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Local Effects of Sequestration UnclearSubmitted: 02/25/2013
Story By Lex Gray

Local Effects of Sequestration Unclear
RHINELANDER - First, we went off the fiscal cliff. Then, Washington lawmakers pulled us back up -- but not for long.

Now, the country faces what politicians are calling "the sequester."

If Congress can't reach a deal by Friday, $85 billion will be cut from public programs.

In Wisconsin, that includes schools, the military, and programs for the environment, seniors, public health, child care, and more.

That comes from a 50-page report from the White House on how Wisconsin would be affected.

The report didn't give an exact or estimated dollar amount, and no one around the Northwoods seems to know exactly how they'd be affected, either.

That's true for Dianne Jacobson, director of the Oneida County Department on Aging.

The federal government funds twenty percent of her department.

"That's a significant amount but as I said, we don't want anyone that we serve to worry, 'Oh they're going to cut that program or they're going to reduce that.'" Jacobson said. "We always will have to look based on the funding that we get, but at this point, we are not anticipating a cut of our services."

Jacobson encourages seniors to talk to their local representatives.

Congressman Sean Duffy spoke to us on the phone from Washington, D.C.

He said he wants to prevent cuts to essential services, but the compromise should be about cutting spending, not raising taxes, as the President has proposed.

"We think we have to get our spending under control. And if we don't, you can't tax your way out of this problem," Duffy said. "I'm trying to look for ways, per the prior agreement with the President, to get us to a place where we can actually live within our means. And that means to start cutting the fat and waste within the federal budget."

The Federal Aviation Administration would be included in the cuts, but the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport is so small, it likely wouldn't be affected.

But the Chippewa Valley Airport would close.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 09/19/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

Today, we went with board members from the Oneida County Board of Adjustment, Marshfield Clinic representatives and Howard Young representatives to tour the Minocqua site where the clinic wants to build a hospital.

We'll show you the work by crews in Minocqua to upgrade the natural gas distribution system that dates back to the Lyndon Johnson administration.

And after a long off season, archery hunters across the Northwoods can finally get back in their tree stands. We talk with a Northwoods trading post owner about the enthusiasm of bow hunters this year.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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RHINELANDER - You can find everything from edible berries to garnishes right in your own backyard.

"Master Gardeners of the North" wants to teach you how.

Tonight's class will be on foraging for edibles in the Northwoods.

Even though edibles can be easy to find, volunteer Tom Jerow says you should leave enough behind for wildlife and next year's crop.

" You should really link up with a mentor, someone who knows what they're doing. Someone who can identify the food that you're looking for," says Jerow.

You can find nuts, grapes, and sumac pretty easily this time of year.

The Master Gardeners meet tonight at 6:00 p.m. at the Oneida County Senior Center.

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MADISON - A Wisconsin appeals court has upheld the state's right-to-work law, reversing a Dane County circuit judge's ruling striking it down.

The 3rd District Court of Appeals on Tuesday sided with Governor Scott Walker and rejected the challenge brought by three unions.

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NORTHWOODS - Between the 16-hour days, temperature extremes, and smoke blocking out the sun for days, Jim Grant will likely never forget this summer.

"This definitely is at the top if not the highest amount of fires I've ever seen and the busiest I've seen," said U.S. Forest Service Fire Management Officer Jim Grant. 

Grant has been fighting wildfires for 34 years. During the fire season he splits his time between the Northwoods and wherever he's needed. This summer, that meant Montana. 

"I want to help the people and I care about the communities," said Grant.

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WAUSAU - You don't have to travel to a big city to get your natural history fix.

Colossal Fossils in Wausau Center Mall houses hundreds of fossils and bones.

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MERRILL - The Merrill Fire Department has a new high-tech fire extinguisher training device.

It allows users to put out a fire without using an actual fire.

Firefighter Bryson Cruise says this is much easier and safer because the old device could only be taught with a real fire outside.

"The screen is reactive to the laser inside the extinguisher and it simulates the fire with both light and sound," explained Cruise.

The device was a gift from three of Merrill's largest businesses, Church Mutual Insurance Company, Weinbrenner Shoe Company and Park City Credit Union.

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MERRILL - Police released the name of a Wausau woman killed in a crash in Lincoln County Friday afternoon.

Deputies tell us 57-year-old Joan Lehman died in the crash near Merrill, which happened at the intersection of County Road Q and Joe Snow Road in the Town of Scott.

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