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Franklin stands out in first padded practice of campSubmitted: 07/28/2013
Story By Green Bay Press Gazette

GREEN BAY - There are plenty of caveats for judging this early in training camp whether the Green Bay Packers significantly upgraded their running game in this year's NFL draft.

The team has practiced only once in pads, and even in that setting there's no tackling, which eliminates the crucial tackle-breaking element of running back play.

Still, it was hard not to notice Johnathan Franklin in the Packers' first padded workout Sunday. The rookie stood out most at a position that general manager Ted Thompson augmented with two of his first five draft picks this year.


"From what I've seen so far, it looks like (Franklin) is going to be a pretty decent player," said Josh Sitton, the Packers' left guard. "Haven't seen a whole lot yet, but he's a shifty little son of a gun."

Coach Mike McCarthy has vowed that the Packers will run the ball better this year than they have under his stewardship, and Franklin and Eddie Lacy are a huge part of that plan.

Lacy, a second-round pick, had an uneventful first day in pads, in large part because he had little running room on his three carries during 11-on-11 periods. His strengths as a runner also don't show up as much as Franklin's on the practice field. At 5-feet-11 and 230 pounds, Lacy is a power back who, if his abilities translate well to the NFL, will push piles and either run through or spin off tackles, which he can't do because there's no tackling.


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 02/27/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We take you live to Lakeland Union High School to preview tonight's girls' basketball regional finals as the Thunderbirds take on New London.

Flint's drinking water crisis in 2015 put a spotlight on lead water lines in communities across the country. Now, several local cities will get federal money to help replace lead lines. We'll tell some of the area cities that the state DNR selected to get the money for the upcoming year.

And if you can't make your way down south to celebrate Fat Tuesday, you won't have to travel too far to get in on the fun. We'll take you to a Minocqua restaurant that is hosting a Fat Tuesday food and wine pairing night.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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WISCONSIN - Flu season peaked earlier than usual this year in Wisconsin. The flu season usually runs from October to May the number of cases peaking in March. This year, the flu started to peak mid-February. Last week alone there were nearly 1,000 cases in Wisconsin. At that time last year there weren't even 200 cases. 

Each year the flu virus is different, which means a different vaccine. The vaccine is not completely effective, but people who get the flu vaccine are still more likely to avoid the flu than those who don't.

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MINOCQUA - Minocqua Brewing Company is hosting a Fat Tuesday food and wine pairing night on Feb.28. 

The New Orleans staple, beignets, will top the food list. 

They take about 30 minutes to make. 

It's simple fried dough that is tossed in powdered sugar. 

Chef Joe Sanfillipo says sticking to the Creole basics is jam-packed with history.

"French influence, the American influence, the Afrikaans, African, everything that originated in the Deep South, this is what it comes down to. All these influences mixed together to create one beautiful type of food, cuisine of New Orleans, " said Sanfilippo. 

Chef Joe is already preparing for the Fat Tuesday feast because some of the dishes take hours to make. 
 
Catfish fingers, jambalaya, and gumbo, paired with wine are some of the traditional Creole dishes that he'll make. 

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MADISON - A key Republican legislator says Gov. Scott Walker's plan to cut University of Wisconsin System tuition could hurt taxpayers that and lawmakers should instead consider letting the system raise tuition according to inflation or income increases.

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MINOCQUA - Have you ever thought about starting a career in law enforcement? Every year the Minocqua Police Department hires someone to be a community service officer. The position lasts through the summer and is open to civilians.

The job mainly involves working foot patrol duties and enforcing downtown parking rules. But the position has a customer service aspect to it too. 

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RHINELANDER - The Oscars filled Sunday night with entertainment and a few bloopers. But for many Northwoods viewers, some of the winners were unfamiliar. 

"Moonlight," "La La Land," and "Fences" all walked away as major winners in Sunday night's Academy Awards.

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MILWAUKEE - The candidates to be Wisconsin's top education official offered contrasting viewpoints on whether to increase money for private-school vouchers during their first head-to-head forum since advancing from primaries last week.

Two-term incumbent Superintendent Tony Evers said during Monday's forum that he worries voucher money would hurt funding for public schools. Evers' challenger, Lowell Holtz, says he supports more money for vouchers because it would increase competition and choice in the state's education system.

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