NEWS STORIES

Oneida County prepares for Affordable Care ActSubmitted: 07/06/2013

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RHINELANDER - The Affordable Care Act might make it easier for individuals to have health insurance.

But Oneida County thinks they'll need to increase their workforce to make that happen.

Oneida County Social Services hopes to hire two more case workers.

But the labor relations board and the county board still need to approve the hires.

Social Services wants to be ready to help people apply for health insurance.

Amy Mayo, Oneida County Support Programs Supervisor, says, "The caseload and the volume of work that we'll need to process as a department as a whole will definitely increase for everybody. We're spending this time right now looking at different efficiencies and things we can do to make it as smooth a process as we can for the clients."

The Act, also known as Obamacare, created a marketplace where Americans can buy insurance with the help of the government.

Mayo says a person's income determines the insurance program a person can enroll in.

"Badgercare, again, will be children under 300 percent poverty level, adults under 100 percent poverty level. Marketplace will handle the people that are over 100 percent poverty level and the children over 300 percent poverty level," she says.

Mayo says it can be confusing so it's best to contact Social Services.

They will help you figure out what program you are eligible for.

"With the marketplace, clients also have the ability to apply locally. We will do an income test in the application. They will have to verify their income. If they fall over the 100 percent poverty level as an adult, then we would transfer that application or send them on to the marketplace," says Mayo.

Applications for the Federal Program open October 1st.

Coverage begins January 1st.

Story By: Lauren Stephenson

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Board speeds up start of short-term loan program Submitted: 04/24/2014

MADISON - The start of a new short-term loan program that wasn't slated to begin until July has been moved up in an effort to help businesses hurt by recent cutbacks at Oshkosh Corp.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the state's chief jobs agency, voted this week to start the pilot program earlier. It will provide loans or loan guarantees of up to $250,000 to companies for projects or expenses that may not be eligible for traditional financing.

The board says it was starting the program earlier in light of news that Oshkosh was cutting 760 jobs from its defense division because of budget cuts being made by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The loan program this year will only target businesses in Oshkosh Corp.'s supply chain

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Educating seniors about drug abuseSubmitted: 04/24/2014

LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Drug addicts can look nearly everywhere to get their fix, and sometimes they can get that by raiding their family's medicine cabinet.

That's why Lac du Flambeau police gave a drug presentation at an event for the elderly Thursday.

Police leaders wanted to show seniors what could happen if they didn't keep track of their medications.

"A lot of times the elderly and older population can be victims from this. As the younger children, grandchildren, things like that are you know coming in and taking their grandparents prescription drugs," says Sarah Keuer a nurse at Peter Christensen Health Center.

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Dane County judge to hear Planned Parenthood lawsuitSubmitted: 04/24/2014

MADISON - A Dane County judge is set to hear arguments in a lawsuit challenging a 2012 law that sets out conditions for abortions.

The law requires a doctor to determine whether the woman's consent is voluntary and inform the woman of domestic abuse services if he or she suspects the woman is being coerced. The law also requires doctors to perform a physical exam before they can prescribe abortion-inducting drugs and be in the room when the drugs are given to the woman.

Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit in February 2013 arguing the law is unconstitutionally vague. The organization argues its unclear how doctors should determine voluntary consent and whether doctors need to be present when drugs are dispensed or administered.

Judge Richard Niess is set to hear arguments Thursday morning.

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Northwoods prosecutor calls criminal Submitted: 04/24/2014

RHINELANDER - An Oneida County prosecutor can’t believe how stupid a move one Wausau man is accused of making in court.

“This case is unbelievable, it's hard for me to even fathom we had someone that I hate to say stupid, but I guess that's basically what it was,” says Jodie Bednar-Clemens, prosecuting attorney. “I mean someone who came into court, into our courthouse, into the courtroom carrying illicit drugs in their pocket and much less methamphetamine.”

30 - year - old Kurtis Cline was originally facing three theft charges. While in court for those on April 10th, prosecutors say he took a bag of meth from his jeans pocket. He tried to stash the drugs under his seat cushion, but an officer caught him.

“Pulled something out of his pocket and put it under the seat cushion it was so obvious to me that he was doing something I had to keep myself from laughing out loud in court,” says Kurt Kopacz, Oneida County Sheriff's Deputy.

Cline pleaded not guilty in court. He's being held on a $5,000 bond. He will be back in court next month.

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Hodag water show pavilion needs repair Submitted: 04/24/2014

RHINELANDER - It won't be much longer before the Hodag water show gears up for the summer, but right now they need to make repairs to their building. Rod Olson says it may cost between $15,000 and $20,000 to make repairs to the building. To watch the video click on the video link.

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WisDOT leaders hopeful for increase in Northwoods railSubmitted: 04/24/2014

ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Railroads give businesses a chance to move loads of material for a low cost. Loggers could use rail as an alternative to trucking material, but many businesses don’t get that opportunity in the Northwoods anymore.

Canadian National bought rail in the Northwoods about a decade ago. They have cut back service drastically since then.

Some counties haven't seen train travel in years, which hurts business. Now, those businesses want to reestablish rail service.

In response, a group of counties in Northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan formed the Northwoods Rail Transit Commission.

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Police: Smoking in bathroom caused school fireSubmitted: 04/24/2014

OCONTO - Police say a student smoking in a bathroom caused a fire that resulted in an estimated $5 million in smoke damage at Oconto High School.

After reviewing surveillance video and interviewing students and staff members, Oconto police have identified as 16-year-old student as a person of interest.

Firefighters interviewed the student, who said he left class early and went to the bathroom, where he smoked a home-rolled cigarette.

Police believe the cigarette was used too close to a toilet paper dispenser, causing an accidental fire. No one else used the bathroom after the boy.

The April 16 fire forced the building to be evacuated. Students returned to class Monday at Oconto Middle School.

WLUK-TV (http://bit.ly/1lJIFZH) reports the boy is being referred to the Oconto County Department of Human Services.

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