NEWS STORIES

ObamaCare forces Trig's to limit workers' hoursSubmitted: 07/24/2013

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MINOCQUA - ObamaCare will dig into the pocketbooks of part-time workers at one of the Northwoods' biggest employers.

If Trig's Supermarkets hadn't cut part-time work hours, it would have been out of business within a year.

That's what a consultant told the company.

About two-thirds of the 1,100 Trig's employees are part-time workers.

But if they work more than 30 hours a week, the president's health care legislation technically considers them full time.

That means Trig's would be forced to provide health insurance to those workers.

The report said keeping the work schedules as they were AND providing that health coverage would have been disastrous to the company's bottom line.

"Doing nothing was not an option. It would have put us out of business. Within a year, it would have put us out of business. There's no doubt about that. So obviously we've had to make some changes," says Angie Dreifuerst, Trig's' Vice President of HR, Benefits, and MIS.

Those changes include promoting a few workers to full time.

But the biggest impact comes to the 65 percent of employees working part-time.

They're not allowed to work more than 30 hours per week.

That way, Trig's can avoid considering them full time workers.

"Yeah, they were frustrated, but I believe they also understood why we had to make the decisions that we did. I said, 'this isn't good for you, this isn't good for us, it's not what we want to do either.' Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of options. We have to do what we have to do to comply and stay viable," she says.

Companies like Trig's aren't the only ones facing employment challenges from the Affordable Care Act.

Even school districts like Minocqua-Hazelhurst-Lake Tomahawk have taken steps to make sure their part-time workers stay under the 30 hour threshold.

Story By: Ben Meyer

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Meth bust in town of Pine LakeSubmitted: 04/16/2014

RHINELANDER - Police arrested four people in a meth bust near Rhinelander.

The Oneida County Sheriff’s Department says the bust went down yesterday in the town of Pine Lake.

Arrested were 38 year old Gerry Frederick, 55 year old Thomas Franz, 40 year old Scott Dumpprope and 46 year old Carrie Steinmetz.

Potential charges include conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house.

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Big bucks to expand nutrition, physical education in Wisconsin schools Submitted: 04/16/2014

WISCONSIN - Seven Wisconsin school districts have been awarded a total of $3.2 million in federal grants to help them expand their nutrition and physical-education programs.

To qualify, the districts have to implement programs that teach students healthy eating habits and good nutrition. They also have to make sure kids have access to certain physical fitness activities, which could include fitness assessments or developing certain team skills.

The largest grant is going to the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District, which will receive about $850,000. The Mukwonago Area School District and Pittsville School District will each get about $445,000.

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Support for baiting and feeding ban before deer seasonSubmitted: 04/16/2014

MADISON - Outdoor enthusiasts think Wisconsin should ban deer baiting and feeding in the days leading up to the November gun season.

The Conservation Congress is a group of sportsmen that advises the DNR on policy.

Annual spring hearings across the state we held Monday.

People who attended answered nearly 60 questions asking for their positions on a number of proposals.

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DNR prepares for trout stocking Submitted: 04/16/2014

MADISON - MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is working to stock 316,000 trout across the state ahead of inland fishing season opener next month.

More than 100,000 trout will be stocked in urban fishing waters, small lakes and ponds. The rest will go into waters where the habitat is marginal and there's no natural reproduction.

DNR officials say lingering ice cover on lakes is delaying some of the stocking, but they still expect to get all the fish in the water by the May 3 season opener.

A complete list of water bodies in line for fish is available on the DNR's website.

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Ice cover might lead to more fish killsSubmitted: 04/16/2014

ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Winter can be hard on everything, but you might not think it's hard on fish. They're protected under a layer of ice from the weather. But that layer of ice can create problems if it lasts too long.

"You don't get enough light penetration that goes down into the water. So there's no photosynthesis by the algae in the water so there's no oxygen that's produced," says Jim Kreitlow, DNR Lakes Biologist


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New Vilas County Board sworn in, already making changesSubmitted: 04/15/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - Two weeks ago, Vilas County elected its new board.

That included 12 new board members.

The new board was sworn in Tuesday, and right away, they made some big changes.

Members voted to bring back the 21 committee structure.

The Vilas County Board voted in October to cut the number of committees from 21 to 9.

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Another snowstorm headed our way hear what people thinkSubmitted: 04/15/2014

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RHINELANDER - We may want spring, but Mother Nature has other plans. Whether you like it or not more snow is on the way. We got people's reaction to the upcoming snowstorm. Click on the video link to watch.

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