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NEWS STORIES

Sen. Baldwin delivers first Senate floor speechSubmitted: 05/22/2013
Story By Lane Kimble


WASHINGTON, D.C. - We got to see and hear Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin give her first speech on the floor Wednesday morning.

The first-term Senator focused mainly on optimism and bipartisanship during her 11-minute speech.

She spoke on a day when the Senate took up debate on the so-called 2013 Farm Bill.

The bi-partisan effort would help limit the risks many farmers take while saving taxpayers billions. It's the kind of work Baldwin would like to see the Senate do more of.

"Wisconsin's a dairy state and I think about some of the time dairy farmers take some of the biggest risks around and have no guarantee that they'll profit from year to year," Baldwin said. "We need to take some of that risk out and make sure that our farmers are able to manage some of the risks that they face in their industry."

Baldwin's first speech also comes during a week when the executive branch is under high scrutiny.

Both parties are attacking President Obama's administration over wire tapping, the Benghazi terrorist attack and unfair IRS targeting.

Baldwin thinks Congress can help find out who's responsible for all three.

"The legislative branch, the Congress, is holding hearings and is conducting oversight and looking into this and calling it out," Baldwin said. "And so I do think that when committees like one I serve on--the Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee--has an investigative branch to it, that's how we're going to make sure that wrongdoers are held to account.

Baldwin also extended her thoughts to the Oklahoma tornado victims.

We reached out to Senator Ron Johnson's office for response. Senator Johnson was unavailable.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin DNR wants to know if it has the right plans for beavers in the state. The final public feedback period is open for the new beaver management plan.

The document will guide decisions on beavers through 2025. The final draft touches on topics like population, habitat, and damage management. The current draft recommends keeping beaver populations mostly stable in the state.

Public input for the final beaver management plan is open through June 22. The DNR will also host a public meeting on June 16 from 6-8 p.m. at the DNR Service Center in Rhinelander to take comments.

You can read the final draft of the plan by clicking the link below. Another link shows opportunities for feedback.

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ST. GERMAIN - A popular Northwoods tradition kicked off its 40th season today. The St. Germain Flea Market draws thousands of bargain hunters each week during the summer.

The market attracts nearly 400 vendors every week. Vendors showcase everything from homemade crafts and artwork to plants and homemade treats.

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MINOCQUA - Many golf courses in the Northwoods need to work hard to make a profit each year. Cold northern springs and falls mean a shorter playing season than other parts of the state. Many increase their rates near the peak of tourism season.

One Northwoods course went the other direction during the last week of April and tried something new. Timber Ridge Golf Club in Minocqua offered something unheard of - completely free golf for everyone.

"We all just kind of thought, what a nice idea, to just say thank you to all of our customers. (We thought,) come on out for a free week of golf," said Timber Ridge PGA Professional Jerry Collins.

The course was in great shape by late April. Golfers flooded in to play during the entire week.


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RHINELANDER -  A Northwoods veterans group wants people to remember those who died serving our country. 

The Oneida County Veterans Council held a Memorial Day ceremony in Rhinelander on Monday.

The Rhinelander High School band and choir performed at the ceremony.

Mayor Dick Johns was the speaker. 

Event organizers hope people take time on Memorial Day to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. 

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EDGAR - Marathon County authorities say a woman has died from drowning in a pool in Edgar in central Wisconsin.

Lt. Tim Burkholder of the Marathon County Sheriff's Department says it happened sometime after midnight Monday.

While the investigation is ongoing, he says the drowning appears to be accidental.

The department is withholding the victim's name and other details for now.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Last Thursday, 15 members of the Oneida County community graduated from Leadership Oneida County. The nine-month program aims to give participants a better understanding of the county's resources and to improve participation in organizations throughout the county.

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MERRILL - Hundreds of people gathered in Merrill on Monday to honor the lives of the service men and women lost over the years.

"From the Second World War, there were over 400,000 men and women who lost their lives, and it took a tremendous toll on our young people," said World War II veteran Richard Bjorklund.

The ceremony featured a guest speaker and acknowledged those still alive who served. People young and old remembered friends and family who are no longer here.

"Everybody worked together, and we still lost guys," said Vietnam War veteran John Jirovec. "It's hard to forget. Really hard to forget."

For one mother, every day is Memorial Day.
 
"My son Ryan, Sergeant Ryan Jopek, was killed in action on August 2, 2006," said Jopek's mother Tracy. "He just turned 20 and was coming home in a couple weeks, but fate didn't have it quite that way, and he didn't make it home, and we miss him every day."

Tears were shed thinking of the memories of loved ones, remembering freedom comes with a price.

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