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Gov. Walker promotes new budget in NorthwoodsSubmitted: 07/02/2013

Adam Fox
10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
afox@wjfw.com


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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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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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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