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Duffy might have used earmark to help pay for Northwoods water main breaks, if he couldSubmitted: 04/24/2014
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Duffy might have used earmark to help pay for Northwoods water main breaks, if he could
NORTHWOODS - Water main breaks from this harsh winter will cost Northwoods communities millions of dollars.

The U.S. Congress might want to help.

Under old rules, northern Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy (R-Weston) might have tried to get direct federal money to help pay for repairs.

He can't anymore.

Congress used to have the power to earmark money for specific projects across the country.

But that hasn't been allowed since 2010.

"If we were still earmarking in Congress, this would be one that would be considered through the earmark process. But again, it was abused at a pretty disgusting level, and that's why it's gone," Duffy said.

Lawmakers used earmarks to send money for big projects in their home state.

That could help them gain popularity and win reelection.

The practice is gone.

But Duffy might have used it for water main repair projects in Northwoods communities if it was still around.

"They're not bursting at the seams with revenue. They don't have the resources to fix, many times, very, very old infrastructure," he said.

Instead, the state may apply for federal disaster aid to help pay for the work.

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WESTON - About six months ago a family lost a loving father, husband and friend. 

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Saturday Weiland's family and friends came together to give back to the community that gave them so much support and helped them move forward during their time of need. 

"He was a person who loved to laugh, he had a nick name for everybody," said Weiland's longtime friend and organizer of Jay's Ride Josh Preiser. 

People who knew Weiland and even those who didn't, came out on Saturday to ride in his honor. 

"We had all this pent up energy we didn't, know what to do with it," said Preiser. 

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A loving officer was lost, however his family and friends say the fundraiser will help inspire and lead to more officers like Weiland.  

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