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NEWS STORIES

Senate debate continues into night on biennial budgetSubmitted: 06/20/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com

MADISON - The biggest bill in Wisconsin government is just two steps from becoming law.

But that second-to-last step is taking a long time.

The Senate started to debate the state budget this morning.

But they're several hours into debate late at night.

The biggest debate between Democrats and Republicans has been whether Wisconsin is going in a fundamentally good or bad direction.

"Forty-seven states plus the District of Columbia are doing better than the state of Wisconsin. Of those three states, Wisconsin lost the most jobs," said Sen. Julie Lassa, (D) Stevens Point.

"Look at what you have done to the property-taxpayers of this state. We aren't going to apologize for giving people back their money. We will not apologize for that," said Sen. Mike Ellis, (D) Neenah.

Minority Democrats have brought several amendments to the floor.

One of the most controversial was to kill the proposal to expand private school vouchers.

Each amendment has been defeated so far.

Democrats plan to introduce several more amendments.

Democratic leader Chris Larson told reporters they hoped to have a final vote "before midnight".

Republicans expect the budget bill to pass.

If it does, it will go to Governor Walker for final approval.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

ANTIGO - Messages of support have been pouring in throughout the state since the prom shooting tragedy in Antigo.

Two Antigo women are continuing to support the community by collecting donations not only for the family of the shooting victim, but for the family of the shooter as well.

You can find a box at the Thirsty Soul in Antigo where people are placing words of encouragement, cash, and gift cards for the Wagner and Cooper families.

Lisa Sennholz is a mother of two Antigo High School students. Her son was at prom the night of the shooting. After that night, Lisa knew that something had to be done.

"My first instinct was to do something, to actually reach out and help in some way," said Sennholz. "And I said, I just feel like we need to ask the community to rally around these families and give support."

Lisa and Diane Kondrath, the owner of the Thirsty Soul, originally just hoped to collect cards of encouragement for both the Cooper family and the Wagner family. Soon, they began to collect gift cards and other monetary donations.

"I am overwhelmed with how many people have come in, and cared for both families equally," said Kondrath.

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NORTHWOODS - People will likely see an increase in wildlife activity with all this warm weather, if you want to keep enjoying the wildlife you have to let it be.

The DNR wants to reinforce the idea, "Keep Wildlife Wild".

It's to remind people to not touch animals.

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WOODRUFF - Anglers across the Northwoods will hit the lakes for Saturday's fishing opener.

That's why Department of Natural Resources wardens want to remind them about safety and bag limits before going out.

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RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Food Pantry recently received a generous donation from the Northwood Turners.

"The food pantry has just been a great boon to this area and it was needed for such a long time and now they are doing really great," says Northwood Turners President Bill Kingsbury.

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TOWN OF MAPLE GROVE - Authorities have identified a man killed in a helicopter crash in Manitowoc County.

61-year-old Paul Ruppert of Madison died in Wednesday's crash.

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RHINELANDER - Many boaters will spend this weekend on Northwoods lakes, but with more boats comes an increased risk of spreading aquatic invasive species. 

Some Oneida County conservationists hope education will protect the lakes this year.

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Food trucks roam the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 05/05/2016

NORTHWOODS - When you go out to eat, you usually think of typical brick-and-mortar restaurants, but a few local businesses might be turning the tide right here in the Northwoods just by working out of a truck.

"It's actually a growing community," says Chumpot Ratanawong, owner and operator of the Hanuman Express food truck. "It's nice because we talk to each other, we bounce ideas off each other."

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