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Walker lays out major property, income tax cuts under "Blueprint For Prosperity" during State of the StateSubmitted: 01/22/2014
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Walker lays out major property, income tax cuts under
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

DEERBROOK - You won't find classic "fish fry" cod at this popular Deerbrook spot.

Haddock takes the prize for favorite dish at Sammy's Bar and Grill.

They serve baked and deep-fried haddock, but owner Pam Jansen says it's actually the grilled version that people go for on Fridays.

Even though the fish may not be typical, the Northwood's friendliness remains.

"Seeing all the locals, and of course seeing all the new people coming out is just traditional!" says Jansen.
Sammy's also serves walleye and perch.

They serve Friday Fish Fry from 4:30 p.m. until 10 p.m.

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MINOCQUA - You don't need to wait for the grass to turn green for golfing.

Minocqua's Ice Golf is an end of season charity tournament coming up on March 3rd.

The tournament raised more than $18,000  last year for charities including the food pantry and Dr. Kate Hospice.

It has become a Northwoods tradition for some people.

"First year we had it, we had only like 35 golfers, now last year we had over 300 golfers," says Albee's owner Randy Albrecht.

If you don't have a group, they'll put into one.

After everyone is done putting, there will be dinner and a raffle.

For tickets and info call: Albee's Yacht Club at 715-356-1366 OR The Thirsty Whale at 715-356-7108.


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HAYWARD - Trail conditions for this year's American Birkebeiner race will be just about perfect.

Executive Director Ben Popp said there's about a six inch base, three inches of snow on top, and more snow on the way in the Hayward area. 

"The energy right now is just unreal. You can feel it here in Hayward and Cable and certainly around the world. Now with a gold medal, Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall, brings more excitement to not only this event, but the sport. So it's a really great time to be a cross country skier," said Popp.

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MINOCQUA - A Lakeland Union High School student could face punishment for putting a shooting threat in a bathroom last week.

According to a press release, the Minocqua Police Department believes the girl officers talked to today is likely the person who left graffiti referencing the Parkland, Florida school shooting in an LUHS girls' bathroom on Thursday.

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WISCONSIN - A central Wisconsin state representative believes smaller communities in Wisconsin should not be treated as a welcome center for sex offenders, particularly sexual violent ones.

Democrat State Representative Katrina Shankland voted for a motion in the state budget to keep sex offenders in their original counties where the crimes took place.

However, Governor Scott Walker vetoed that motion in September because it go rid of the rule that keeps offenders away from schools, churches and other places children might be.

Now, there are three new pending sexual violent offenders waiting to be placed in rural areas of Portage County even though the crimes were committed elsewhere.

Shankland is trying once again to keep these offenders in their original home counties with a budget amendment that has already passed the assembly.

However, Governor Scott Walker vetoed that motion in September to keep offenders away from schools, churches and other places children might be.

Now, there are three new pending sexual violent offenders waiting to be placed in rural areas of Portage County even though the crimes were committed elsewhere.

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WOODRUFF - Highway 47 in Woodruff temporarily closed down this afternoon so a MedEvac helicopter could lift a man to the hospital after a snowmobile accident. 

A group of snowmobilers were on the trail next to Highway 47 just south of Walter Dr. when one of the snowmobilers hit a bump and was thrown off his sled. 

"They were all traveling the same direction, just hit one of the bumps in the trail and that's what caused everything to happen," said Woodruff Police Officer Jeremy Herrmann. 

The man was airlifted to a hospital and has unknown injuries. 

The crash happened around 4 p.m. 

Highway 47 was closed in both directions for nearly half an hour, causing a backup of cars. 

The DNR, Oneida County Sheriff's Office, Minocqua Police and Fire Departments, and Woodruff Police and Fire Departments all responded.

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NORTHWOODS - Lakes and nature bring people from all over the country to the Northwoods during the summer.
Those same attractions get some people to stay here.
Home sales and home prices in the Northwoods went up in 2017.

The Wisconsin Realtors Association reports about 1,300 more homes sold last year than in 2016 in Wisconsin.
A local broker saw the increase firsthand.
"The markets that are going crazy right now are premium homes. The Minocqua chain is red hot, the Eagle River chain is pretty hot the Three Lakes chain is pretty hot and there are some chains of lakes that are less hot," said Coldwell Banker broker Jim Mulleady. 

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