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NEWS STORIES

Walker lays out major property, income tax cuts under "Blueprint For Prosperity" during State of the StateSubmitted: 01/22/2014

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker got specific with his plans for nearly $1 billion in surplus revenue on Wednesday.

He delivered his fourth State of the State address at the State Capitol.

"Pass this Blueprint For Prosperity and return this money to the people of the state," he told the joint session of the legislature.

Walker made a new idea called the Blueprint For Prosperity the blueprint for his speech.

"Now is the time to send your money back to you, the hard working taxpayers of Wisconsin," he said.

The governor wants property and revenue tax cut of half a billion dollars to sit in the center of that blueprint.

"It's a pretty obvious political ploy for short term gains for the individual citizen to get a tax break," said Rep. Mandy Wright, D-Wausau, after the speech.

"We'd be much happier to see that money go to a place like our neighborhood public schools that have been woefully under-invested in during the past three years," said Rep. Katrina Shankland, D-Stevens Point.

While Walker stressed considerable tax cuts, he also hit on issues important to the Northwoods.

"In the coming years, resorts, guides, bait dealers, marinas, and all of the other businesses that depend on good fishing will benefit as Wisconsin becomes the premiere destination for walleye fishing in the Midwest," Walker said.

He highlighted his legislation to dramatically increase the stock of walleyes in state lakes.

"It takes a walleye to get all of you to stand," he joked upon a standing ovation. "I should say that throughout the whole speech."

But Walker completely skipped touching on another issue on the minds of Northwoods people - mining.

"There are a lot of questions, and maybe he is starting to hedge away from the mining bill," Wright said.

While walleye and mining impact the Northwoods disproportionately, Walker's tax plan, if passed, will affect all of Wisconsin.

"The state of our state is strong and improving every day," Walker said.

"We have a lot further to go than he thinks," Shankland countered.

Walker will call a special session of the legislature on Thursday to consider his tax proposals.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Apple Crunch promotes healthy eatingSubmitted: 10/24/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - Students across the region crunched into apples at the same time Friday.

It was in celebration of Food Day.

Food Day raises awareness of where food comes from and eating healthy.

Click "Play Video" to see why serving something as simple as apples is leaving a lasting impact on young kids.

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Educating the Northwoods about human trafficking Submitted: 10/24/2014

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WOODRUFF - Human trafficking makes an estimated 32 billion dollars every year. It's the third largest criminal industry in the world and Wisconsin is right in the center of it.

Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery.

The two biggest types of trafficking are sex trafficking and labor trafficking.

Sister Celine Goessl has been researching Wisconsin's human trafficking problem for a few years.

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Wisconsin court won't reconsider voter ID caseSubmitted: 10/24/2014

MADISON - The Wisconsin Supreme Court has refused to reconsider whether the state's voter photo identification law is unconstitutional.

Republicans passed the law in 2011. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the immigrant group Voces de la Frontera as well as the League of Women Voters challenged the mandate in separate lawsuits. The state Supreme Court concluded in July that the law is constitutional in both cases.

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Vilas Food Pantry needs helpSubmitted: 10/24/2014

EAGLE RIVER - A Northwoods food pantry could struggle to put food on their shelves this fall. Vilas Food Pantry volunteers need more donations and money to feed people in need, this includes more than 250 local families. This is the first time they've needed to ask the public for help in more than ten years.

"People get laid-off and they have needs," said Vilas Food Pantry Director Richard Short. "That's what we're here for, we want to make sure everyone knows that if they have a need, you're welcome to come."

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Nearly a century later, Goodman's Draxler honored with Purple HeartSubmitted: 10/24/2014

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GOODMAN - John Draxler deserves the respect and honor from the people of his hometown of Goodman, and all of northern Wisconsin.

He's always had it.

But on Friday, 96 years after his combat injuries during World War I, and 40 years after his death, it became tangible.

Draxler's family was presented with a Purple Heart.

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A local author launches first novel of a new seriesSubmitted: 10/24/2014

MINOCQUA - A new novel may catch your eye this weekend at a local bookstore. On the cover is a picture of girl by a Northwoods Lake. The book is titled "Exit Point" and is written by new author Alicia Sanftleben.

Sanftleben grew up and lives in the Minocqua area. Her novel focuses on a young girl who, after a near death experience, is forced to rethink her life's path.

The novel is the first part of a series of books. It follows the young girl's journey on her new life and efforts to save the world from destruction.

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DNR thinks registering deer online and by phone easier for huntersSubmitted: 10/24/2014

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WISCONSIN - The DNR will make changes to how people register deer. This year they're starting a program allowing hunters to register deer online or by phone.

Only some hunters will take part in the program. Next year it will be in full effect.

"Right now we're doing a pilot program in 2014, where there's 14,000 people who've been picked to practice this registration. And next year everybody will be able to either register by phone or on the internet. They will still have the opportunity to register at a station as long as there is a telephone or a computer for them," says DNR Conservation Warden Paul Hartrick.

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