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Joint Finance Committee considers where public workers can live and workSubmitted: 05/09/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Joint Finance Committee considers where public workers can live and work
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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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/25/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll bring you details about an accident involving two semi-trucks this morning on Highway 29 in Marathon County that left one driver dead and the other driver in the hospital.

We'll tell you what happened today in the preliminary hearing for a Rhinelander woman who is charged with reckless homicide of her 20-month-old stepson.

And the Hodag Farmers' Market will be in a slightly different space when it opens for the season this weekend. We'll tell you where it moved to and why.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MERRILL - Many of us know that exciting feeling when you knock down all the bowling pins and make a strike.

One bowling alley in Merrill is trying to take the excitement up a notch with a new scoring system.

Chances are you've never seen a scoring system like the one at Les & Jim's Lincoln Lanes in Merrill.

Owner Mark Bares decided to install the "SYNC" system at his bowling alley with the help of his seven kids.

"My kids liked how easy and simple this system is. Plus they liked the angry birds," says Bares. 

SYNC scoring is pretty similar to using a smart phone.

Each lane has a screen that you tap to choose what kind of game you want.

Some bowling games are geared towards kids, but of course there's the classic ten-frame, too.

Les& Jim's Lincoln Lanes is the second bowling alley in Wisconsin to install this system.

Bringing their customers the newest bowling technology is nothing new for this family business.

It all started with Mark's grandpa, Les, about 50 years ago at another bowling alley near Sheboygan. 

"They actually had the first automatic scoring system ever… and that was back in the 60's," says Bares.

Today's scoring system is just as simple easy as back then.

People who have been bowling at Les& Jim's for years handled the transition just fine. 

"They didn't want to touch it at first, but after you just walk them through, halfway through, they are already pressing buttons," says Bares. 

SYNC scoring also lets you put in your email address, so you can track how well you bowl after every game. 


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RHINELANDER - You'll need to look in a different place to find the Hodag Farmers' Market when it opens for the season this weekend.  But the market's move is all of about 25 yards.

The market shifted to the space where the ice rink used to be at Pioneer Park.  Vendors used to set up along the park's driveway.

Market manager Steve Richardson wanted to make the move for the last few years, then got his chance when the city tore the old rink down in 2016.

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WAUSAU - Choosing a career path after high school can seem challenging.

However, students who want to be in the medical field were able to see what will take to follow this dream.

The Aspirus MedEvac helicopter landed on Wausau East High School's football field while students watched on Thursday.

Pilot Captain Ken Cerney says even though he isn't
Choosing a career path after high school can seem challenging.

However, students who want to be in the medical field were able to see what will take to follow this dream.

The Aspirus MedEvac helicopter landed on Wausau East High School's football field while students watched on Thursday.

Pilot Captain Ken Cerney says even though he isn't directly involved with the medical field, he has some advice for all students.

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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander woman will face another day in court. Ellen Tran is charged with Second Degree Reckless Homicide.
 Her step- son Avery Edwards died after Tran gave him a shower back in April. 

People from the Tri- County Council and Bikers Against Child Abuse were in the court room on Thursday.
 wearing pins and buttons to support Edwards. 

The defense tried to argue that the state didn't have enough evidence to prove probable cause to charge Tran in her step son's death. 

Edwards was 20 months old when his step mom Ellen Tran was giving him a shower on April 14.

 In the criminal complaint Tran said during the shower Edwards fell, but she said she could not remember how he fell or what he hit. 

The Fond du Lac medical examiner later found that Edward's death was caused by blunt force trauma.

 Tran's attorney Amy Scholtz argued there wasn't evidence that Tran caused the injury that led to Edward's death. 

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RHINELANDER - People at Rhinelander's City Hall know if you need to know a specific ordinance or resolution, you could always turn to Kathy Johnson.  That's going to change this week.  The city administrator's assistant retires at the end of the day Friday.

Johnson started working for the city five years ago.  She and her husband moved here from Rockford, Illinois.  Johnson served under four city administrators over that time, including Blaine Oborn, Phil Parkinson, Kristina Aschenbrenner, and Keith Kost.

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CHETEK, WI - Sheriff's officials in northwestern Wisconsin have identified the teens involved in a fatal plane crash.

The Barron County Sheriff's Department says 17-year-old Owen Knutson died when the single-engine plane he was piloting crashed into a river in a rural area near Chetek Wednesday evening. An 18-year-old passenger, Hunter Gillett, was seriously injured. Chetek-Weyerhaeuser High School senior is hospitalized at Mayo in Rochester, Minnesota.

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