Experts talk healthcareSubmitted: 06/14/2013

Adam Fox
10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter

WAUSAU - Getting straight answers out of politicians doesn't happen too often, especially when it comes to something as controversial as health care reform.

But Thursday in Wausau, both proponents and opponents of Obamacare worked together to explain how federal changes will affect you here in Wisconsin.

People who started with computers and phones, turned to note taking with pen and paper.

David Riemer works for a Milwaukee institute trying to solve America's healthcare issues.

He says people need to listen up before the exchange starts in October.

"This new system may be a little complicated at first," Riemer said. "Some people will be making choices they didn't have to make before. "

The exchange in Wisconsin and 34 other states is a private insurance pool facilitated by the federal government.

People above the poverty line without insurance can find insurance options there.

The overarching theme from the evening was that regardless of your position on the Affordable Care Act, you are to have to work with it.

"It is going to be implemented and we have to do the best job to make it work," said Rob Laszewski.

Rob Laszewski assists companies with health insurance decisions.

He says people in Wisconsin should expect premium increases, especially for those planning to use the exchange.

"Wisconsin is one of the states projected to have the biggest increases," Laszewski said. "That is because the Affordable Care Act sets very high standards for what a package of insurance looks like."

A high standard that will hopefully fix the health care problem in America.

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RHINELANDER - When you think of fundraisers, usually you think of selling candy or gift wrap, but one elementary school is getting more creative with the way they fundraise.

Pelican Elementary School in Rhinelander started their first ever 'Strut for Fund' fun run Wednesday.

Student's family and friends pledge money based on how many laps the kids run around the playground.

The school then gets to use that money.

Organizers say the support is overwhelming in its first year.

"We're really excited, having this be our first year with the amount of support we're seeing with parents who have shown up, and with the enthusiasm in the kids," says Strut for Fund Coordinator Katie Lindner. "I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for all that they're doing to make this a success."

Students got an added treat to help encourage them.

The Hodag came out to help the kids get fired up.

"We had a pep rally [Tuesday]…and the kids were up out of their seats, yelling and cheering," says Lindner. "The Hodag was dancing with them, so they get really excited about it. I had one little boy that came up to me this morning and said 'This is the best day ever,' and was so excited."

Organizers also have other incentives for running like pizza parties and ice cream socials.

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- The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra made its nearly annual stop in Rhinelander Wednesday morning. The orchestra played 200-year-old music for grade school children, but the conductor says Beethoven connects people in ways no other music can. Hear some of the show from him tonight at 5.

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

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Fall fire safety tipsSubmitted: 10/07/2015

RHINELANDER - Some people like to cozy up next to a fireplace on fall nights, but finding cost-effective ways to stay warm can be risky.

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MADISON - A court decision to let the Ho-Chunk Nation offer video poker at its Madison casino will stand after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1jdn78F ) the Supreme Court refused to take case on Monday with no comment. The case was among about 1,600 other cases the court declined to take up.

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MADISON - Republicans who control the state Assembly have introduced a bill that would reshape Wisconsin's campaign finance laws.

The measure would double the amount of contributions candidates for state and local office could accept and calls for adjusting those limits every five years to account for inflation.

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CHICAGO - A suburban Chicago man has been extradited from Wisconsin to face criminal charges in the 2013 carjacking crash that killed an 11-year-old boy.

Thirty-six-year-old Rockie Douglas of Beach Park is charged with murder, aggravated vehicular hijacking with a weapon and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

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MERRILL - The Merrill Police Department runs on the motto: "Serving Merrill With Pride." Tuesday, the people of Merrill returned the favor.

Every penny of the Friendship House Restaurant's proceeds from open to close went to the K-9 unit.

Eros, the German Shepherd, and his handler, Officer Matt Drabek, spent Tuesday afternoon at the restaurant along Highway 51 thanking customers and staff.

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