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NEWS STORIES

State senator, Milwaukee Archbishop hope to eliminate rent-to-own deals in budgetSubmitted: 04/26/2013
Story By The Associated Press

MADISON - Religious leaders, a Republican state senator and others are asking Gov. Scott Walker to back off his plan to free rent-to-own businesses from Wisconsin's consumer protection act.

The provision in the budget proposal ensures the businesses wouldn't have to disclose what industry opponents say are exorbitant interest rates.

Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki, Republican Sen. Glenn Grothman and others held a news conference Friday.

Grothman described chains like Rent-A-Center as evil and predatory. Listecki says rent-to-own businesses keep people in economic servitude that shouldn't exist in society.

Rent-A-Center spokesman Xavier Dominicis says their contracts aren't credit transactions and Wisconsin's consumer act shouldn't apply to them. He says the costs are clear in their contracts.

A message left for Walker's spokesman wasn't immediately returned Friday.

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PEARSON - People from Wisconsin camp all the time, but it's not every day a group of British Boy Scouts comes to camp in the Northwoods for a week. 

"As a group, we've never been to the United States of America before, " said Troop Leader Stephen Bell.

Bell can cross that off his list. He's one of 11 British Boy Scouts and leaders staying at Camp Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan this week.

"We were looking for somewhere to extend the stay, so after a Google search, this site appeared to be the best one in the local area, so we headed up here for the rest of our time in the US," said Bell.

The 1st Carlton Colville Air Scouts come from the eastern coast of England in Lowestoft, about three and a half hours from London.

After spending time at the EAA event in Oshkosh, the troop came to Pearson for the week. It cost more than $30,000 and two years to make the trip happen. 

"I'm certainly not disappointed having arrived," said Bell.

Now that they're here, scouts say there are many differences from home. 

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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander man could face a criminal charge after he smashed into a parked car this morning.

The 22-year-old was driving down Evergreen Court in Rhinelander around 9 a.m.


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MERRILL - Many children don't interact with police officers, but officers want children to have a positive experience around law enforcement. 

That's why the Merrill Police Department do activities like archery with local kids. 

Merrill Police officers taught children how to shoot a bow and arrow at Badges and Bulls Eyes on Tuesday.

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VILAS COUNTY - Spiny water fleas look like monsters under a microscope. A long, spiny tail extends from a big body. The creatures are three or four times bigger than their native counterparts, the other zooplankton in Northwoods lakes.

"Spiny water fleas eat our native zooplankton, and our native zooplankton eat our algae," says Carol Warden, an Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist at the UW-Madison Trout Lake Station in Boulder Junction.

That can be a problem for water quality in lakes.

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RHINELANDER - Kids these days don't learn like older generations did—they rely on technology.

Some Rhinelander teachers went to school Tuesday to learn about tools like coding and green screens. It's part of a week-long even called Hodag Tech Fest at James Williams Middle School.

It's the second year the school district has hosted the forum for classroom technology, and about 90 Rhinelander teachers and administrators will attend throughout the week. Some of the seminars cover iPads, Chromebooks, Smart Boards and coding. 

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VILAS COUNTY - "Back in 2010, people wanted answers," says DNR Research Scientist Dr. Carl Watras, who works out of the UW-Madison Trout Lake Research Station in Boulder Junction.

Lake levels across the Northwoods were down. Way down.

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker says the bill passed by the Wisconsin State Assembly committing $250 million in taxpayer money toward paying for a new Milwaukee Bucks arena is a "good deal all the way around."

Walker made his comments Tuesday while speaking with reporters in Philadelphia.

Walker says he is ready to sign the bill, which passed on a bipartisan 52-34 vote. There were 35 Republicans and 17 Democrats in support, with 20 Republicans and 14 Democrats against.

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