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NEWS STORIES

Immigration Pilgrimage to ask Rep. Duffy to support comprehensive reformSubmitted: 10/10/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


MERRILL - Immigration reform might not be as big of an issue in rural areas as it is in bigger cities. But that isn't stopping Northwoods groups from making themselves heard.

Reform supporters throughout the country rallied and met at congressional offices around the country Saturday.

Today, two local groups made an "Immigration Pilgrimage" to Representative Sean Duffy's Wausau office. They met with the Congressman via teleconference from Washington.

Some issues they wanted to discuss are establishing a path to citizenship for undocumented people, and providing a legal path for low-skilled workers to immigrate where their work is needed.

"I think the primary thing that we're interested in doing is to get the House of Representatives to approach a comprehensive immigration reform, instead of the piecemeal approach that they have been taking," says Sister Pat Cormack.

Reform supporters say legislation shouldn't be only focused on security, it should also address issues that affect immigrants. One example is the difficulty some people face immigrating to the U.S.

"We have some very wonderful, competent doctors in this area who come from other countries. They're high skilled. There aren't the same kinds of barriers for them to come as there are for those low skilled workers who also provide services that we need," says Sister Pat.

Reform supporters say the approach the House has been taking is too security focused. They do think security is important, but want a broader scope.

The recently passed Senate Bill 744 is an example of what they'd like to see in the House. It's a bi-partisan proposal that includes provisions for both security, and help for people immigrating to the U.S.



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 IN OTHER NEWS
Merrill police donate carSubmitted: 05/29/2015

MERRILL - A Merrill public safety center can now use a new patrol car for training. The Merrill Police Department donated one of their retired police cars to the Northcentral Technical College's Public Safety Center of Excellence. The donation marks the end of Crown Victoria police cars for the city.

"We've just retired our last Ford Crown Victoria," said Merrill Police Chief Ken Neff. "A couple of years ago, Ford stopped manufacturing the Crown Victoria as a fleet vehicle. For years we've had Crown Vics, but now we've gone to the Ford Taurus and the Ford Explorer."

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THREE LAKES - Eleven campgrounds in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest closed this year after the U.S. Forest Service reduced its funding and services.

The cuts happened because fewer people have been visiting the campgrounds in the last few years, but the Three Lakes Town Board will pay to keep one of its grounds open for the 2015 season.

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MADISON - Wisconsin lawmakers have rejected Republican Gov. Scott Walker's plan to block the state Department of Natural Resources from purchasing any land through its stewardship program for at least the next 13 years.

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MINOCQUA - One Northwoods business gives people a bird's eye view. One year into the business venture, Northwoods Zip Line in Minocqua is happy with the business they are doing.

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WHITE LAKE - Students in White Lake spent the day outside of the classroom learning about invasive species today. It was the 16th annual Spring Lake Day at White Lake. It's part of the year-round Adopt-A-Lake program that teaches students about waterway and environmental preservation.

"Being on White Lake and being in the Northwoods, aquatic invasive species education is extremely important," said Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator John Preuss. "And a good way to reach out to people is through our students and through our youth."

Elementary students from White Lake School learned about the different aquatic invasive species such as purple loosestrife, and Eurasian watermilfoil. They also learned how to prevent them from spreading.

"Those plants spread by fragmentation and boat traffic," said Preuss. "And just educating people so they know the right steps to take and the laws to prevent this plant from moving around. We have 15,000 lakes in Wisconsin; just a small percentage have an invasive species."

Students also learned about the spread of a tree killing bug called emerald ash bore.

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VILAS COUNTY - A warming climate could have significant impacts on Northwoods streams. Warming streams, in turn, could put pressure on trout populations in those waterways.

"If we think about streams, it is changing, and that's going to potentially change what can live here and the habitats that are available," said Dr. Noah Lottig, an assistant scientist at the UW-Madison Trout Lake Research Station in Boulder Junction. "We've seen that across a whole range of things and a wide variety of studies."

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MADISON - The Legislature's finance committee has adopted Republican Gov. Scott Walker's plan to eliminate 80 positions within the state Department of Natural Resources, including more than half of the researchers in the agency's science bureau.

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