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NEWS STORIES

GOP, Dems Buck Governor on School AidSubmitted: 05/15/2013
Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


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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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/28/2015

- Railroads across Wisconsin could start fining people who walk along railroad tracks. It's an effort to save lives after one of the most deadly years in the state's travel history. Eight people died in train-involved deaths in 2014. Newswatch 12's Karolina Buczek went to the Tomahawk Railway to find out why there are so many accidents and what can be done to stop them.

- Police departments can use social media to help their communities. But if it's used the wrong way it could be dangerous. A traffic app called Waze can be used to warn other drivers about where police are in the area. But some officers are worried it could be used to target police. Newswatch 12s Kaitlyn Howe will have more from a Northcentral Wisconsin police chief about how he feels about the app.

- And find out about the "Snow Days Sweepstakes" put on by the Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce.

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

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RACINE - Gov. Scott Walker says he's planning trips soon to the important 2016 presidential primary states of South Carolina, Nevada and Florida.

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LANSING, MI - People will eventually be able to hike or bike from Ironwood, Michigan all the way to Belle Isle Park in Detroit.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced the plans for the trail in 2012, and just this week, the trail got its name.

It will be called the Iron Belle Trail.

The Michigan DNR held a three-week trail naming contest this past fall.

It got nearly 9,000 entries.

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WASHINGTON, DC - The director of the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Tomah says he had already taken steps to address reports of overmedication of patients before federal officials announced a review of prescription practices at the Wisconsin facility.

Tomah VA director Mario DeSanctis says his staff began looking into the unusually high rate of opiate prescriptions in 2012. In an interview with the La Crosse Tribune (http://bit.ly/1BxJtoY ) this week, DeSanctis says steps to institute solutions to the problem have already been taken.

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MADISON - Update; 1/28 3:26pm

Gov. Scott Walker says he is not going to reconsider his decision to reject a new casino in Kenosha.

Walker commented Wednesday after a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, urged Walker to change his mind.

Walker reiterated that he believed approving the $800-million casino would put the state on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in losses due to terms of a compact with the Forest County Potawatomi Tribe.

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CLARK COUNTY - Tuesday morning, we learned more about the men wanted to get to Alaska when their plane crashed in Clark County on Monday.

The crash happened near Owen, killing the pilot's father.

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LAONA - The Laona Fire Department got a new fire truck this month with many updated features. The department thinks it will be able to protect its community more effectively after the major upgrade.

The department has a few trucks that are getting old, but they hope to slowly get rid of the aging fire trucks and replace them with newer equipment. Laona Fire Chief David Rosio said the department had some help getting the new truck.

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