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Gov. Walker planning new system for measuring employment needsSubmitted: 01/22/2013
Gov. Walker planning new system for measuring employment needs
Story By The Associated Press

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker says he is developing a new way to measure Wisconsin's employment needs.

Walker has complained about the accuracy of monthly unemployment data based on a survey of about 3.5 percent of Wisconsin businesses. The more accurate data, based on a census of nearly all Wisconsin businesses, comes quarterly and has a six month lag.

Walker said Tuesday that gap makes it difficult to use those numbers for making quick responses to the state's employment needs. He says he is moving forward with a real-time labor management system so the state can react to job needs better.

Walker previously mentioned the idea in his State of the State speech.

Walker promised in 2010 to create 250,000 private sector jobs over four years. He's far from meeting that pledge.

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LAND O LAKES - A snowmobiler died last night after hitting a tree near Land O Lakes.

The Vilas County Sheriff's Department tells us they got a 911 call around 8:15 p.m. Monday.

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BROOKFIELD - A cougar has been caught on camera too close for comfort at a Wisconsin home.

The homeowners called the Department of Natural Resources over the weekend when they spotted the cougar lying under a pine tree in their backyard.

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EAGLE RIVER - You probably did something wrong if you ended up snowmobiling with police.

But Monday, dozens of riders invited DNR wardens and police to ride with them for a little fun and safety advice.

"I'm living in the Northwoods, this is living in my paradise," said Sno-Eagles Snowmobile Club President Howard Wolf.

Wolf was pleased to share "his paradise" with dozens of people Monday.

"God, I just feel so happy," said Wolf.


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RHINELANDER - You don't get to choose your mayor every year. Rhinelander's Dick Johns has been mayor for more than a decade. But this spring someone will replace him.

Alex Young, Chris Frederickson, and Scott Counter will be running in the general election in April.

Alex Young would like to think he's learned a thing or two about running a city.

"I recall being somewhat overwhelmed when I first got elected," said Young.

Young has served on Rhinelander's City Council for 13 years, while working as a computer software engineer. 

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OSHKOSH - On Sunday night, police in Oshkosh ended what became a statewide search for a Northwoods homicide suspect.

The Oshkosh Police Department arrested 19-year-old James Lussier, the last of the five men accused of killing Wayne Valliere Jr. near Mercer and hiding his body. Earlier this month, Lussier tried to turn himself in, but was let go on an officer's error in Vilas County.

In a press release, the Oshkosh Police Department said it made the arrest at about 7:30 p.m. Lussier is currently in the Winnebago County Jail.

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MINOCQUA - After months of construction, the Minocqua Fire Department could show off it's new home. The department held an open house for its new station Monday night.

The firehouse sits next to Minocqua's Chamber of Commerce building off highway 51. Chief Andy Petrowski says the biggest difference in the new building is how much more space they have in the new location.

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RHINELANDER - Nicolet College doesn't ever want a student to choose between buying a textbook or paying the bills.

But when one textbook can cost up to $300, it's a choice many students face. 

"We don't want their grades to suffer. We don't want them to have to make that choice [between] do we take a 'C' or do we get an 'A'? Because we're going to have the materials first day of class now because they're free. They're right there," said Open Education and Instructional Resources manager Cindy Domaika. 

Nicolet College is now offering 22 textbook-free courses. 

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