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Gov. Walker, Sen. Baldwin reflect on post-sequester battleSubmitted: 03/05/2013

Lane Kimble
Assistant News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com


WASHINGTON, D.C. - The President promised we'd start to feel the effects of the sequester soon. But not everyone's convinced he did enough to stop them from happening.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was in Washington last month. He and other governors met with President Obama to give him their take on the budget crisis.

"One of the suggestions I raised to the President of the United States was that if he didn't like, and I think most of us agree, the arbitrary nature of the sequester cuts, the perfect alternative is for him to do what most governors have done over the last two years, and that is bring his cabinet in, put together a responsible list of reductions, and provide it as an alternative," Walker said.

But Democrats disgree on where spending cuts should come from.

Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin thinks there are way too many tax loopholes for the rich.

"The Buffett Rule is one of them," Baldwin said. "That says the simple fact that someone who makes over $100,000,000 or $2,000,000 per year should not pay at a lower tax rate using multiple loopholes than middle class, hardworking families. Another one is just closing the loopholes, the incentives in our tax code for companies that ship jobs overseas."

Senator Baldwin also agrees the government needs to spend less money.

But she doesn't agree with the programs Republicans necessarily want to cut.

The forced sequester cuts totaled $85 billion affecting government and military programs across the nation.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The case of a Wisconsin man accused of killing four people while driving drunk last year won't proceed because a brain injury he suffered in the crash prevents him from assisting in his defense.

Dane County Circuit Judge Nicholas McNamara indefinitely suspended the case of 33-year-old Brysen Wills Friday after prosecutors and his defense attorney said two doctors concluded he's not competent to stand trial.


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RHINELANDER - Childhood friends are no business partners thanks to a class project.

Three students used their Three Lakes Fab Lab to make a septic tank screen hose, which helps stops clogs.

They haven't graduated high school yet, but a company in Illinois is already manufacturing their product.

Three Lakes High School students Tom Stuckart, Jack Connelly and Stephen Gensler had the idea of making their screen hose last summer and started making the prototype when school started in September.

"It's amazing what a little bit of hard work can actually get you. The community has been awesome supporting us and things like that.

 Just having the opportunity to come here and speak is awesome," said Stuckart. 

On Thursday their business JTS Waste products became official as an LLC.

They presented their business at the Annual Oneida County Economic Development Committee meeting in Rhinelander today.

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WOODRUFF - USDA Wildlife Services relocates more than 500 black bears in Wisconsin every year.

Bears can cause a lot of damage, especially when they've just woken up from hibernation.

The DNR receives more than 800 nuisance calls for bears each year.

"They're opportunistic, looking for any food sources out there, grills, bird feeders, any garbage cans anything like that," said DNR wildlife damage specialist Brian Koele. 

Koele says it's important bears don't get acclimated to humans.

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MINOCQUA - Police officers often meet people on their worst days: after a death, crime, or other bad situations.  The Minocqua Police Department hopes some unpaid additions to their staff can help victims, families, and officers cope with those situations a little better.

The department is looking to add a team of clergy members to form a chaplain program.  The chaplains would be on call and show up to scenes when needed.  Chief David Jaeger had been considering the idea for a while when he heard about police in Oneida County using the same program.

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RHINELANDER - Plenty of people felt spring in the air with the warm weather and sunshine just a few days ago.

But anyone trying to start their gardens early saw all their work covered in snow Thursday.

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RHINELANDER - For better or worse, drivers in Rhinelander will get an extra week to use the Davenport Street bridge.  The city's contractor for its downtown reconstruction project delayed closing the bridge for repairs to May 8th.

Crews first planned to close the bridge in mid-April, then pushed that back to May 1 due to weather.  Now, weather has further delaying the month-long repairs to the concrete decking.

This is part of a larger project to finish up the downtown reconstruction, which began in March 2016.  The city reconstructed 21 blocks, replacing underground utilities and modernizing the downtown area.

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RHINELANDER - A storm spotter class attracted nearly a hundred people to Rhinelander Thursday afternoon.

Attendees of the class learned about cloud formation, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and flash flooding.

However, Emergency Management Program Assistant Dawn Robinson says the main focus was on how to become a certified storm spotter.

"Storm spotters are a valuable resource to us in the community because we have people out there all the time doing all sorts of activities," said Robinson.

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