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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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EAGLE RIVER - Many of us consider their dog as another member of the family. 

That's certainly true for a husband and wife in Eagle River, who are desperately searching for their dog--that they say was was taken from them in their own backyard on Tuesday. 

That dog is a three-year-old Boston terrier named Poco, and his owners are Scott and Laurie Schellinger.

According to the police report, a woman took the dog in a red Chevy Impala. The Schellingers say that woman is their niece. The Schellingers bought Poco from a man all three of them know about six weeks ago.

The Schellingers say when they got Poco, he was in bad shape.

"The dog didn't make a peep the first two weeks we had him," Scott Schellinger said. "And he cowered, and he just started coming out of his shell."

The Schellingers say their niece came over for a visit on Tuesday and that's when it happened.

"I was talking to my wife's niece on the back porch and all the sudden she goes running down the porch, her son grabbed the dog, the car was right there, opened up the driver car door, took the dog and [ran]," Scott Schellinger said. "Haven't seen him since."

The Schellingers say their home hasn't been the same, and their other two rescue dogs seem to miss him.

"I just can't believe this happened," said Laurie Schellinger. "Of all people, family."

Police have been searching for Poco, and the Schellingers hope he comes home soon.

"I just want him home where he belongs," Laurie Schellinger said. 

Click on the link below if you have information or want to help the Schellingers. 

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