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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

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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
DNR reminds hunters to check boundaries Submitted: 10/30/2014

WISCONSIN - Wisconsin wildlife leaders want to remind deer hunters to learn the boundaries of new management units by reviewing county lines.

The DNR reduced the number of traditional management units this year from 134 to 72 units based on county boundaries in an effort to simplify the hunt.

The agency says hunters need to have a good idea where county lines are so they know where units begin and end.

The new units don't follow roads or rivers like they did in the past.

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Sex offender charged for allegedly making booklet filled with photos of young girlsSubmitted: 10/29/2014

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Albert Chagnon allegedly made a booklet filled with photos of young Northwoods girls while he was still in prison in Oshkosh.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office had a community meeting Wednesday. Parents at the meeting were given details about the booklet.

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Candidates spar over Ebola, mining, minimum wage and other national topics during debateSubmitted: 10/29/2014

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WAUSAU - Candidates for the 7th Congressional District debated over topics like mining, jobs, Ebola, healthcare, and other issues in Wausau Wednesday night.

Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wisconsin) and Kelly Westlund (D-Ashland) are running for the 7th Congressional District seat. The district covers part of 20 counties across northern Wisconsin.

The area lags behind the rest of the state economically. That was one of the reasons mining was a topic of focus. The Gogebic Taconite project would involve a four mile open pit mine in Iron and Ashland County. The project could mean more than 600 jobs with other secondary jobs connected to the mine.

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White Lake School could face more cuts; will try to pass referendum on TuesdaySubmitted: 10/29/2014

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WHITE LAKE - People in White Lake didn't pass a school referendum last spring. The referendum failed by two votes.

The school will ask taxpayers for more funding again on Tuesday.

The school has a history of referendums because of state aid. The White Lake School district got more than a million dollars of state aid in 2008. Now, they only get about one third of that.

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Professional cartoonist paints Hodag mural Submitted: 10/29/2014

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's beloved Hodag will come to life thanks to a local cartoonist this week.

Thomas Barnett is painting the mural inside the Northwoods Community Elementary School.

"Mr. Losch, the principal, showed me this penciled Hodag that they had on the wall for years that no one ever did anything with. He had heard that I was an artist and asked if I'd be interested in coming in one of these days and doing something on the wall," said cartoonist Thomas Barnett.

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Raptor Education Group hosts Halloween eventSubmitted: 10/29/2014

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ANTIGO - The Raptor Education Group will give a special presentation on owls on Halloween (Friday).

The meeting will be geared for children and adults. Live owls will be at the event and three of them will be released in the wild at the end of the meeting.

"We get all the species you can find in Wisconsin, they come in for rehab," said Director of Education Abbey Krumrie. "We get a lot of baby owls in during the spring and we have foster parents that help take care of them.
So that's what we have to release on Halloween."

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Boy Scouts receive a big donationSubmitted: 10/29/2014

WESTON - A big donation will help scouts in central and northern Wisconsin.

A man who went to a scouting camp in Rhinelander wants to help send more kids to camp.

The Samoset Boy Scout Council announced the $3 million donation Tuesday. It was made by Chicago real estate executive and former scout Albert Hanna.

The money will help send under-served kids to summer camp.

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