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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

RHINELANDER - Stepping onto a boat and casting a line doesn't come easy for some people.

The Northwoods "Let's Go Fishing" pontoon helps veterans, seniors, the disabled get on the lake for a day of fun.

The Northwoods chapter needs volunteer captains and mates to keep the rides running.

The first training session is tomorrow night at 6 p.m. at the Pavilion at Hodag Park in Rhinelander.

Chapter President Mark Schroeder says the program is like lake therapy.

"Hey for one thing we are out on the water. It's something that is good for all us; it is good for everyone really," said Schroeder.

Anyone can volunteer to be a captain or a mate.

The training takes about two hours.

"When you're out in the water, there's something that happens. It is the look that people have, it's the smile have. It truly changes your attitude towards life," said Pastor Rod Ankrom of Calvary Baptist Church.

Pontoon rides run through mid-September.

If you want to schedule a ride or volunteer, call 715-219-5436.



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LINCOLN COUNTY - The Lincoln County Jail needs help finding an inmate that didn't return to jail on Friday.

Chastity Lerae Ritchie, 24, is serving a sentence for failing to pay child support.

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Missing 11-year-old found safeSubmitted: 05/21/2017

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RHINELANDER - An 11-year-old boy wandered away from home this afternoon in Rhinelander.

Luckily, he was found safe about an hour later at around 5pm.

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WAUSAU - People in Wausau walked, biked, and ran through a busy street in the downtown area Sunday afternoon. But they didn't have to worry about any cars.

This was the first-ever Open Streets Wausau event. From noon to 4 p.m., most of 3rd St. from the mall to Wausau Ave. was open to only pedestrians.

The open streets event is an international movement, but was introduced to Wausau thanks to one man.

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PHILLIPS - Each year an event in the Northwoods gives people the chance to learn about Wisconsin history. This year's theme focused on Native American culture.

"Our elders tell us by understanding where you've been then you have a better understanding of where you're going in life," said Wayne Valliere.

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WAUSAU - People in Wausau walked, biked, and ran through a busy street in the downtown area Sunday afternoon. But they didn't have to worry about any cars.

This was the first-ever Open Streets Wausau event. From noon to 4 p.m., most of 3rd St. from the mall to Wausau Ave. was open to only pedestrians.

The open streets event is an international movement, but was introduced to Wausau thanks to one man.

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MINOCQUA - Girls on the Run of the Northwoods hosted a community run Saturday at Minocqua's Torpy Park.

For those who may not know what Girls on the Run is all about, it's an organization helping young girls to be confident and healthy.

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