WAUSAU - Mandy Wright went from middle school teacher to state representative less than a year ago.
But like many elected officials, the Wausau Democrat had to start thinking about her next election almost immediately.
It's part of what can seem like a never-ending cycle for lawmakers.
That's especially true for state representatives.
Their terms last just two years.
Wright will be up for reelection again in November 2014.
Last year, she beat Republican nominee and conservative talk show host Pat Snyder by fewer than 1,000 votes.
Wright expects another tough fight to keep her 85th Assembly District seat.
"I haven't heard yet about a candidate that's running against me, but I would be very surprised if the Republican Party does not work very hard to recruit a good candidate that they think can win in my district," she said.
Wright and Snyder's race was one of the three most expensive Assembly races in the state last year.
She might be gearing up for another expensive fight.
Wright already has raised $21,000 this year for her reelection.
That's far ahead of many others in the legislature.
For example, in our area, Rep. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) raised about $5,000.
MADISON - A man accused of stealing an arsenal of firearms from a southern Wisconsin gun shop and sending an anti-government manifesto to President Donald Trump has admitted at trial that he committed the crimes.
Joseph Jakubowski took the stand Monday in Madison, saying he robbed Armageddon Supplies near Janesville April 4 and took guns, magazines and bullets.
After the robbery, the 33 year old self-proclaimed anarchist spent 10 days on the run before he was discovered some 130 miles away in Vernon County.
RHINELANDER - The Oneida-Vilas Transit Commission will get its long-awaited federal funding installment by October 4.
The timing means no Northwoods Transit Connections drivers will have to voluntarily furlough their pay, but the requirement of 24-hour advance notice for rides will stay in place.
Transit Commission Chair Erv Teichmiller learned the news over the weekend.
The commission is waiting on an expected payment of $300,000 from the federal government. In 2016, that money came in early September. As of last Friday, the commission wasn't expecting the payment until as late as November.
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander factory that makes smoke flavoring caught fire early Monday morning.
Shortly before 6:00 a.m., Rhinelander, Crescent and Newbold Fire Departments responded to a fire at Red Arrow Products on Rhinelander's west side.
An employee says there were about eight workers inside at the time.
No one was injured.
"Flames were coming out of a conveyor area as high as the roof. We made an interior attack and knocked that flame down. Came in from the other side of the partition wall, then made another interior attack and knocked that down," says Chief Terry Williams.
RHINELANDER - A large open lot on Rhinelander's east side could soon fill in with a chain restaurant.
Cory Moritz-Hoffmann and her husband hope to build a Pizza Ranch next to Kwik Trip on Eisenhower Parkway. The pair of former Pine Lake firefighters got the idea about six years ago when they first went to a Pizza Ranch in Iowa.
They considered pursing a franchise then, but it was more than they could afford at the time. About two years ago, the Hoffmanns contacted an investor and saw an opportunity to turn their dream into a reality.
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