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Joint Finance Committee considers where public workers can live and workSubmitted: 05/09/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


MADISON - Republicans often brand themselves as the party fighting for local control.

But Governor Walker proposed taking away some of the control for cities and towns.

And now, some Republicans are pushing back.

In February, the governor released his budget proposal.

Part of it proposed taking away residency requirements for government workers.

But many cities require police and firefighters to live close to town so they can get to emergencies faster.

The move to take away that right has Democrats and even some fellow Republicans upset.

"We do need responders. We need responders to live within a district or an area that they can respond timely. That's my biggest concern," says Marshfield Republican Rep. John Spiros.

"I think it's a bad idea. I think it infringes on local control, and I think we should leave it up to our local communities to assess the needs of their community and address them as they see fit," says Wausau Democratic Rep. Mandy Wright.

Just about every city in the Northwoods has some type of residency requirement.

Some only apply to emergency workers, while others are for a broader range of city employees.

Thursday, the state's Joint Finance Committee approved Walker's proposal, but with a twist.

It also passed an amendment by Representative John Nygren which would still allow counties, cities and towns to require emergency workers, like police and firefighters, to live within 15 miles of the borders.

The proposal now would still need to go before the state Senate, assembly and back to the Governor before it becomes law.

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WAUSAU - Investigators don't know yet how a 30-year-old woman died. She was found dead Tuesday in a bar bathroom with tools typically used for drugs.

Autumn Woodward was found dead Tuesday afternoon in the Denmar Tavern.

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WHITE LAKE - After this week it may seem that spring is a long way off, butsome people in northern Wisconsin are still hopeful. 

People are especially hopeful in White Lake.  Village leaders put Iron Mike out on the lake on Wednesday. 

That means you can officially start guessing when the ice will melt—and when the metal-man will fall through it. 

"Norman Mike Berg is the one who came up with the idea," said Chris Oatman, a White Lake Village Board Trustee. "And Iron Mike is named after Mike Berg. And Mike was a native of White Lake and just so active in the community, for veterans and the school and so many things." 

After a 50-year hiatus, this is the second annual contest the village is hosting. Last year Iron Mike fell through on April 2. The winner got a $500 prize. Money raised from ticket sales also helps support the local VFW. 

"It's really exciting, the people really get into it," Oatman said. "The tickets are 5 dollars and basically the format for this year is you have to guess the day, and then you have to put down a time. So the closest one to the day without going over wins the prize." 

Iron Mike is one of many celebrations White Lake has this year. The village is celebrating it's centennial. The village will also have its annual Fishing Derby on Saturday as well. 

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RHINELANDER -
Hakim Salaam, a personal chef and chef instructor at Nicolet College in Rhinelander, has a few easy recipes to make Valentine's Day extra sweet for that special someone.


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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 02/10/2016

- Two Tomahawk football players are headed to play in the most dominant Division III college conference in the country.  Find out more tonight.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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FOREST CO. - A Forest County man pled not guilty to repeated Sexual Assault charges Wednesday.

Prosecutors accuse Dakota Tuckwab of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old at least three times.

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TOMAHAWK - Doctors at Hometown Chiropractic in Tomahawk used to only be able to rely on the word of their patients when making adjustments, but a new tool is helping show patients their progress.

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MADISON - Fire safety rules might prevent the use of real Christmas trees in some spots.

A bill now approved by the Assembly would ensure live trees are still allowed in churches and the state Capitol rotunda.

National Fire Protection Association guidelines call for banning live Christmas trees in places where 50 people or more gather.

The guidelines also allow limited quantities of combustible vegetation....if local fire officials decide adequate safeguards are in place.

Under the bill, the state and local governments would not be allowed to prevent placement of Christmas trees in the Capitol rotunda or in a church.

Trees in the rotunda and churches would be presumed to be safe during fire inspections.

The Assembly approved the bill Tuesday evening.

Now it goes to the state Senate.

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