State GOP Legislators Come to Central Wisconsin For Annual Dinner
Story By Shardaa Gray
ROTHSCHILD - It was a packed house at the Patriot Center in Rothschild Saturday night.
The Lincoln Day Dinner kicked off with a bit of mingling, but the event was really about getting involved in your government.
"I think if more people would do it, I think our country would be better served, said Congressman Sean Duffy.
"We have so many people out here engaging in the process today. On the Republican side is excellent and it's a great way when the democrats do it too. This is government participation and to come out and see your governor, your assemblymen, your senator… yea that's fantastic."
This is the second annual dinner.
Legislatures from different counties came as one and discussed different topics.
State Representative of the 87th District Mary Williams loves everything about events like this.
"I have one of the largest districts in the state. So it's rather hard to get to everybody when we do doors, you know to get to everybody," Williams said.
"But in an event like this just think of all the people that you can meet inside your district and outside your district."
The main message Governor Scott Walker wanted the people take away is that Republican needs to reconstruct the bases of their party.
"Their dream is that someday that through their hard work and determination they'll live their own life and pursue their own jobs and start their own company, to make their kids get an education that allows them to do a better job than they did," said Governor Walker.
"That's the message we need to take because that's a relevant message in every one of those groups I mentioned, every other person in this state and in this country. That's the message that republicans need to deliver because that's the bases of our party."
The event included speeches from state senators, state reps and of course, good old fashioned campaigning.
"There's a primary election February 19th and I'd like all of the voters out there to remember to go to the polls and to vote for Pat Roggensack." said Supreme Court Justice Pat Roggensack.
"This is probably the biggest audience I've talked in front of, especially this race," said Representative Don Pridemore.
"So it allows more efficiency in terms of campaigning strategy. That's why I'm so glad to be here and glad I was invited."
VILAS COUNTY - Earlier this month, legislators put a proposal into the state budget that would take away a county's ability to make its own shoreline zoning regulations. Here in the Northwoods, two counties have come out against that proposal.
If the state budget went through as it's written right now, individual counties and lake associations could lose their power to set zoning regulations. That's a big issue for many in the Northwoods. Vilas County alone has 1,300 lakes. The proposal has caused great concerns.
"The concern was that the proposal had the potential for doing great damage to the environment, had the potential for causing a severe problem as far as assessment procedures, and generally was opposed by the citizens-the residents-of this county," said Chuck Hayes, a Vilas County supervisor.
Vilas and Oneida counties both held board meetings last week. Both counties voted to ask for removal of zoning changes from the budget. They argue the issue of shoreline zoning was never given any time to be discussed.
"At the very least, I think the public should have had a chance to weigh in on this issue that affects the environment," said Hayes. "The counties, the municipalities and individual residents, their opinion wasn't sought on this. It was simply put in."
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander group wants to protect an endangered butterfly. The Monarch March works to save the beautiful monarch butterflies.
The butterfly is in danger because people remove milkweed from their yards. Milkweed is also removed from public ground spaces as well.
Monarchs need milkweed for food and a place to lay their eggs.
"That's the problem with the monarch; it only survives on milkweed," said Paula Larson, founder of Monarch March. "So every time you cut down milkweed, every time the highway mows down all the milkweed on the sides of the roads, they are killing hundreds of caterpillars."
A major part of the work done by Monarch March is to collect eggs and raise them until they become butterflies. The process takes about four to five weeks.
Leaders of the group believe everyone can do simple things to protect the butterflies.
"Do not cut down milkweed; plant milkweed. It's really good for gardens to become a butterfly habitat," said Larson.
The new butterflies should hatch in about two weeks. An exhibit with the caterpillars can be seen at Curran Professional Park in Rhinelander.
For more information, check out Monarch March on Facebook.
COLUMBUS, OH - A 4-year-old girl who was shot in the leg by an Ohio policeman firing at a dog is recovering after surgery as her family questions how the officer responded.
Columbus police say Ava Ellis was hit accidentally June 19 when an officer fired at a charging dog at a home in suburban Whitehall. Police say another relative had flagged down the officer for help after Ava's mother cut herself on glass.
FERGUSON, MO - A Justice Department report summary has found across-the-board flaws in police's response last summer to the protests in Ferguson, including antagonizing crowds and violating free-speech rights.
The Associated Press obtained the summary, which cites "vague and arbitrary" orders to keep protesters moving that violated their rights of assembly and free speech.
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