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GOP Leaders Talk Image OverhaulSubmitted: 05/05/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

GOP Leaders Talk Image Overhaul
ROTHSCHILD - Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus wants a bold image overhaul for his party.

We spoke with him and other state leaders about how they're going to do it at the Wisconsin Republican Convention that wrapped up today in Rothschild.

"This is not a time to sulk, this is not a time to sink, this is not a time to drown your sorrows. This is a time to take stock; figure out what it is to improve on," says Congressman, and 2012 vice presidential candidate, Paul Ryan.

Take stock is exactly what RNC Chairman Reince Priebus did. In March he presented what he called an "autopsy" of the party following nationwide losses including the White House.

"We haven't run a decisive presidential race in 24 years. So what's going on? I want to talk to you about that," Priebus said to the crowd at the convention.

In the report he offered blunt criticism of the party's image. It said the majority of poll respondents viewed the GOP as a party of "stuffy old men" that is "out of touch" and even "scary".

"I think it was spot on the money. I think what Reince did was a sobering assessment of what did we do right, what did we do wrong, where do we have room for improvement? If you don't win a national election you need to do that kind of analysis," says Ryan.

"Sometimes I think our party hasn't done a good enough job of trying to reach out. And I think that's what we need to focus on, is opening up our arms as wide as we can, listening to folks who might not agree with us on every single issue," says Robin Vos, Speaker of the Assembly.

The report says the party needs to be more inclusive and connect with more female, youth, gay and minority voters. But the question is, how? Do they need to figure out how to become more moderate on issues that are important to those voters?

"I think it's a matter of kind of what our moms used to say, 'It's not what you say, but how you say it'. And I also think it's a matter of using grace and love in your tone, which is a pretty good rule to live by. I think we all try to do that in our lives. But I think in politics you have to be reminded that love and grace is part of the conversation," says Priebus.

One of those ongoing conversations on immigration reform. Ryan is a vocal supporter; to the point of publicly disagreeing with Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner at the convention this weekend.

So if some republicans want to meet democrats in the middle on an issue other republicans aren't willing to bend on-- will the infighting just be more destructive?

"There are a lot of other issues like this that have to be solved, that have been very difficult. And that's why we have got to start talking to each other," says Ryan.

Looking forward, Wisconsin republicans agree the state is the model the national GOP should follow if they want to get back into the White House.

"I think Wisconsin's really a leader for the rest of the country. We have been doing a good job of broadening our coalition," says Vos.

"I think the Republican Party of Wisconsin, nationally, has shown how republicans ought to conduct themselves," says Ryan.

"They've shown the rest of the country how to get it done, and we want to do what Wisconsin's doing all over America," says Priebus.



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One death in Ironwood fire.Submitted: 02/21/2018

IRONWOOD, MI - One person has died in a fire in downtown Ironwood in the Upper Peninsula.

Authorities say two buildings were badly damaged or destroyed early Wednesday, including one with apartments on two floors. Ironwood schools were closed due to poor air quality.

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IRONWOOD, MI - A large fire in Ironwood, Michigan killed at least one person early Wednesday morning.

Ironwood Public Safety reports firefighters were called to the downtown building on E. Aurora Street around 4 a.m.  The fire burned a building with businesses and apartments.

Crews pulled three people from apartment windows on upper floors, but another person pulled from the fire died at the hospital.  The Public Safety Department didn't release the victim's name or age.

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WAUSAU - Anger over last Wednesday's Florida school shooting could force Congress to find some agreement on gun control. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) thinks it's about time.

The debate on gun rights and public safety has been a big focus since 17 people died at Stoneman Douglas High School.

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SUGAR CAMP - A major fire destroyed a machinery repair shop in Sugar Camp on Wednesday morning, sending clouds of black smoke over the Northwoods.

The shop, next to a home on County Highway D west of Sugar Camp, caught fire around 10 a.m.

"There was a machinery malfunction that [the owner said] he was dealing with, and there could also be a heating issue," said Sugar Camp Fire Chief Jason Goeldner. "We got an area to look, but we haven't gotten in there yet to actually try to do a thorough investigation yet."

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WAUSAU - Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) hopes to help family caregivers by offering them support and resources.

It's all part of the RAISE Family Caregivers Act signed into law by President Trump last month. RAISE stands for Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage.

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TOMAHAWK - The Tomahawlk VFW donated two electric wheelchairs to Highground Veterans Memorial Park in Neillsville.

The park features 155 acres with a number of memorials focused on different wars.

"It's just a really great feeling knowing that they can do this and they can get there and spend the time they need to reflect on what they need to reflect on," said Highground Executive Director Jon Weiler.

Weiler said most of the veterans visiting have a hard time moving around the large park without assistance from a wheelchair.

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MERRILL - A doctor will need to help decide if the man accused of murdering a Tomahawk man in his driveway last fall was in his right mind.

Eric Moen, 33, pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect in Lincoln County Court on Wednesday.

Moen told police he didn't know why he shot and killed Charles Ramp on November 16th.

Moen ran from the scene and was arrested in western Wisconsin.

He faces up to life in prison if convicted.

More on this story can be found in the initial reports as well as following Moen's initial appearance in court.

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