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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RHINELANDER - Harvest Hoedown started Saturday at noon at the Woodpecker Bar and Grill in Rhinelander.

The event had a hay maze, horse drawn carriage rides, food, and live music all afternoon.

"I think it's going great. We got a little sunshine right now. We got probably a couple hundred people here. People are buying food, spending money. It's what we're after," said Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Executive Director Guy Hanson.

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EAGLE RIVER - Eagle River hosted its 36th annual Cranberry Fest during October's first weekend.

Organizers say the weather this year brought in many more visitors.

"People come to this whether there's good weather of bad weather," said Executive Director of the Eagle River Chamber Kim Emerson. "And with this year being great weather, we had above-average crowds and it was just spectacular. We're so happy about that."

By 3 p.m. Saturday, the World's Largest Cranberry Cheesecake had already been devoured. Sales of slices go towards the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. 

Organizers said they also almost sold out of cranberries, but they said they would still have more to sell on Sunday. 

There were also dozens of craft vendors, food and wine and cranberry marsh tours.

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NEKOOSA - People in Nekoosa could go back in time this weekend.

Volunteers at Pointe Basse recreated a historical camp portraying lives of people from the 1700s and early 1800s.

Volunteers from all across the U.S. all had a piece of history to share.

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ACROSS WISCONSIN - Abbotsford 62, Thorp 6

Algoma 24, Sturgeon Bay 8

Almond-Bancroft 61, Tigerton/Marion 6

Amherst 56, Manawa 6

Antigo 42, Lakeland 28

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RHINELANDER - Swiping your credit cards could soon be a thing of the past.

Businesses across the country are switching to a chip card reader for credit and debit cards.

Credit companies say the new system will help cut back on fraud.

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VILAS COUNTY - In July, Karen Wessel gave her life to save a boy from drowning in Vilas County's Star Lake.  Now she is being recognized for her heroism.

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission announced Wessel as one of 22 recipients of the Carnegie medal.  It's presented to people who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while trying to save the life of another.

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RHINELANDER - A Wisconsin brewing company executive wants businesses to hire more veterans.

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