Northwoods Residents Voice Opinion at Budget Listening SessionSubmitted: 04/22/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

Photos By Shardaa Gray

WAUSAU - It can be easy to feel like you don't have much of a say in politics.

But several Democratic state lawmakers wanted to hear what their constituents think of the state's checkbook.

Northwoods residents voiced their opinion at a budget listening session in Wausau.

One of the main issues was Governor Walker's Education funding.

Representative Mandy Wright is a former teacher.

She's worried school in her district, Wausau, won't get a fair shake.

"All of the schools actually that were failing have high levels of poverty and high level of needs for their students and families," Wright said.

"So as we see job loses, as we see our economy not recovering the way we'd like to, we're very concerned about seeing voucher expansion which pulls money away from our public schools and funds an entirely separate school system."

Representative Wright says there will be another listening session Tuesday at Northcentral Technical College starting at 6:30 p.m.

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MILWAUKEE - A published report says unauthorized improvements have been made to a footpath on state land that a donor to Gov. Scott Walker has been trying to buy.

A spokesman for business executive Elizabeth Uihlein acknowledged that workers at her adjoining property may have cleaned up the trail slightly.

But the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1Z18WU8 ) reports those who have seen the trail say the improvements are significant.

Uihlein is seeking to buy 1.75 acres along Rest Lake, where the footpath is located. But a tentative deal with the Department of Natural Resources was put on hold after critics raised questions.

A DNR spokesman says the agency inspected the site on Thursday and found an "established trail." He declined to say whether the department had talked to Uihlein or her representatives.

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MERRILL - Merrill residents might have heard a lot of music in town today.

Merrill High School hosted the Merrill Marching Invitational. Three high school marching bands took over the football field at Merrill High School Sunday.

Antigo, D.C. Everest, and Merrill high schools all showcased their musical creativity.

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NEKOOSA - People in Nekoosa could go back in time this weekend.

Volunteers at Pointe Basse recreated a historical camp that portrayed the lives of people from the 1700s and early 1800s.

Volunteers from all across the U.S. had a piece of history to share.

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EAGLE RIVER - Eagle River hosted its 36th annual Cranberry Fest during October's first weekend.

Organizers say the weather this year brought in many more visitors.

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RHINELANDER - Harvest Hoedown started Saturday at noon at the Woodpecker Bar and Grill in Rhinelander.

The event featured a hay maze, horse-drawn carriage rides, food, and live music all afternoon.

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THREE LAKES - A Northwoods priest may never experience a mass as large as he did this past Sunday. It was Pope Francis' final mass in the U.S. during his trip. Organizers predicted nearly 500,000 people would attend.

Father Bala of Three Lakes was able to make it to Philadelphia for the mass. He was one of a small group from the Northwoods who made the trip, and he said it felt like an extremely personal gathering.

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WOOD COUNTY - Two people who stole a UTV led police on a wild chase early Friday morning. Friday night, those suspects were still on the run.

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