATERS - Most Easter egg hunts take place outside.

But with the recent snow fall, some were in danger of being canceled.

One Northwoods camp found an alternative to keep the festivities going.

Camp Jorn YMCA in Manitowish Waters hosted their first Easter Egg Hunt.

More than 30 kids ran around inside of the camp.

Camp Jorn daycamp director says they got the idea from Boulder Junction's Easter Egg Hunt.

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Celebrating Easter in the snowSubmitted: 04/19/2014

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RHINELANDER - Snow on the ground can’t keep the Easter bunny away in the Northwoods.

Hundreds of kids and their families searched for Easter eggs in Rhinelander on Saturday.

“Even with the snow and the slush, they love running around and getting out there and getting the eggs,”said Nicole Polkowski, the Rhinelander Area Optimist Club president.

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