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Walker backs off campaign jobs pledge at Merrill stopSubmitted: 08/26/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Walker backs off campaign jobs pledge at Merrill stop
MERRILL - Governor Walker promised Wisconsin 250,000 new jobs again and again while campaigning in 2010.

He said he'd accomplish that in his first term as governor.

But the latest Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report puts Walker less than a third of the way there.

He has less than a year and a half to create nearly 170,000 jobs to keep that pledge.

On Monday in Merrill, he carefully backed away from the specific number.

"My goal wasn't so much to hit a magic number as much as it was, in the four years before I took office, when I was campaigning, I saw that we lost over 133,000 jobs in the state. I said, 'it's really not about jobs, it's about real people, real jobs like those here, and more importantly, affecting real families all across the state,'" Walker said.

Walker was helping Northern Wire, a fastener manufacturer, celebrate its 40th year in business.

It bounced back from a 2011 tornado.

That storm tore through the area near the plant on Merrill's north side.

A year ago, an investment group from Indiana bought Northern Wire, helping to keep production in Merrill.

"They made a concerted effort both because they like the company, as well as the like the state. They like the workforce here and the way the state's headed. I think that's a good positive sign for us," Walker said.

Northern Wire employs as many as 190 people during its peak production periods.

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RHINELANDER - A man died after a house fire in Rhinelander on Friday night.

According to a press release from the Rhinelander Police Department, Rhinelander police and firefighters responded to the fire at 320 Rose Street near Hodag Park around 7:30 p.m.  

Firefighters went inside the house soon after they arrived and found an unresponsive man on the floor.  Firefighters and paramedics tried to revive the man, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

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WOODRUFF - Ascension Wisconsin Spirit Medical Transport hosted a fun-filled day for family and friends on Saturday.

This comes about five months after one of its helicopters crashed, killing three Spirit employees.

Regional manager Charles Kotke said those men were in mind today,

"Today is a day of bringing people together, as well as a celebration of our 25 year anniversary," said Kotke. "This team did an amazing job getting us back to caring for our patients and doing what we need to do to care of our community."

Flight paramedics showed off the aircrafts to people and the helicopter was a big hit.

"They definitely like to look at the aircrafts. See how we transport patients from point A to point B," said Northern Region Supervisor Ryan Short.

Next Saturday, Spirit is celebrating with more associates. The second part of the celebration will be in Stevens Point.

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RHINELANDER - Kids ran throughout the Woodpecker Bar and Grill in Rhinelander on Saturday for the third annual Harvest Hoedown.

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THREE LAKES - After 30 years, Dr. George Karling decided it's time to retire as the Three Lakes District Administrator.

He plans to leave after the school year ends, but the school board is already preparing to find his replacement.

Early next month, the Three Lakes School District will host two input sessions for the public.

Three Lakes residents can go to give their opinions on what they want in a replacement. 

Karling's decision to retire comes about a month after he faced criticism for allowing the district to be featured in a campaign ad for Gov. Scott Walker. 

People who can't make it can still send their thoughts to the Three Lakes Board of Education. People can submit comments by writing to:

Board of Education, Three Lakes School District
6930 West School St. 
Three Lakes, WI 54562 

or email: tr@threelakessd.k12.us.



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MADISON -

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HAYWARD -
A 16-year-old girl is missing from Sawyer County according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Angel Marie Simonson is reported as an endangered missing person. She is a white female, 5'7", and 220 lbs. 

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