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NEWS STORIES

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

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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: 08/22/2014

- We speak with Reighlee Stevenson's mother. Stevenson was killed in a rollover accident in Marathon County two weeks ago.

- A Minocqua woman turned her hobby into a successful business. We talk to the woman behind the Violet Trunk, and learn what inspires her vintage decorations and home furniture creations.

- And many different things can cause back problems. A back pack that doesn't evenly distribute weight is one of them. Newswatch 12's Karolina Buczek spoke with a chiropractor to find out what backpacks can keep your child's spine healthy.

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

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New after school program offers 4th, 5th graders tutoring, chance to try new activitiesSubmitted: 08/22/2014

RHINELANDER - This year, fourth and fifth graders can get help with their school work and try new activities through a new after school program.

The Central After School Program (CAP) will be held at Central Intermediate School in Rhinelander. It focuses on fun, learning, and physical activity.

Certified teachers will help kids with their math, reading, and writing. Kids will also get the chance to try new, unique activities.

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Northwoods woman turns refurnishing furniture hobby into businessSubmitted: 08/22/2014

MINOCQUA - What you might consider junk, buried in the depths of a basement, is treasure for one Northwoods woman.

She took her hobby and turned it into a successful business in Minocqua.

"It was just a really good way for me to relax and I started painting and I find painting very therapeutic. When it's just me in the shop and a beautiful piece that I'm painting it's just, nothing makes me happier than that," said Violet Trunk owner Karen Didonato.

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Grant will expand program that offers alternative to incarcerationSubmitted: 08/22/2014

LAC DU FLAMBEAU - The Lac du Flambeau Tribe hopes a large grant will keep those suffering from addiction out of jail.

The more than $870,000 federal grant will expand the Tribe's Zaagiibagaa Healing to Wellness Court.

The program gives non-violent offenders charged with drug and alcohol-related crimes in Vilas County a chance to rehabilitate instead of going to jail.

The Tribe started the court last year.

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College prepares new students for school yearSubmitted: 08/22/2014

RHINELANDER - Students at Nicolet College in Rhinelander go back to school on Monday.

For some, it's their first day at college.

The college reaches out to new students before their first day.

Leaders want to make sure they're prepared.

"They've received information about how to be successful in college, information about financial aid, information about test taking and other success strategies," says Dean of Students Kate Ferrel. "Every time we communicate with them we also let them know that we're available to chat."

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Man charged with stealing police chief's truckSubmitted: 08/22/2014

WAUSAU - A Michigan man gets charged with a burglary at the home of the Wausau Chief of Police.

The chief's truck was taken in the break-in.

39 year old Jason Warner made his first appearance in Marathon County Circuit Court Thursday on charges of burglary and taking the truck without permission.

The Marathon County Sheriff's Department says the break-in happened Tuesday at Police Chief Jeff Hardel's home in the Town of Maine.

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Soldier killed in Afghanistan native of WisconsinSubmitted: 08/22/2014

WISCONSIN RAPIDS - An Army paratrooper who was born in central Wisconsin has died while serving in Afghanistan.

Sgt. First Class Matthew Leggett served with the 18th Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Relatives in Wisconsin tell Daily Tribune Media (http://wrtnews.co/1oYbaUC ) that the 39-year-old Leggett was born in Wisconsin Rapids and still has extended family in the area.

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