Immigration Pilgrimage to ask Rep. Duffy to support comprehensive reform
Story By Lyndsey Stemm
MERRILL - Immigration reform might not be as big of an issue in rural areas as it is in bigger cities. But that isn't stopping Northwoods groups from making themselves heard.
Reform supporters throughout the country rallied and met at congressional offices around the country Saturday.
Today, two local groups made an "Immigration Pilgrimage" to Representative Sean Duffy's Wausau office. They met with the Congressman via teleconference from Washington.
Some issues they wanted to discuss are establishing a path to citizenship for undocumented people, and providing a legal path for low-skilled workers to immigrate where their work is needed.
"I think the primary thing that we're interested in doing is to get the House of Representatives to approach a comprehensive immigration reform, instead of the piecemeal approach that they have been taking," says Sister Pat Cormack.
Reform supporters say legislation shouldn't be only focused on security, it should also address issues that affect immigrants. One example is the difficulty some people face immigrating to the U.S.
"We have some very wonderful, competent doctors in this area who come from other countries. They're high skilled. There aren't the same kinds of barriers for them to come as there are for those low skilled workers who also provide services that we need," says Sister Pat.
Reform supporters say the approach the House has been taking is too security focused. They do think security is important, but want a broader scope.
The recently passed Senate Bill 744 is an example of what they'd like to see in the House. It's a bi-partisan proposal that includes provisions for both security, and help for people immigrating to the U.S.
WESCOTT - The body of a man who jumped in a Shawano County lake to rescue his 10-year-son has been recovered.
The body was found after authorities resumed a search of Shawano Lake early Thursday.
Shawano County Sheriff Adam Bieber says the boy was tubing on the lake without a lifejacket Wednesday and lost his grip while trying to get back on a pontoon boat. Bieber says the boy's father jumped in the water, and the boat carrying the boy's grandfather and 9-year-old brother drifted away.
Sheriff's officials found the 10-year-old boy in the water near a buoy.
RHINELANDER - A Norther Lights Tour scientist explained Rhinelander's role in potato breeding and genetic studies on Wednesday night.
Every year about 50,000 varieties of potato are tested to see if they could be commercially sold.
Only about one in a 100,000 will become a named potato variety.
"The Rhinelander agriculture research station on Highway C is really where that process starts by making the cross pollination, raising those plants for the first time in a greenhouse and then evaluating them in the fields there for a couple years," said UW- Madison Assistant Professor of Horticulture Jeffry Endelman.
MADISON - A convicted sex offender from Rhinelander can keep pictures of children he cut out of magazines.
A state appeals court dismissed new charges against Albert Chagnon Thursday.
Prosecutors charged the 33-year-old last year with 23 counts of intentionally photographing a minor without consent. Chagnon was about to be released from prison when a guard discovered a notebook in his pants containing photographs of fully-clothed young girls cut out of magazines or newspapers, including the Lakeland Times.
Chagnon argued that the charges should be dismissed because he didn't take the photographs. The 4th District Court of Appeals agreed with him Thursday, saying state law doesn't cover Chagnon's conduct.
WAUSAU - The Wausau School District will use a large grant to renovate the school's planetarium. The current Wausau School District planetarium was built in the late 1960s, and it needs some upgrades.
The school just received a $230 thousand grant to complete the project. It is expected to take two years to complete.
"The first year is running the software, showing it, using it in our classrooms in our curriculum," said planetarium director Chris Janssen. "Finding out, 'is this going to work 100% of the time?' Year two then is going to be the actual, physical structure upgrades. The dome will get replaced, seats, cement contractors will come in and tilt the floor and so-on."
The planetarium can hold 54 people, and organizers are hoping to keep it that way.
"For curricular needs, when you have two classes come in, and the classes are about 26 kids each, you gotta have that sweet spot of about 50-54 seats. When you tilt the floor, you lose some space, so I really want to try and keep it at about 50 seats."
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