NEWS STORIES

Little break for Wright in looking ahead to next campaignSubmitted: 09/20/2013
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.

Rep. Mary Czaja (R-Tomahawk) raised just $41.

Rep. Janet Bewley (D-Ashland) hasn't reached $600 yet.

Story By: Ben Meyer

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Record breaking snowfall knocks the power out Submitted: 04/17/2014

RHINELANDER - Our record breaking snow storm left more than 6,000 people across the Northwoods without power.

WPS had to rely on 20 extra crews from Green Bay, Wausau and Menominee to restore power.

But getting to the outages was a challenge.

A representative for WPS says workers are expecting even more outages to be reported.

"Not all of the back roads are plowed yet and that's where a lot of outages are located," said Leah Van Zile, WPS Community Relations leader. "Throughout the day as the temperatures warm, we expect to receive additional calls due to the unloading of snow off of the tree branches."

Eagle River had one of the highest number of customers affected by the outages.

Representatives for WPS say this was one of the hardest winters they've had to deal with.

"We've had some really, really severe wind chills which has really made the temperatures below zero. Typically, only in emergencies do we work in those conditions," said Van Zile. "But pretty much any other time, whether it's a rain storm, a snow storm, a wind storm, our guys are out there working, getting that power back on."

The number of outages dropped below 4,000 since earlier today.

If you're still without power to call 1800-450-7240.

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Asian Lady Beetles come out after winteringSubmitted: 04/17/2014

ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Do bugs seem to be everywhere in your home, even though there's snow outside? One type of bug in Wisconsin spends the winter inside our houses! They look like Lady Bugs, but they are actually not native to this country.

"They're actually called a multi-colored Asian Lady Beetle. They can be anywhere from a pale yellow to a darker orange and they have black spots on them but you'll see some that don't have spots," says Kerri Ison, UW Oneida County Extension.

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LP conversion of sheriff's cars nears completionSubmitted: 04/17/2014

VILAS COUNTY - As many as 20 Vilas County Sheriff's patrol cars now run on both liquid propane and gasoline.

That could save the department more than $295,000 over the next 5 years.

The department started converting the cars last November.

A company in Michigan installed 20-gallon propane tanks in the trunks of the cars.

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Rhinelander food pantry volunteers Submitted: 04/17/2014

RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Area Food Pantry relies heavily on volunteers. Here is a look inside the operation.

(Click the video to watch)

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New suit filed over gay marriage banSubmitted: 04/17/2014

MADISON - A same-sex couple wants the Wisconsin Supreme Court to strike down the state's gay marriage ban.

The couple filed a lawsuit directly with the high court Wednesday, bypassing the trial and appellate courts.

The lawsuit says the pair lives in Milwaukee County and married in San Diego.

They claim Wisconsin's gay marriage ban denies them federal rights afforded to opposite-sex married couples.

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Four arrested in meth lab drug bust Submitted: 04/16/2014

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RHINELANDER - Police busted four people cooking meth in a Northwoods home Tuesday.

Oneida County Sheriff's Office say they found them in a home yesterday just northwest of Rhinelander.

Sheriffs deputies arrested Gerry Frederick, Thomas Franz, Scott Dumpprope and Carrie Steinmetz.

It happened on Trails End Road in the town of Pine Lake.

They found meth, weed and a meth lab in the house.

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Students could move to high school earlier Submitted: 04/16/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - A Northwoods school district could move students to middle and high school earlier than usual.

The Northland Pines school district is considering moving 5th graders to the middle school.

They might also move 7th and 8th graders to the high school.

If passed, the plan would take place in two phases over the next two school years.

The first phase would move 5th graders from Land O' Lakes and St. Germain Elementary schools to Eagle River Elementary starting during the 2014-2015 school year.

The school hopes this would improve students' education.

5th graders at Land O' Lakes and St. Germain Elementary schools have one 5th grader teacher teaching all subjects.

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