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Gov. Walker promotes new budget in NorthwoodsSubmitted: 07/02/2013
Story By Adam Fox


RHINELANDER - You can still feel the divide between Democrats and Republicans from the budget Governor Walker signed Sunday.

Now that it's official, Walker is selling the positives of his budget.

Tuesday, Walker spoke in Rhinelander.

He talked about about programs meant to bring tourists to the Northwoods, but that wasn't his main point.

Instead, he focused on the coming $650 million income tax cut for Wisconsin citizens and small businesses.

"The vast majority of employers in the state, which are small business, will see an income tax cut because they pay income taxes, not corporate taxes," Walker said. "This is a great budget for small businesses and individuals all across the state of Wisconsin."

But one group thinks the cut could be too much.

The Wisconsin Taxpayer Alliance said Tuesday that the budget under-funds the state's savings account, also known as a rainy day fund.

Walker says his administration has done the opposite.

"We have added for the first time in state history, three consecutive times, since I have been governor, to the rainy day fund," Walker said. "It's one of the highest amounts we've had in the past."

Walker put $108 million in the fund in October.

But a June Reuters article said states like Wisconsin, with low rainy day funds, could be vulnerable in another economic downturn.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

PORTAGE COUNTY - A man died in a car crash early Saturday morning in Portage County.

The driver was a 33-year-old man who suffered severe trauma and died at the scene according to the Portage County Sheriff's Office.

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WAUSAU - Democratic lawmakers hosted a listening session on the state budget Saturday. The listening session was held in the Marathon County Public Library.

Democratic representatives heard from central Wisconsin residents on a number of topics.

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WAUSAU - Cat lovers got the chance to show off their furry friends Saturday at the Spring Cat Show. 

This is the 28th year the Central Wisconsin Cat Club has hosted the event. The show took place at Faith Christian Academy in Wausau

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MADISON - MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The case of a Wisconsin man accused of killing four people while driving drunk last year won't proceed because a brain injury he suffered in the crash prevents him from assisting in his defense.

Dane County Circuit Judge Nicholas McNamara indefinitely suspended the case of 33-year-old Brysen Wills Friday after prosecutors and his defense attorney said two doctors concluded he's not competent to stand trial.


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MINOCQUA - Police officers often meet people on their worst days: after a death, crime, or other bad situations.  The Minocqua Police Department hopes some unpaid additions to their staff can help victims, families, and officers cope with those situations a little better.

The department is looking to add a team of clergy members to form a chaplain program.  The chaplains would be on call and show up to scenes when needed.  Chief David Jaeger had been considering the idea for a while when he heard about police in Oneida County using the same program.

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WOODRUFF - USDA Wildlife Services relocates more than 500 black bears in Wisconsin every year.

Bears can cause a lot of damage, especially when they've just woken up from hibernation.

The DNR receives more than 800 nuisance calls for bears each year.

"They're opportunistic, looking for any food sources out there, grills, bird feeders, any garbage cans anything like that," said DNR wildlife damage specialist Brian Koele. 

Koele says it's important bears don't get acclimated to humans.

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RHINELANDER - For better or worse, drivers in Rhinelander will get an extra week to use the Davenport Street bridge.  The city's contractor for its downtown reconstruction project delayed closing the bridge for repairs to May 8th.

Crews first planned to close the bridge in mid-April, then pushed that back to May 1 due to weather.  Now, weather has further delaying the month-long repairs to the concrete decking.

This is part of a larger project to finish up the downtown reconstruction, which began in March 2016.  The city reconstructed 21 blocks, replacing underground utilities and modernizing the downtown area.

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