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Gun Advocates Rally at the State CapitolSubmitted: 01/19/2013
Gun Advocates Rally at the State Capitol
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - Wisconsin gun advocates joined nationwide rallies in support of gun rights today.

The group "Wisconsin Guns Across America" held a peaceful rally outside the Capitol in Madison.

The capitol police say 500 to 600 people showed up, and there were no issues.

The Facebook page for the event called it a ``peaceful picketing protest." The rally is one of many slated to take place at State Capitols across the country thanks to a loosely organized campaign via social media.



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 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - Leaders of a new bipartisan task force tackling ways to improve Wisconsin's much-maligned school funding formula are realistic about chances any changes will be made.

The panel that met for the first time Thursday is the latest in a long line of groups that have studied ways to improve the formula.

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MERRILL - For 32 years Battalion Chief Mike Drury walked into the Merrill Fire Department ready to save lives. Friday he walked out of the department for the last time to start the new phase of his life.
"It goes fast it goes really fast," said Drury.
Drury was about 18 -years -old when he walked into the Merrill Fire Department for the first time.
"When you're 18, 19,20 years old and you're looking at 50 something years old you think you're never going to get there," said Drury. 

Drury is one of 184 firefighters to ever work full time with the city of Merrill.
"As a firefighter they spend a lot of time at the fire house so they miss a lot of things," said Drury's daughter Cassi.
After 32 years of missing birthdays, holidays and family time Drury was ready for a change.
"I realized I had enough this is a young man's job," said Drury.
Friday afternoon Drury said goodbye to a room of men who merged and became family.
"Not having that is a little scary I know they'll always be our family but it's hard to leave," said Cassi.
Cassi watched her dad rush off to help his community since the day she was born.
"It's scary because you hear about the times things don't go right or the times fire fighters don't come home," said Cassi. 

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WABENO, CRANDON - Donna Ver Voort calls her mansion "the most beautiful property in Forest County."

The Wabeno home, built in 1908 by lumber baron M. J. Quinlan, is now Ver Voort's Crystal Bell Inn and Spa. Ver Voort has owned the bed and breakfast for 21 years.

"Even on the outside, it looks large, but when you come in, you are blown away," Ver Voort said of its 6,500 square feet.

Now, Ver Voort wants to show off her 27 rooms, three fireplaces, and third-floor ballroom which used to be a basketball court. For the next week, Ver Voort will give five-dollar tours of the mansion.

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EAGLE RIVER - Wednesday's snowfall might make you want to bundle up, but the sleigh horses in Eagle River love it.

It takes about two hours to get Rocking W Stables' horses ready for a day of sleigh rides.

Driver Karrie Dollar harnesses and hitches those horses every year.

It's not unusual for her to make friends with the people that go on the rides, but it's the horses she grows close to.

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RHINELANDER - Most people across the Northwoods woke up to several inches of snow on the ground Wednesday. It's a sight many have been waiting for since the start of the season.

But sometimes those snow covered roads make it hard for people to get their jobs done.

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MERRILL - Taxpayers will need to decide if they want to pay more to support the Merrill Area Public Schools.

Wednesday, the school board voted in favor of a four-year referendum for $2.5 million dollars

The district faces a nearly $2 million operating deficit for next school year.

It has used savings to keep the school running for the last few years.

The priorities of the referendum will be enhancing the school's fab lab, addressing maintenance issues, and attracting and retaining high quality teachers and administration.

Wednesday the school board also reviewed budget options if the referendum does not pass.

The referendum question will be on the April ballot. 


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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander couple thought they were empty nesters. However, an experience volunteering made them open their doors back up to kids who need a temporary home.
The Zoerb's adult children moved out years ago. But at any moment they could get a call from social services that make them bring out their parenting skills for another round.
Rick and Danielle Zoerb work together as realtors putting people in homes that are the perfect fit. However, the husband and wife know their home can be a good fit for others too.
"There's no reason for kids to have to fall through the cracks," said Dani.
Rick met a child at a mentorship program a few years ago. It was a meeting that opened a new door for him and his wife.
"There was no hesitation on our part when we felt the situation was deteriorating for this young boy," said Rick. 

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