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NEWS STORIES

Enrollment date change to Medicaid approvedSubmitted: 01/14/2014
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - The Wisconsin Legislature has passed a bill affecting Medicaid coverage.

The bill relates to a three-month coverage delay Gov. Scott Walker requested, and the Legislature approved, last month. That pushed back from January until April when 77,000 people just above the federal poverty line will lose Medicaid coverage. It also pushed back by three months when 83,000 childless adults will begin receiving Medicaid.

Under the bill, anyone who qualifies for the BadgerCare Medicaid program could receive it through March 31 if they apply before Feb. 1. After that, if the applicant is above the federal poverty limit, they will be directed to seek federally subsidized private coverage through the online exchange instead.

The Senate passed the bill 21-11. The Assembly passed it on a voice vote later Tuesday afternoon.



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ANTIGO - Social workers in Langlade County describe last year like a flood.

Applications for health insurance swamped Langlade County Social Services.

The county was one of many in the area facing challenges during the first-ever enrollment period after the Affordable Care Act was put in place.

This year's enrollment window ends in two and a half weeks.

It's going much differently.

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RHINELANDER - Northwoods supermarkets want to be prepared for the Superbowl this Sunday. Some local stores have ordered a lot more food for this week to make sure they don't run out of Superbowl staples.

The assistant store director of Trig's in Rhinelander has ordered extra shipments of soda, pizza, and snack food. The store wants to be prepared but it doesn't expect food to sell as quickly as it does during other times of the year.

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RHINELANDER - A Northwoods group that strives to help make students job-ready got special recognition from Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday.

Rhinelander-based Partners in Education, or PIE, was one of 17 individuals and groups honored with the 2014 Wisconsin Financial Literacy Award.

The non-profit started in 2009.

It works with local businesses and community leaders to offer additional educational opportunities for K-12 students in Rhinelander.

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MINOCQUA - People in Minocqua brought back a Northwoods tradition this year when they rebuilt the city's giant snowman.

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"Who doesn't love to build a snowman?" asked Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Krystal Westfahl. "And to have the opportunity to build a 30-foot snowman brings out every kid in us."

Volunteers in Minocqua helped build the enormous snowman, named Snowmy Kromer, just outside of the Chamber of Commerce. He used to be built near the Island City Ice Cream store. But this year, they wanted to try a new spot.

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People worked together for nine months to build it.

The entire lodge is made from natural materials. Both the gathering of materials and the construction of the lodge were done in a spiritual way: acknowledging and thanking the earth.

"Native people, we look at the trees, we look at the animals, we look at the fish. We revere those things as our relatives. A lot of non-native people look at those things as a resource," said Ojibwe Language and Culture Instructor Wayne Valliere.

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MADISON - Members of the Menominee Tribe, southeastern Wisconsin union workers and a bipartisan group of state lawmakers are urging Gov. Scott Walker to reconsider his rejection of a new casino in Kenosha.

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But advocates for the project gathered at the Capitol Thursday to say Walker can still change his mind by the Feb. 19 deadline.

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But Kenosha casino backers say the Bureau of Indian Affairs would be willing to let Walker change his mind. A spokeswoman for BIA did not immediately return a message asking if Walker could reverse course.


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