NEWS STORIES

Gubernatorial Candidate Barrett Visits RhinelanderSubmitted: 04/12/2012

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RHINELANDER - He's new to the governor's race, but not new to campaigning in Wisconsin.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett visited Rhinelander today, and the reception for Barrett was warm when he made his first appearance in the Northwoods since his 2010 campaign for governor.

"Hello Rhinelander! It's great to be here!" was the opening line.

His campaign for governor is only a week and a half old, but Barrett is already hitting the trail throughout the state.

Looking to win the Democratic nomination in the recall of Governor Scott Walker, he swung through the Northwoods Thursday afternoon and stopped at a packed Democratic Headquarters in Rhinelander.

Barrett lost the 2010 campaign to Walker, but he's back for another go-round.

"If someone had said to me 16 months ago, 'oh don't worry, you'll get another chance to run for governor in 16 months', I would have said, 'yeah, when pigs fly'. Well, if you look outside, you can see some pigs flying right now, because Wisconsin has been turned politically upside down," said Barrett.

Barrett didn't hesitate to attack Walker's record in office.

"His job performance in his first year in office was the worst of any governor in this entire country," he said.

Barrett has plenty of fans in the Northwoods, including former Representative Dave Obey, and State Senator Jim Holperin.

"He's very familiar with issues all around the state, particularly our small communities here in northern Wisconsin that depend on tourism, that depend on recreation, that depend on logging," Holperin said.

Those endorsements excite many voters in a Democratic primary that's become a four-horse race.

"He's always been up front with everybody around, and any time you talk to him you get a proper answer," said Democrat Len Wagner, who attended the event.

"That is the big issue - who you can trust, and are they going to do what they say they're going to do," concurred Rich Laddusire. "And I think that's Tom Barrett to a T."

As Barrett continues to swing around the state looking to win more voters before the May 8 primary, don't expect the anti-Walker talk to stop anytime soon.

"Wisconsin in the last 15 months has basically been in a civil war. It's a civil war that Governor Walker started when he tried to divide the state. I will end that civil war," he said.

Barrett joins Kathleen Falk, Kathleen Vinehout, and Doug La Follette in the race to oppose Walker in the recall election.

Story By: Ben Meyer

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Dane County judge to hear Planned Parenthood lawsuitSubmitted: 04/24/2014

MADISON - A Dane County judge is set to hear arguments in a lawsuit challenging a 2012 law that sets out conditions for abortions.

The law requires a doctor to determine whether the woman's consent is voluntary and inform the woman of domestic abuse services if he or she suspects the woman is being coerced. The law also requires doctors to perform a physical exam before they can prescribe abortion-inducting drugs and be in the room when the drugs are given to the woman.

Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit in February 2013 arguing the law is unconstitutionally vague. The organization argues its unclear how doctors should determine voluntary consent and whether doctors need to be present when drugs are dispensed or administered.

Judge Richard Niess is set to hear arguments Thursday morning.

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Board speeds up start of short-term loan program Submitted: 04/24/2014

MADISON - The start of a new short-term loan program that wasn't slated to begin until July has been moved up in an effort to help businesses hurt by recent cutbacks at Oshkosh Corp.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the state's chief jobs agency, voted this week to start the pilot program earlier. It will provide loans or loan guarantees of up to $250,000 to companies for projects or expenses that may not be eligible for traditional financing.

The board says it was starting the program earlier in light of news that Oshkosh was cutting 760 jobs from its defense division because of budget cuts being made by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The loan program this year will only target businesses in Oshkosh Corp.'s supply chain

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Army tank on the way to the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 04/23/2014

WOODRUFF - You can find an Cobra helicopter outside the VFW in Hurley.

They use the machine as a symbol to honor veterans.

Now another Northwoods community plans on using war machine to honor veterans.

VFW Post 7898 will soon get an army tank.

The tank will be right off of highway 47, between the post office and Aspirus Woodruff Clinic.

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Home sales on the rise in the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 04/23/2014

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NORTHWOODS - Home sales fell in the state of Wisconsin, but they're on the rise in the Northwoods.

Real Estate experts say home sales are up 5% in Oneida County. Home sales for the Northwoods are up 4%. Experts say right now it's a buyers market.

If you're a seller right now you are probably going to be seeing some low ball offers, says Ashlei Highfill, Century 21 Sales Associate. We just encourage people to respond to any offer that they get not to just reject it or be offended but these days we are seeing a lot of buyers coming in and offering a lot less than what sellers are asking for.

Experts say fewer homes are being foreclosed. This allows more families to make first time home purchases.

Its great to see that people are obviously getting back to work so they can afford to take that opportunity to put their family in their first home it's exciting for all of us, says Highfill. We're always happy to see somebody get that first house for their kids we're seeing some people that are making more money now so they're buying a move up house.

Overall home sales in Wisconsin fell 11% compared to this time last year.

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Sentencing date released for Lincoln. Co. man convicted of killing wifeSubmitted: 04/23/2014

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MERRILL - A Lincoln County man convicted of killing his wife and hiding her body will get his sentence this summer.

50-year-old Mark Bucki was convicted earlier this month in connection to the death and disappearance of his wife Anita.

He was convicted on three charges including first-degree intentional homicide, hiding a body and strangling a person.

The first-degree intentional homicide charge carries a mandatory life in prison sentence, according to Lincoln County Judge Jay Tlusty on the day of the April verdict.

Prosecutors want to add more years on top of the mandatory sentence with additional years from the other two charges.

Bucki will be back in court for his sentencing July 3rd.

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Proposed scenic byway takes step forward with planning meetingSubmitted: 04/23/2014

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MOLE LAKE - You can drive along plenty of scenic stretches of roads across Northern Wisconsin.

However, the state of Wisconsin only considers one stretch of highway in the Northwoods as an official scenic byway.

Leaders in a handful of counties want to change that by earning a distinction from Wisconsin's Scenic Byways program. They held a public planning meeting in Mole Lake Wednesday.

The proposed scenic highway, The Wolf River Nicolet Scenic Byway, is a more than 100 mile stretch of Highway 55. It stretches from Langlade, in Langlade County, north to the Michigan boarder.

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Kids learn about hospital Submitted: 04/23/2014

MERRILL - Hospitals can sometimes scare kids and even many adults.

That's why one Northwoods hospital wants those kids to be comfortable with doctors if they ever need their help.

Merrill kindergarteners visited Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center on Wednesday.

The kids got to see an ambulance, physical therapy and x rays.

"We try to show them that you know what, the hospital isn't so scary. And we bring them through different areas that they may experience when they come in or they have a family member here. And a lot of times children, if they don't know, they're very afraid. A hospital can be very intimidating, says Jane Bentz, Director of Foundation and Community Outreach.

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