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NEWS STORIES

Walker leaves state often; may hint at presidential runSubmitted: 07/12/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


NATIONWIDE - Republicans across the country want to hear from governor.

Scott Walker has spoken to mostly Republican audiences in at least 12 different states in the past five months alone.

Earlier this week, Walker headlined a major fundraiser for the Indiana Republican Party.

On that same day, Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch was meeting small business owners in Rhinelander.

We asked her why the Indiana fundraiser trumped his time at home in Wisconsin.

"The Governor is a very in-demand speaker because the Wisconsin idea is one that has captured the imagination of this entire country. We have done really wonderful things in Wisconsin," Kleefisch said.

Here are some of the places Walker has appeared since March: Virginia Beach, VA; National Harbor, MD; Washington, DC; Dallas, TX; Coral Gables, FL; Fayetteville, AR; Carson City, NV; Indianapolis, IN; Stamford, CT; New York City; Des Moines, IA; and Beverly Hills, CA.

That's according to sources including the Wisconsin State Journal, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Capital Times, TheRun2016, and Wisconsin Reporter.

It might look a little like a presidential candidate's travel schedule.

Presidential ambition is likely driving Walker's schedule, at least in part.

David Catanese created TheRun2016, a website that tracks presidential maneuvering.

He's a former NBC and Politico contributor.

"This is a guy who wants to get to know Republican party activists in every state, all over the country, to get familiar with them, to start forging relationships, that is looking toward a 2016 presidential run," Catanese told us.

TheRun2016 reports Walker will headline a golf outing next Tuesday in Newport Beach, California.

It's hosted by the Republican Governor's Association.

Catanese puts Walker's chances of running for president above 50 percent.

See the link below for more on 2016 presidential projections.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

ST. GERMAIN - A popular Northwoods tradition kicked off its 40th season today. The St. Germain Flea Market draws thousands of bargain hunters each week during the summer.

The market attracts nearly 400 vendors every week. Vendors showcase everything from homemade crafts and artwork to plants and homemade treats.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Last Thursday, 15 members of the Oneida County community graduated from Leadership Oneida County. The nine-month program aims to give participants a better understanding of the county's resources and to improve participation in organizations throughout the county.

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EDGAR - Marathon County authorities say a woman has died from drowning in a pool in Edgar in central Wisconsin.

Lt. Tim Burkholder of the Marathon County Sheriff's Department says it happened sometime after midnight Monday.

While the investigation is ongoing, he says the drowning appears to be accidental.

The department is withholding the victim's name and other details for now.

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WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin DNR wants to know if it has the right plans for beavers in the state. The final public feedback period is open for the new beaver management plan.

The document will guide decisions on beavers through 2025. The final draft touches on topics like population, habitat, and damage management. The current draft recommends keeping beaver populations mostly stable in the state.

Public input for the final beaver management plan is open through June 22. The DNR will also host a public meeting on June 16 from 6-8 p.m. at the DNR Service Center in Rhinelander to take comments.

You can read the final draft of the plan by clicking the link below. Another link shows opportunities for feedback.

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MERRILL - Hundreds of people gathered in Merrill on Monday to honor the lives of the service men and women lost over the years.

"From the Second World War, there were over 400,000 men and women who lost their lives, and it took a tremendous toll on our young people," said World War II veteran Richard Bjorklund.

The ceremony featured a guest speaker and acknowledged those still alive who served. People young and old remembered friends and family who are no longer here.

"Everybody worked together, and we still lost guys," said Vietnam War veteran John Jirovec. "It's hard to forget. Really hard to forget."

For one mother, every day is Memorial Day.
 
"My son Ryan, Sergeant Ryan Jopek, was killed in action on August 2, 2006," said Jopek's mother Tracy. "He just turned 20 and was coming home in a couple weeks, but fate didn't have it quite that way, and he didn't make it home, and we miss him every day."

Tears were shed thinking of the memories of loved ones, remembering freedom comes with a price.

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RHINELANDER -  A Northwoods veterans group wants people to remember those who died serving our country. 

The Oneida County Veterans Council held a Memorial Day ceremony in Rhinelander on Monday.

The Rhinelander High School band and choir performed at the ceremony.

Mayor Dick Johns was the speaker. 

Event organizers hope people take time on Memorial Day to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. 

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MINOCQUA - Many golf courses in the Northwoods need to work hard to make a profit each year. Cold northern springs and falls mean a shorter playing season than other parts of the state. Many increase their rates near the peak of tourism season.

One Northwoods course went the other direction during the last week of April and tried something new. Timber Ridge Golf Club in Minocqua offered something unheard of - completely free golf for everyone.

"We all just kind of thought, what a nice idea, to just say thank you to all of our customers. (We thought,) come on out for a free week of golf," said Timber Ridge PGA Professional Jerry Collins.

The course was in great shape by late April. Golfers flooded in to play during the entire week.


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