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NEWS STORIES

President Obama Makes Emotional Plea for Gun ReformSubmitted: 02/12/2013
Story By Lex Gray


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Several weeks ago, you saw President Obama roll out an aggressively progressive agenda during his inauguration speech.

Tonight, the nation watched to see if that theme would continue in the State of the Union address.

At first, the president rehashed many of the topics that dominated his campaign.
He talked health care, tax code and immigration reform.

He talked about bringing jobs back home, improving education, and moving toward sustainable energy.

But just after the one hour mark, the President seemed to change his tone.

That's because there's been one big change since he was reelected - the Sandy Hook shooting.

The President called on the House and Senate to at least vote on his gun reform proposals.

Gabby Giffords was in the audience, along with more than two dozen others affected by gun violence.

"Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote," said the President, continuing on with other examples of gun violence. "They deserve a simple vote."

He said the country has debated gun violence before, but "this time it's different."

He called for "common sense reform," in particular requiring background checks for individuals who want to buy guns.

He also talked about police chiefs working together to get high capacity magazines off the streets.

In the audience was Oak Creek shooting survivor Lieutenant Brian Murphy.

"Brian was the first to arrive, and he did not consider his own safety," the President said. "He fought back until help arrived, and ordered his fellow officers to protect the safety of the fellow Americans worshiping inside, even as he lay bleeding from 12 bullet wounds."

The President also said 34,000 troops will be home by the end of this year, and the war in Afghanistan will be finished by the end of next year.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

NORTHERN WISCONSIN - Many colleges across Wisconsin ban tobacco on campus. Now, Northcentral Technical College can join that group.

As of August 1st, all NTC campuses ban tobacco on campus, including chewing tobacco and E-cigarettes. NTC staff sees this as a way to protect student health.

"As we looked at the overall wellness of our students, staff, and our visitors, we felt like that shift was a positive shift to make," said NTC Director of Student Development Shawn Sullivan. "But we made that shift with the intention of also offering resources and services to those students and staff who are interested in quitting the use of tobacco."

The change got rid of designated smoking zones. NTC staff says student feedback has been positive so far.

"Students appreciate the fact that they don't have to walk through smoke or see the tobacco use on campus," said Sullivan. "Obviously there are some students who have questions and we've been dealing with those students individually, offering to have conversations with them to get their feedback, because we think everybody's feedback is important."

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MERRILL - Some parents start to leave their kids home alone around nine years old, but that can make parents very nervous.

Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center held its 21st Lincoln County Safety Day Camp for Kids today in Merrill to help ease those fears.

The camp is specifically geared toward children that are ages 8-11 years old.

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MERRILL - Merrill may get a new grandstand by next summer.

On Monday the city sent out proposal requests for companies to bid on.

The grandstand will go in the Lincoln County Fairgrounds near the location of the old grandstand. That was destroyed in 2011 by a tornado. It sat about 1,800 people on benches, and city leaders said those seats were uncomfortable.

The new grandstand will fit between 2,500 and 3,000 people on stadium seating and benches with backs "to provide a much nicer venue for events," said Merrill City Administrator Dave Johnson. 

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RHINELANDER - Families who rely on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, better known as WIC, should soon have more flexibility when shopping.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/04/2015

- Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel says he is still considering what steps to take next in reaction to new Obama administration rules designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions at power plants.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MERRILL - Scheduling likely helped the Lincoln County Fair draw more people this year than last.

The fair took place July 22-26.

Last year, the fair was held the same weekend as the Wisconsin Valley Fair in Wausau.

That changed this year—event organizers think it drew more than 20,000 people. That's based on a parking survey. 

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MADISON - The state Department of Natural Resources plans to unveil a new endangered species license plate.

The plate features a photograph of an eagle. DNR officials say the design was chosen from more than 2,000 entries from photographers.

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