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NEWS STORIES

Joint Finance Committee considers where public workers can live and workSubmitted: 05/09/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


MADISON - Republicans often brand themselves as the party fighting for local control.

But Governor Walker proposed taking away some of the control for cities and towns.

And now, some Republicans are pushing back.

In February, the governor released his budget proposal.

Part of it proposed taking away residency requirements for government workers.

But many cities require police and firefighters to live close to town so they can get to emergencies faster.

The move to take away that right has Democrats and even some fellow Republicans upset.

"We do need responders. We need responders to live within a district or an area that they can respond timely. That's my biggest concern," says Marshfield Republican Rep. John Spiros.

"I think it's a bad idea. I think it infringes on local control, and I think we should leave it up to our local communities to assess the needs of their community and address them as they see fit," says Wausau Democratic Rep. Mandy Wright.

Just about every city in the Northwoods has some type of residency requirement.

Some only apply to emergency workers, while others are for a broader range of city employees.

Thursday, the state's Joint Finance Committee approved Walker's proposal, but with a twist.

It also passed an amendment by Representative John Nygren which would still allow counties, cities and towns to require emergency workers, like police and firefighters, to live within 15 miles of the borders.

The proposal now would still need to go before the state Senate, assembly and back to the Governor before it becomes law.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

EAGLE RIVER - Board President Julie Paez says opening the center took a lot of community involvement.

"A group of likeminded citizens got together and started the project with the Eagle River Revitalization Program. They kind of started it, kept working on it, and then slowly the board got bigger and bigger, and started programing throughout the community," Paez said.

Organizers were using the other local businesses for studio space, but that will change.

"The whole time we were looking to find a place for us so we could really fulfill our dream, which is to bring more people downtown to Eagle River, help revitalize and sustain downtown Eagle River, and bring something else here to the Northwoods," Paez added.

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ANTIGO - Some fruit growers in the Northwoods worry the cold overnight weather could hurt their crops this year. Farmers who grow more delicate fruits, like strawberries, are taking precautions.

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LINCOLN & LANGLADE COUNTY - Some drivers in Lincoln and Langlade counties will need to give themselves more time for travel next week.

Road work on Highway 17 will start Tuesday.

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MERRILL - It looks like Lincoln County doesn't want to keep its fairgrounds after the county approved a measure on Tuesday offering to sell the property to Merrill.

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Hotel earns awards for serviceSubmitted: 05/21/2015

RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander AmericInn earned an award from the world's largest travel website this month. TravelAdvisor gave the hotel its' fifth Certificate of Excellence Award. This puts them in TravelAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame. Workers believe travelers are taking notice.

 "We have seen a frequency or an increase in the number of our reviews, so people are using the site more and more," explained Rhinelander AmericInn General Manager Erin Skinner. "As far as whether they choose us just because of TripAdvisor, it's hard to tell, but we do hear that from guests."

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MADISON - The Legislature's finance committee has approved a host of changes to Gov. Scott Walker's floundering job creation agency, including removing the governor as chairman, dramatically reducing its reserves and eliminating a proposed $55 million in grants to fund regional loans

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/21/2015

- The AmericInn in Rhinelander received their fifth award in a row for service excellence from one of the largest travel websites in the country. Newswatch 12's Matt Brooks talked to the hotel manager about how they got so much attention, and what other local inns can do to get noticed. Find out tonight on Newswatch 12.

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

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