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GOP, Dems Buck Governor on School AidSubmitted: 05/15/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

GOP, Dems Buck Governor on School Aid
WISCONSIN - Republicans and Democrats agreeing on something? Yes.

It's happening on something big in the Wisconsin Assembly.

Representatives from the two parties are coming together in support of more school aid.

Many Assembly Republicans say GOP Governor Scott Walker wants to give too little money to public schools in his budget proposal.

A rare ally, Assembly Democrats, are pleased to have GOP representatives come closer to their side.

"They realize when they go back to their districts, they are being told repeatedly that schools will not be able to survive with the budget they have. I think more and more people are realizing it, and I applaud the ones who want to see change," says Stevens Point Democratic Rep. Katrina Shankland.

Last week, the state's Department of Revenue said they expected to take in half a billion dollars more than originally projected between now and 2015.

Now, many Republicans want a big part of that money to go to schools.

"I think that's absolutely what we should be looking at. I've seen some movement, potentially, out of the Governor's office that he might agree with a portion of that money being allocated to K-12 funding," says Rhinelander Republican Rep. Rob Swearingen.

Walker's last budget cut school aid by millions of dollars.

This year's proposal only restores part of that.

Next up in the process - the budget committee will review the Governor's proposal.

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VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County prides itself on its miles of trails. Whether it's cross country skiing, walking or biking, there are plenty of options. But one of the longest is the Heart of Vilas County bike system.

"We have 47 miles of paved bike trails. I don't think that any place in the state can match that, it's awesome," said Mary Vangrinsven.

Those nearly 50 miles make up the Heart of Vilas County Bike Trail.

"It's like being on vacation every day of my life," said Vangrinsven.

When the trail started nearly 20 years ago, bikers, walkers and runners were very excited.
"I was pretty amazed by how much use it was getting. I wondered if this was just a fad or whether it was something real," said Vangrinsven.

But it was real. The finished trail goes through four different communities.

"It's been a great addition to what you can do in Vilas County," said Ken Wiesner.

Bikers can go from St. Germain to Manitowish Waters and hit up Sayner and Boulder Junction along the way.

"In my opinion, it's really changed the local economy for the better," said Wiesner.

Every Wednesday, a group of nearly 50 people bike along a part of the Heart of Vilas County Bike trail.

"I think we're really finding, especially in the areas up here, that we have very active adults," said Vangrinsven.

Wiesner and his wife Barb joined the group because they have a cabin in Vilas County.

"We've made a lot of new friends over the past 10 years, primarily in the biking," said Wiesner.

Whether you do it with a group of friends, or by yourself, there's also something to enjoy along the trail.

There are shops along the trail to rent bikes if you don't have one. If you would like more information on the trail, click on the link below.

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