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State Dept. of Health Services Secretary resignsSubmitted: 02/22/2013
State Dept. of Health Services Secretary resigns
Story By The Associated Press

MADISON - Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith has resigned.

Gov. Scott Walker announced the resignation and appointed Deputy Secretary Kitty Rhoades as secretary of the department that is in charge of overseeing the state's Medicaid programs.

Smith had been at the forefront of Walker's opposition to the federal health care law and had testified before Congress on that issue.

Smith says in his resignation letter that he is accepting a job in the private sector that begins March 1. He did not say in the letter where the job was.

Rhoades has served alongside Smith as his deputy since Walker took office in January 2011. Prior to that Rhoades served in the state Assembly from 1999 through 2010.

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RHINELANDER - Most of us needed to dig out our driveways and cars after Monday's big snowfall. 

The U.S. Postal Service hopes you cleared off the sidewalk and steps to your mailbox as well.

Mail carriers need a clear path to your mailbox, whether it's at your door or on the side of the road.

If they can't safely make it your mailbox, they may hold onto your mail for a day.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - A man testifying against 30-year-old Edwin Hughes called him 'like family' on Tuesday in an Oneida County courtroom. 
 
Prosecutors accuse Hughes of three felonies tied to an attempted armed robbery seven years ago.

Daniel Frausto was on the witness stand for more than two hours talking about his relationship with Hughes over the years. Frausto claims he and Hughes were involved in many robberies.

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RHINELANDER - Through a smartphone in Nancy Brekke-Jones' hands, she can access the business she literally built from the ground up.

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EAGLE RIVER - The Eagle River Police Department plans to fight human trafficking in northern Wisconsin.

The department will host a free community awareness presentation about sex trafficking, featuring the message "It's not just a big city problem."

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EAGLE RIVER - The Northwoods saw a good amount of snow over the past two days. That meant Tuesday was snow cleanup day. Parking lots and streets take a lot of work to clear, but clearing an airport is an all-day task. 

Clearing an airport after a snowstorm takes heavy machinery, man power, and time. 

"It's hard work. It's hard on the machines, hard on the people," said Eagle River Airport Manager Robert Hom. 

Hom started working to clear the Eagle River Union Airport around 5 o'clock Tuesday morning. 

He's no stranger to spending early mornings in his plow truck.

"Even if it snows a quarter of an inch, which most people would call a dusting, we're out there removing it off the runway because it has to be as bare as possible," said Hom. 

Hom tries to remove any trace or snow and ice so the pavement is completely bare. The snowless surface means less slipping and sliding during takeoff and landing. 

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It usually takes about two hours before a plane could safely depart or arrive. But finishing the job takes a whole day, and sometimes longer. 

"You can't just drive your plow truck and push it aside because airplanes have wings that go out further than the runway. So you can't have big piles of snow," said Hom.

A plane took off Tuesday morning around 11:30 a.m. Two more were supposed to fly into the airport Tuesday afternoon. The weather didn't close the airport, but ultimately it's the pilot's choice whether they will fly. 

"It's always up to the pilot in command, we give advice that we think they should wait another day," said Hom.

Even though Eagle River saw about nine inches of snow, it's just another day on the job for Hom. 

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