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

- Dr. Lewis Jacobson of Eagle River was one of 27 World War II veterans from northcentral Wisconsin participating in the 19th Never Forgotten Honor Flight last week. Nearly seventy years ago, he came home from Europe. He was a young, Jewish, American soldier who spent a year and half fighting Hitler's war machine.

- Plus, tomatoes brought in from warmer parts of the country this time of year can often be tasteless. Some supermarkets bring those tomatoes in because most local tomatoes aren't ripe. But one local family-owned greenhouse is ready for harvest. Newswatch 12's Karolina Buczek went to Antigo to find out how they do it.


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

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MENASHA - Update: Tue. 5/5 2:50pm

Doctors have upgraded the condition of a woman hospitalized after a random shooting in eastern Wisconsin that left her husband, daughter and another man dead.

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ANTIGO - Tomatoes brought in from warmer parts of the country this time of year can often be tasteless.

Some supermarkets bring those tomatoes in because most local tomatoes aren't ripe. The growing season in Wisconsin is short and some farmers are only beginning to plant tomato plants.

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WISCONSIN - Wisconsin Public Service encourages any emergency responders to apply for its "Safety is Worth the Energy" grants. It will award 25 $2,000 grants this year.

All of WPS's service area can apply. Money is used for departments to provide special equipment or training which they otherwise wouldn't have.

"This is the second year we're offering the "Safety is Worth the Energy" grant for our local emergency responders in our service area," said WPS Community Relations Leader Leah Van Zile. "That would be fire departments, emergency rescue squads, police departments."

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WASHINGTON, DC - A retired Northwoods doctor from Eagle River flew to Washington, DC last week. Dr. Lewis Jacobson was one of 27 World War II veterans from northcentral Wisconsin participating in the 19th Never Forgotten Honor Flight. Nearly seventy years ago, he came home from Europe. He was a young, Jewish, American soldier who spent a year and half fighting Hitler's war machine.

"I served from July of 1943 to early January of 1946, a total of about two and a half years, and 18 months was with service overseas in Europe: England, France, and Germany," Jacobson explained.

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TOMAHAWK - A Northwoods city wants to be prepared for when emerald ash borer is brought to the area.

The city of Tomahawk will create a plan on what to do when the pest reaches the community. That's after it was found in Rhinelander last fall.

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VILAS COUNTY - Many people enjoy exploring the Northwoods on a bicycle. The Heart of Vilas County Bike Trail spans 47 miles.

Local communities hope more people will use the trail.

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