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Wisconsin Democrats push minimum wage hikeSubmitted: 12/10/2013
Story By Associated Press

Wisconsin Democrats push minimum wage hike
MADISON - Democrats in the Wisconsin Legislature are calling on Republicans to hold a public hearing on a bill to increase the minimum wage.

Twenty six Democrats, including possible gubernatorial candidate Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, sent a letter Tuesday requesting the hearing.

The bill was introduced in January. It would increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $7.60 an hour and then have it go up automatically based on inflation.

The request for a hearing comes as President Barack Obama and Democrats nationally have been calling for an increase in the minimum wage.

Republican Sen. Glenn Grothman says he doesn't support the bill, saying a higher minimum wage won't help his goal of finding more entry level jobs for teenagers. Grothman chairs the Judiciary and Labor Committee.




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 IN OTHER NEWS

PARK FALLS - People in Price County should keep an eye out for fake $20 bills.

The Park Falls Police Department is looking into several cases of a customer using the counterfeit money at various businesses.  The bills all have the same serial number and stand out when you use a detection marker on them.

Police Chief Scott Straetz says the bills look very similar to the real thing, but you can tell the difference if you hold them.

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THREE LAKES - Getting diagnosed with a rare disease can be a scary, isolating feeling. A Three Lakes girl and her mother don't view it that way, they want to show the disease doesn't define 11- year- old Ada.
"It came out of the blue you have a child and don't know you're going to encounter that," said Ada's mother Jennifer West.
Jennifer knew something was different when her two year old daughter was shrinking in size and had bowed legs.

"[It was] a turning point in my life as a mom," said Jennifer.
It took nearly 12 specialists to diagnose Ada with XL- Hypophosphatemia, a form of rickets. The genetic disorder that affects one in 20,000 people.
"It's kind of like finding a needle in the haystack and I found out I'm the needle," said Ada.
Ada's body can't properly handle phosphorus, making her bones soft and her figure smaller. That's led to dozens of doctor's appointments and a surgery last week. 

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RHINELANDER - Wednesday morning multiple fire agencies responded to a fire in Sugar Camp. That response was made much easier with MABAS. MABAS stands for Mutual Aid Box Alarm System. Agencies use MABAS to call other departments from the area to help with emergencies like fires or mass casualties. 

Wednesday night, fire departments from across Oneida County met at Nicolet College for an exercise using MABAS. The exercise gave first responders the experience of responding to a large incident in a learning environment.

The exercise simulated a large emergency response to a structure fire in downtown Rhinelander.
Depending on the level of the MABAS alert, different agencies send different resources to help. 

"What we do is we preplan who is going to respond. We do that by using an 80/20 rule so that all departments will only send 20% or their resources and leave the other 80% in place," said Rhinelander Fire Department Lieutenant Michael Wesle. 

MABAS Division 114 is made up of 21 fire departments from across Oneida County and is one of 60 Divisions in the state of Wisconsin. Agencies in Oneida County have started using MABAS more often over the past few years. 

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TOMAHAWK - The Tomahawlk VFW donated two electric wheelchairs to Highground Veterans Memorial Park in Neillsville.

The park features 155 acres with a number of memorials focused on different wars.

"It's just a really great feeling knowing that they can do this and they can get there and spend the time they need to reflect on what they need to reflect on," said Highground Executive Director Jon Weiler.

Weiler said most of the veterans visiting have a hard time moving around the large park without assistance from a wheelchair.

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MINOCQUA - Kevin Bolger worked hard to get to this moment.

The Lakeland Union High School grad has won his fair share of cross-country ski races since earning a high school state championship title in 2011.

But now he'll get the opportunity to represent the United States at the Cross Country World Cup series in Finland and Sweden next month. 

"Skiing at this level is kind of like the next step you want to get to and ski at. I'm just beyond, I can't really explain it, I'm just super excited," said Bolger. 

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SUGAR CAMP - A major fire destroyed a machinery repair shop in Sugar Camp on Wednesday morning, sending clouds of black smoke over the Northwoods.

The shop, next to a home on County Highway D west of Sugar Camp, caught fire around 10 a.m.

"There was a machinery malfunction that [the owner said] he was dealing with, and there could also be a heating issue," said Sugar Camp Fire Chief Jason Goeldner. "We got an area to look, but we haven't gotten in there yet to actually try to do a thorough investigation yet."

No one was hurt.

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MERRILL - A doctor will need to help decide if the man accused of murdering a Tomahawk man in his driveway last fall was in his right mind.

Eric Moen, 33, pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect in Lincoln County Court on Wednesday.

Moen told police he didn't know why he shot and killed Charles Ramp on November 16th.

Moen ran from the scene and was arrested in western Wisconsin.

He faces up to life in prison if convicted.

More on this story can be found in the initial reports as well as following Moen's initial appearance in court.

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