MINOCQUA - ObamaCare will dig into the pocketbooks of part-time workers at one of the Northwoods' biggest employers.
If Trig's Supermarkets hadn't cut part-time work hours, it would have been out of business within a year.
That's what a consultant told the company.
About two-thirds of the 1,100 Trig's employees are part-time workers.
But if they work more than 30 hours a week, the president's health care legislation technically considers them full time.
That means Trig's would be forced to provide health insurance to those workers.
The report said keeping the work schedules as they were AND providing that health coverage would have been disastrous to the company's bottom line.
"Doing nothing was not an option. It would have put us out of business. Within a year, it would have put us out of business. There's no doubt about that. So obviously we've had to make some changes," says Angie Dreifuerst, Trig's' Vice President of HR, Benefits, and MIS.
Those changes include promoting a few workers to full time.
But the biggest impact comes to the 65 percent of employees working part-time.
They're not allowed to work more than 30 hours per week.
That way, Trig's can avoid considering them full time workers.
"Yeah, they were frustrated, but I believe they also understood why we had to make the decisions that we did. I said, 'this isn't good for you, this isn't good for us, it's not what we want to do either.' Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of options. We have to do what we have to do to comply and stay viable," she says.
Companies like Trig's aren't the only ones facing employment challenges from the Affordable Care Act.
Even school districts like Minocqua-Hazelhurst-Lake Tomahawk have taken steps to make sure their part-time workers stay under the 30 hour threshold.
MILWAUKEE - Democratic Party leaders say Milwaukee was chosen to host the presidential debate because of the state's battleground status in the Midwest.
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz says she expects Democrats to do well this fall in Wisconsin considering the position of the Republican field, which she says is far to the right.
IRON COUNTY - Humans aren't equipped for single-digit and sub-zero temperatures, but huskies definitely are.
During cold snaps like this week, dog sled drivers can't pass up an opportunity to take the dogs out running—dog sledding or skijoring.
MJ Slone and Chad McGrath in Springstead have 11 huskies at their home. All the dogs are from shelters or families that can't take care of them anymore.
"It was often a sled driver with a team who had maybe 30, 40, 50 dogs and one dog wouldn't fit the team anymore or teams so we would get it," said McGrath.
For Slone and McGrath, taking in dogs started more than 20 years ago.
"Well, I brought home a pup from Alaska because I had worked up there doing some consulting work," said Slone. "My idea was to skijor, which was a fairly new thing in 1990 in the U.S….And then I realized dogs don't like to run alone, so I got another dog….and then I got another dog."
These dogs aren't competitive —they're mostly for recreational racing. Slone and McGrath host outdoor groups and school kids for sled dog racing throughout the winter. They encourage people to get out and try these sports during the winter, even if it's bitterly cold.
"It's the partnership with the dogs," Slone said. "They bring an enthusiasm to your life that you just can't get….They are always happy to see you."
MADISON - The state Assembly has approved a bill that would dramatically expand landlord rights.
The Republican bill would allow landlords to dispose of or sell trespassers' property; evict tenants if they cause damage without repairing or paying for it; and evict a tenant if the tenant, a tenant family member or guest engages in criminal activity, including dealing drugs. The landlord could terminate the tenancy regardless of whether anyone was arrested or convicted.
WAUSAU - Wausau Police want to find a convicted dog killer now accused of prostitution.
They're looking for 23-year-old Sean Janas. In 2014, Janas was convicted on two felonies for poisoning her boyfriend's dog. She spent a year and a half in prison after she was convicted in the death of the German shepherd-Labrador mix.
Last month, an undercover officer got in touch with Janas, who was advertising as an escort on the website Backpage.
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