Walker leaves state often; may hint at presidential runSubmitted: 07/12/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

Walker leaves state often; may hint at presidential run
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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TOMAHAWK - Two best friends turned into business partners about a year ago.

Bill Eastwood and Blake McMahon own Outboards Bar and Grill in Tomahawk.

The duo's combined restaurant and business experience helped them hit the ground running.

Fish quality comes first at Outboards.

"Friday night is the night that pretty much everyone goes out to eat. So if you don't have a good fish fry, people around here start talking!" say Eastwood.

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CRANDON - Planners in Tomahawk dreamed about a bike loop around the city starting in the early 2000s.

Two decades later, it's finally about to happen.

After more than 15 years of negotiation, the city bought a critical piece of land from the Canadian National railroad.

It will allow the city to start building a 4.6 mile bike loop around the city.

"It's a win-win for everybody. There was a little frustration from by position, but you just...kept your foot on the gas through the whole process," said Tomahawk Public Works Director John Cole.

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PORTAGE COUNTY - Portage County will hold an information meeting to share information about a sexually violent offender that will soon be released.

Gregory Loomis, 43, sexually assaulted two children in 1988 and 1992.

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EAGLE RIVER - Kids face bullying in schools all the time.

That's one reason why the Eagle River elementary school holds its annual Great Kindness Challenge Week.

It's part of a nationwide challenge involving nearly 10,000 schools.

This year's kindness week in Eagle River wrapped up Friday with a musical assembly with Dave Dall.

Throughout the week, students were challenged to do random acts of kindness.

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MADISON - The Conservation Congress plans to ask attendees at its spring hearings whether lawmakers should charge people to use state land and eliminate group hunting.

The congress asks hearing attendees every year for their positions on current outdoors issues. The answers are advisory only.

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RHINELANDER - The warmer weather might have you spending more time outside with man's best friend.

But the remaining snow and ice could increase the risk of injury for dogs.

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RHINELANDER - Kathie Woodford keeps track of each time she donates blood.  Her visit to a Rhinelander blood drive on Friday marked her 26th pint.

"I just recently got my third gallon," Woodford said.

The universal donor (Woodford has O-negative blood) likes to give as often as she can, but Friday's blood drive was one she simply couldn't miss.

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