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NEWS STORIES

GOP Leaders Prepare to Reform Image for Next Round of ElectionsSubmitted: 05/04/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


ROTHSCHILD - Wisconsin GOP leaders and a headliner from Washington rallied party members at today's convention.

Legislators say they're taking stock of the party, learning from a disappointing 2012 election cycle, and strategizing for upcoming mid-terms.

Governor Scott Walker echoed optimism heard from other speakers today. They said Wisconsin is the model the national GOP should follow.

"So I think going forward in 2014 the choice is pretty clear. We don't want to go back to the days of double digit tax increases, of billion dollar budget deficits and record job loss. Do you want to go back?" says Gov. Walker.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus says the party has the right leaders and the right message. But he says Wisconsin has a disconnect when it comes to getting that message to voters when it matters most.

"And we're winning just about everywhere, almost everything. Except we get into this presidential election cycle. And if we're being honest, we haven't won a decisive presidential race in 24 years. So what's going on? I want to talk to you about that," says Priebus.

Tomorrow night we'll have more from Priebus on his bold challenge to the GOP to soften its image.

I also sat down with 2012 vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan. He told us how he thinks Republicans can connect with disenchanted voters.

That's tomorrow night on Newswatch 12 Weekend.



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OSHKOSH - An accident on Lake Winnebago has taken another life.

The Winnebago County Coroner's Office says an 8-year-old boy has died after he was pulled from the icy lake water Sunday.

The child's father died shortly after their Jeep broke through the ice about 7:00 a.m.

The victims were from Sussex.

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KENOSHA - Police say 11 people were hurt but none seriously when a bus crashed on Interstate 94 in southeastern Wisconsin.

The Kenosha County sheriff's office says the coach-style commercial bus was returning from Milwaukee to the Chicago area when the driver suffered an apparent medical condition and collapsed about 11:30 p.m. Saturday.

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RHINELANDER - Downtown Rhinelander leaders hope chocolate can help them promote local businesses. The eighth annual Taste of Chocolate event is planned for February 6th.

27 local businesses are participating this year. Every business will have a different type of chocolate for people to try.

"Some people have their standard chocolates. Some people come up with something new," says Maggie Steffen of Downtown Rhinelander Inc. "There is everything from candies to cakes to chili."

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RHINELANDER - Weddings can be a lot of fun, but many brides and grooms say it takes a lot of planning to make the big day one to remember. Sometimes that means numerous trips to find a location for the wedding as well as the dress, but brides-to-be found all they needed for their big day in one setting.

Just about every girl envisions what they're wedding would look like. From how their make-up will be done, to getting their make-up getting done, to what their dress looks like and how the cake will taste.

You could find all of that at the 2015 Magical Moments Bridal Expo in Rhinelander Saturday.

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OSHKOSH - A 40-year-old Sussex man has died after his vehicle fell through the ice on Lake Winnebago.

Emergency crews were called just before 7 a.m. Sunday to the lake about two miles east of Oshkosh's Merritt Street boat landing. The operator of an all-terrain vehicle called for help after watching the vehicle fall through.

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MADISON - Lawmakers are set to reignite conversations this week about whether vaping, using electronic cigarettes and other vapor smoking devices, should be included in Wisconsin's smoking ban.

The ban took effect in 2010. It outlaws smoking in all public indoor locations, including restaurants and bars. But the ban does not currently apply to vaping, giving venue owners the right to decide whether or not to permit e-cigarettes.

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MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee police say a 7-year-old boy has drowned while attending a birthday party at a hotel.

Police say the party was at the Comfort Suites Park Place hotel in northwest Milwaukee.

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