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NEWS STORIES

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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Man who caused an elementary school to be put on lockdown could have charges dismissed Submitted: 08/27/2014

RHINELANDER - Police think Michael Schettino pointed a handgun at another driver on Highway 51 in May. Police say he then drove through the parking lot of MHLT Elementary school in Minocqua. The school was put on lockdown because of what happened.

Schettino was in court Wednesday. He took a plea agreement. His two misdemeanors could be dismissed if he follows the terms of the agreement for 2 years.

"The state has the option if they have evidence indicating that you have not complied with the terms of the agreement to bring this matter back into court," Judge Michael Bloom told Schettino, "and if they presented evidence to establish that you were not in compliance that I could enter judgment on your pleas without any further proceedings and go immediately to sentencing."

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Hundreds gather to honor slain journalist FoleySubmitted: 08/27/2014

MILWAUKEE - Slain U.S. journalist James Foley is being remembered as a person committed to social justice and as a modest friend who deflected questions about himself.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/VQatzQ ) that Father Fred Zagone, the chaplain for the Marquette University Alumni Association, said at a vigil Tuesday that Foley cited the resonance of the Jesuit resolve he learned there after he was captured for the first time in Libya in 2011. Foley studied at Marquette. Zagone shared that email with more than 300 people at the vigil.

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Leadership Oneida County seeks more applicants before deadlineSubmitted: 08/27/2014

RHINELANDER - Going back to school takes a lot of time and money, but there's another way you can get a step up in your career without stepping in the classroom.

Leadership Oneida County is a nine month course offered to people who strive to be leaders. About 100 graduates of the course come from various backgrounds but have the same reason to take it.

"Go through this course to learn more about their community and learn more about their personal strengths as leaders, and to build their own professional network. The point of the course is to really connect leaders to their community," said Tim Brown, UW-Extension Community Resource Development.

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Snowmobile clubs prepare for the new seasonSubmitted: 08/27/2014

NORTHWOODS - Before the flurries fly, important preparations need to happen for snowmobile trails.

You'll find snowmobile clubs in the Northwoods busy this time of year.

The main focus is cleaning and organizing equipment.

The Minocqua Forest Riders Snowmobile Club operates about 150 miles of trails. Working inside the shop now helps them later on in the season.

"We looked at our shop and we've been doing about the same thing every year," says Club President Curt Christensen. "We never really moved the equipment out or took a real close look at things so we decided to do a major cleaning project this year to get the shop ready."

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Mining company pushes back permit timelineSubmitted: 08/27/2014

MILWAUKEE - Gogebic Taconite will take longer than originally planned to apply for a mining permit in northern Wisconsin.

The company says its application to develop an iron ore mine in Ashland and Iron counties will be pushed back until at least the fall of next year.

Gogebic had planned to submit an application in the spring of 2015 to develop a 1.5 billion dollar iron ore mine in the Lake Superior region.

A company spokesman says Gogebic won't finish all fieldwork this year and will be forced to conduct additional environmental work next year.

The approaching of fall is prompting Gogebic to wrap up some fieldwork already.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)

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Woman who tried to hire someone to kill fiance will spend about three years in prisonSubmitted: 08/26/2014

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WAUSAU - Jessica Strom will spend about three years in prison for offering a man $1,000 and sex to kill her fiance.

The 33 year old Merrill woman was sentenced Tuesday.

"Out of the billions of people that could potentially be partners in life [the] two of you chose the single worst combination," says Circuit Court Judge Neal Nielsen.

Strom's fiance was former Lincoln County district attorney John Schellpfeffer.

The state argued this wasn't the first time Strom and Schellpfeffer had problems.

"In 2009 there was a criminal damage to property complaint, disorderly conduct," says Prosecuting Attorney Ralph Uttke. "Mr. Schellpfeffer called saying Ms. Strom was smashing the window to his house with a hammer and left, she was arrested a short time later."

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The Department of Natural Resources has scheduled the chat for noon on Aug. 27. Participants can log on through the DNR's website by searching for the keyword ``chat.''

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