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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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LAKE MILLS - A Lake Mills facility will start production again after they euthanize 800,000 chickens. That comes after a highly contagious bird flu spreads in the Midwest.

The Daybreak Foods facility tested the flock every day for the virus after a facility in Jefferson County tested positive ten days ago.

Every test for the Lake Mills facility was negative until they found dead birds this week. The virus also spread to other facilities in Minnesota and Iowa.

Bird flu is believed to spread by waste from birds flying over commercial poultry facilities.

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WAUSAU - This was the sixth year that the event was held at various places in Marathon County. Volunteers were picking up trash to better their communities at 35 locations. Many local groups were involved.

"Faith Christian Academy and Hope Life Center, and there's other businesses and groups within the city of Wausau," said volunteer Dave Arends.

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LAND O' LAKES - The Phelps community came together Saturday to turn tragedy into something positive.

"Mrs. Johnson was always one of our favorite teachers, you could go to her about anything like troubles at home or bullying, and she'd always be there for us so it's really nice to give back to her," said Phelps 8th grader Alexandria Myszka.

Kim Johnson works as the music teacher at Phelps Middle School. After her husband D.J. was hurt in an accident last month, he's now paralyzed from the waist down.

But the community decided to help the family.

"Originally, this was our 8th grade class fundraiser, but after we heard about Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, we decided to donate all of the proceeds to them," said Myszka.

The Phelps 8th graders hosted a breakfast fundraiser at The Sunrise Lodge in Land O' Lakes. More than 300 people came out in support.

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MERRILL - The historical society has been working on planning the event since last October.

A transportation theme was chosen for 2015.

"[We're] on our history hunt, and we are learning about where the railroads went around Merrill, how the river was important, where the trolley went, where the old highways go, and all of those thing are included in our packet of navigation," said Merrill Historical Society's Jane Francoeur.

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - Some veterans might be eligible for various benefits, but not all veterans know which ones they can get.

That's why there was a Veterans Benefit Forum held Saturday afternoon in Lake Tomahawk.

Oneida County's Veteran Service Officer Tammy Walters spoke at the forum and answered questions.

"I like, when I have the opportunity to get out there and tell them about benefits because there are a lot of benefits out there and people don't always qualify for them," says Walters. "There's going to be someone that's going to leave here today and they're going to be eligible for a benefit they had no idea they were eligible for."

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WAUSHARA COUNTY - A dump truck hit a restaurant in central Wisconsin Friday night. Six people were hurt from the crash.

According to Wisconsin State Patrol, the 62-year-old driver was heading west on State Highway 21 in Waushara County around 7pm. He then hit a car from behind, kept moving, and hit Elmer's Place before stopping.

The driver and five people in the pizza restaurant were hurt. The driver from the Wisconsin Dells was taken to the hospital with life threatening injuries.

The crash is still under investigation.

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