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Democrats hoping Gov. Walker will decide on federal Medicaid coverageSubmitted: 02/05/2013
Democrats hoping Gov. Walker will decide on federal Medicaid coverage
Story By The Associated Press

MADISON - Democratic lawmakers and health care advocates are calling on Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans who control the Legislature to expand Medicaid coverage as allowed under the federal health care overhaul law.

Walker has not said if he will take advantage of the voluntary expansion. He has indicated his decision won't be announced until when he releases his two-year state spending plan on Feb. 19.

Expanding Medicaid in Wisconsin as allowed could result in 175,000 uninsured childless adults getting coverage.

State Rep. Jon Richards of Milwaukee says Walker should follow the lead of other Republican governors who have agreed to take the federal money to pay for the expansion. Under the law, the federal government would pay for the added costs through 2016.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

ANTIGO - You won't find any pesticide sprays at one Antigo apple orchard, but you will find pigs.

Grandview Orchard and Nursery Stock sits on the highest point in Langlade County.

Lisa Rettinger bought the orchard two years ago with the plan to manage it naturally.

She's still in the transition process of going organic, but she doesn't use chemical pesticides.

Orchard pigs do some grazing and eat wind-fallen apples.

Solo cups and milks gallons make for moth and maggot traps.

Lisa does most of the work by herself every day; much of her work is observation of the orchard.

"Going through the orchard, what is going on, monitoring pest traps, and looking at the leaves, looking at the whole orchard," says Lisa.

Grandview's season will be done at the end of the month.

You can find Lisa at the Wausau Indoor Farmers Market through the winter.

Click below for more info.

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MADISON - The state Senate's agriculture committee has overwhelmingly approved a bill that would allow Wisconsin farmers to grow hemp.

The panel voted unanimously Wednesday to approve the proposal. The vote clears the way for a full floor vote in the Senate.

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RACINE - State Representative Cory Mason is expected to leave the Legislature after winning election as Racine's next mayor.

Mason, a Democrat, led Alderman Sandy Weidner 5,356-4,392 in unofficial returns Tuesday night.

Mason told The Journal Times he was excited at the prospect of "really rebuilding the middle class" in the area.

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MADISON - Rhinelander's former police chief just finished the FBI's "crown jewel" of training.  Mike Steffes -- who is now the Deputy Administrator of the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Law Enforcement Services --completed the three-week "National Executive Institute" in September.

The academy is designed for executives that lead more than 500 sworn officers and serve populations of 250,000 or more.

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LAONA - Lumber, logging, and the Connor family make up a lot of Laona's history. But some people say the rural town could be losing a lot of its history.

A group of people want to preserve that history and it's starting with one building.   

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RHINELANDER - Chilly fall weather might make you want to curl up next to your space heater or fire place, but those heating sources bring some fire risks with them.

You should never leave space heaters unattended.

That includes when you sleep.

Pets or small children can tip over the unit and start a fire.

This is probably the first time the furnace is on since winter, so you will want to change the filter and check your chimneys, too.

"They've been sitting all summer. You want to make sure those get cleaned. We see a lot of chimney fire this time of year," says firefighter Justin Feaker.

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MADISON - The leaders of Gov. Scott Walker's job creation agency met behind closed doors again to discuss contract negotiations with Foxconn Technology Group but didn't take any action.

The electronics giant wants to build a flat-screen manufacturing campus in Mount Pleasant. Walker signed a $3 billion incentives package for the company last month.

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