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NEWS STORIES

Walker backs off campaign jobs pledge at Merrill stopSubmitted: 08/26/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com

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MERRILL - Governor Walker promised Wisconsin 250,000 new jobs again and again while campaigning in 2010.

He said he'd accomplish that in his first term as governor.

But the latest Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report puts Walker less than a third of the way there.

He has less than a year and a half to create nearly 170,000 jobs to keep that pledge.

On Monday in Merrill, he carefully backed away from the specific number.

"My goal wasn't so much to hit a magic number as much as it was, in the four years before I took office, when I was campaigning, I saw that we lost over 133,000 jobs in the state. I said, 'it's really not about jobs, it's about real people, real jobs like those here, and more importantly, affecting real families all across the state,'" Walker said.

Walker was helping Northern Wire, a fastener manufacturer, celebrate its 40th year in business.

It bounced back from a 2011 tornado.

That storm tore through the area near the plant on Merrill's north side.

A year ago, an investment group from Indiana bought Northern Wire, helping to keep production in Merrill.

"They made a concerted effort both because they like the company, as well as the like the state. They like the workforce here and the way the state's headed. I think that's a good positive sign for us," Walker said.

Northern Wire employs as many as 190 people during its peak production periods.

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Search continues for missing boater in Kenosha Co.Submitted: 09/17/2014

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KENOSHA - Authorities have been searching a Kenosha County lake for a missing fisherman from Illinois.

The search on Silver Lake began Tuesday night after family members reported 66-year-old John Spoor of McHenry, Illinois, had not returned from his fishing trip. Sheriff's officials located the man's boat, but there was no sign of him.

Kenosha County Sheriff's Sgt. Bill Beth says the department had five boats on the water Wednesday. The search was halted Wednesday evening because of darkness, and the Kenosha News reports search teams are expected to return to the scene Thursday morning.

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Students learn about natureSubmitted: 09/17/2014

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"We are doing a lot about the history of Tomahawk, the people that were here in the early 1800s and just a little bit about the land," explained Naturalist Rachel Anderson. "Right not we've been doing some tree identification and forestry measurements, but this morning they were learning about the voyagers and the Native Americans in this area."

The program covers more than just fall-learning, Treehaven leaders host learning programs in the spring and winter as well. You don't have to be a student to take part in some of the programs at the learning center. They include group hikes where you practice and discuss identifying plants and trees.

"We've had two this fall, and I'm hoping that is something we can continue to do in all seasons and continue to offer," said Anderson. "We've been getting a lot of positive reinforcement that it's something that the public is really interested in, so we hope to continue to offer more in the future."

Treehaven leaders regularly offer programs to the public involving nature, education, and artistry. If you are interested in learning more about these programs and events, you can follow the link listed below the article.

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Merrill Area Public School District's online charter school lags behind rest of district in mathSubmitted: 09/17/2014

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MERRILL - The Merrill Area Public School District found out how their district compares to others in the state.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction evaluates districts and schools and gives them report cards every year.

But the district's online school did much worse than the rest of the district in math.

Students at Bridges Virtual Academy learn almost entirely online.

About 29% of Bridges students are proficient in math. But the state average is about 49%, and the district is almost 52%. That could be because many of the students at Bridges used to be homeschooled.

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Wisconsin one of 4 states to cut food stampsSubmitted: 09/17/2014

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MADISON - Wisconsin is one of only four states nationwide that is enacting cuts to the food stamp program.

An Associated Press review finds that as of now, the cuts will only affect Michigan, Wisconsin, New Jersey and New Hampshire.

The decision in Wisconsin to enact the cuts comes as Republican Gov. Scott Walker is seeking re-election and considering a 2016 run for president.

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Walker, Burke tied in latest pollSubmitted: 09/17/2014

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The Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday shows Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke tied among registered voters.

Walker and Burke both had 46 percent support. The poll's margin of error was 3.5 percentage points among registered voters.

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Fab Lab prepares students for the modern workforceSubmitted: 09/17/2014

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THREE LAKES - Students in Three Lakes will learn how to use new technology like 3D printers and laser cutters this year. It's all part of the district's brand new Fab Lab.

Fab Labs have the most modern manufacturing equipment. Students will learn to use the same tools that businesses use. The lab manager thinks that will help students from Three Lakes get better jobs.

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Drug Endangered Children Program in Price CountySubmitted: 09/17/2014

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PRICE COUNTY - Some children in the Northwoods live in environments where their caretakers abuse drugs.

The Price County Sheriff's Office hopes a new program will help those children.

The Drug Endangered Children Program, or DEC, assists children whose caretakers abuse, sell, or manufacture drugs.

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