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NEWS STORIES

ObamaCare forces Trig's to limit workers' hoursSubmitted: 07/24/2013

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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.

Story By: Ben Meyer

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Lawsuit challenging Obamacare thrown out by federal judge in WisconsinSubmitted: 07/22/2014

GREEN BAY - A federal judge in Green Bay throws out a lawsuit challenging Obamacare.

U. S. Senator Ron Johnson filed the lawsuit in January.

The Wisconsin republican argued members of congress received special treatment under the affordable care act -- in the form of subsidies.

Johnson claimed those regulations forced him to participate in something he believed was illegal.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court rules on whether past sexual relationships can be considered in rape casesSubmitted: 07/22/2014

MADISON - The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled today on whether a prior sexual relationship can be considered in rape cases.

A Milwaukee man found guilty of rape challenged his conviction.

That's because the trial court refused to allow evidence that the man previously had consenual sex with the woman.

The Supreme Court decided it was proper to exclude that information at his trial under Wisconsin's rape shield law.

The court on Tuesday reversed an appeals court ruling that found in favor of the Milwaukee man.

The Supreme Court sent the case back to the appeals court to rule on other issues raised in the case.

The man is serving a 10 year sentence for second degree sexual assault.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)

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New opportunity for Northwoods potato seed farmSubmitted: 07/21/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - A Northwoods potato seed farm recently shared a big announcement.

Felix Zeloski Farms operates 1900 acres in Eagle River.

Zeloski Farms in Eagle River will now run under new ownership.

"It's been a real opportunity for all of us who are employed to do something that's important to the industry and we love it. We enjoy working every day here," said Ron Krueger.

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"Our people are hurting": Challenges on Menominee Reservation explain tribe's push for Kenosha casinoSubmitted: 07/21/2014

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KESHENA - Most things on the Menominee Indian Reservation seem to have a waiting list.

The tribal daycare center?

Waiting list.

"We could help more parents if we had the staffing ability," says Department of Early Childhood Services Director Penny Escalante. "Right now, we don't have that staffing ability, so we have 90 people on the waiting list."

The tribal clinic?

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Police: Drunken 12-year-old taken to hospitalSubmitted: 07/21/2014

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WAUSAU - Wausau police say a drunken 12-year-old boy was taken to a hospital and kept overnight.

Lt. Mark Pankow says police were called to a Wausau home Saturday night after a neighbor of the boy reported he was intoxicated.

Pankow says a blood test at the hospital determined the boy's blood-alcohol level was ``well over'' the legal limit to drive, which is 0.08 percent in Wisconsin.

Pankow says the boy admitted drinking vodka, and told police he drinks alcohol ``about every three days or so.''

Investigators found empty alcohol containers in the boy's room. The boy was taken to a juvenile shelter after being released from the hospital.

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Man who spends summers in Northwoods invents first-of-its-kind CPR deviceSubmitted: 07/21/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - One in four Americans will need to perform CPR on someone. But 70% of those people feel helpless because they don't know what to do, according to the American Heart Association. Joe Hanson, a man who spends his summers in Eagle River, spent more than 45 years in the cardiovascular medical device industry. Over time he saw devices improve. But one thing that didn't was the survival rate of people who suffer from sudden cardiac arrest.

"2005, 2010 area, the American Heart Association and others started to look at the reason for that low survivability. And what they found was that people really hesitated to do CPR," Hanson explained.

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Michigan police seek public help in shooting deathSubmitted: 07/21/2014

MUNISING, MI - State police are asking for public help in their investigation of the shooting death of a 47-year-old man following a police chase in the Upper Peninsula.

First Lt. Gregory Cunningham said Monday that investigators want to talk with anyone who came into contact with Timothy Mitchell on July 14, the day he died.

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