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Walker administration nears release of healthcare exchange rate, plan informationSubmitted: 08/30/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


WISCONSIN - Fewer than five weeks remain before sign-ups begin for the new online health insurance marketplaces in Wisconsin.

But Governor Scott Walker's administration has yet to release details on what plans and rates people can choose from.

The online sign-ups will start October 1.

The Affordable Care Act requires the healthcare exchanges to take effect in January.

States like Ohio and Florida have already made rate information publically available.

On Monday, Governor Walker said more details would be released within a week.

"Politically, I still have questions about Obamacare. In the end, it's the law, and we're going to make sure that people have as much access to information as they need," he said.

Governor Walker has consistently opposed the Affordable Care Act and its implementation.

But one of Wisconsin's U.S. Senators continues to strongly support the legislation.

"I think it's really high time that people of all political stripes put politics aside and instead focus on the progress we need to make together to make this work," said Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

The state-by-state marketplaces are designed to transform the way individuals and small businesses buy private health insurance.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - Many businesses in the northwoods rely on money from visitors.

Last year, tourists spent nearly $12 billion in Wisconsin.

That's according to a report the state Department of Tourism released today.

It found tourism spending went up about $500 million from 2014.

Last year marked the sixth straight year of increasing spending.

Visitor spending last year generated $19.3 billion in total sales as travelers' money moved through the state economy.

The spending generated $1.5 billion in state and local taxes.

The third quarter of 2015 saw the most spending.

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS - Wisconsin Rapids Police expect to release the three names from Wednesday's double-murder suicide soon. The department is waiting for today's autopsies to be finished before releasing those names.

Officers search the Wisconsin Rapids home Wednesday morning and found three bodies.

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ANTIGO - Police Chief Eric Roller keeps his emotions pretty well in check.  But as the Antigo Police Department break room fills with food and thank-you cards, Roller cracks—just a bit.

"Seeing that and seeing all the responses on Facebook, I mean, that's the part that chokes you up," Roller said in his office Thursday afternoon.

Just five days earlier, essentially the entire Antigo police force (and many other departments across northern Wisconsin) scrambled to stop a teenager from killing anyone at the high school's prom.  Two party-goers were hurt, and the 18-year-old shooter, Jakob Wagner, was killed, but thanks to officers Andy Hopfensperger and Ryan Bula already at the scene, the threat ended there.  Hopfensperger shot Wagner "multiple times,"according to court documents released earlier this week.

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WESTON - A new health clinic in Weston hopes to help women with different health issues.

The Couri and Smyth Health for Life Medical Center had its ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday. The clinic is led by two doctors, Dr. Kimberly Couri and Dr. R. Louise Smyth, who specialize in helping with women's health issues.

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EAGLE RIVER - After what happened last weekend at Antigo High School's prom, many people can't help but think about increased security measures at other schools. But Northland Pines High School wants teens to think about other issues before their prom on Saturday.

Tri-County Council was at Northland Pines Thursday talking about dating violence. They want kids to be respectful of each other and have fun this weekend.

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MADISON - Wisconsin's Department of Justice is creating a new bureau to handle officer-involved deaths and other sensitive investigations.

Attorney General Brad Schimel announced the new Bureau of Special Investigations Thursday. In a statement, he said the new bureau will play an important role in maintaining the transparency and thoroughness in officer-involved deaths the public deserves.

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MONICO - A heavy equipment operating class at Nicolet got the chance to do some real hands on learning.
 
The class visited a John Deere construction and forestry equipment dealer Thursday in Monico.
 
Nortrax invited students to test out equipment and get real life experience. The students tried a simulator and operated machines.

The Nortrax general manager sees a demand for skilled operators in the industry.

"You can see in the industry today, whether it's the construction industry, forest industry, farming industry, or production class machines, and if you talk to those independent producers or those companies, they'll tell you there's a need for skill operators," said Nortax General Manager Matt Hanson.

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