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.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Drug addicts can look nearly everywhere to get their fix, and sometimes they can get that by raiding their family's medicine cabinet.
That's why Lac du Flambeau police gave a drug presentation at an event for the elderly Thursday.
Police leaders wanted to show seniors what could happen if they didn't keep track of their medications.
"A lot of times the elderly and older population can be victims from this. As the younger children, grandchildren, things like that are you know coming in and taking their grandparents prescription drugs," says Sarah Keuer, a nurse at Peter Christensen Health Center.
ACROSS THE U.S. - A new proposal from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would expand regulation on tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, not regulated already by the agency.
The proposal, which was released Thursday, would regulate hookahs, nicotine gels, cigars and e-cigarettes. The FDA currently only regulates cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco.
Some smokers turn to e-cigarettes to try to stop smoking. Medical experts donít know the full health impact of e-cigarettes yet. Leaders at the FDA want to get ahead of the trend.
The proposal would make e-cigarette producers register their products and show their ingredients to the agency.
RHINELANDER - It won't be much longer before the Hodag water show gears up for the summer, but right now they need to make repairs to their building. Rod Olson says it may cost between $15,000 and $20,000 to make repairs to the building. To watch the video click on the video link.
ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Railroads give businesses a chance to move loads of material for a low cost. Loggers could use rail as an alternative to trucking material, but many businesses donít get that opportunity in the Northwoods anymore.
Canadian National bought rail in the Northwoods about a decade ago. They have cut back service drastically since then.
Some counties haven't seen train travel in years, which hurts business. Now, those businesses want to reestablish rail service.
In response, a group of counties in Northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan formed the Northwoods Rail Transit Commission.
UPDATE: Police believe they made right choice in Nerf gun tickets
WAUSAU - UPDATE: 5:52pm 4/24/2014
Police believe they made the right choice handling a report of gunmen near a high school in Wausau Tuesday night.
They found out the gunmen were actually six kids playing a game with toy Nerf guns.
Police eventually ended up giving the high school seniors disorderly conduct tickets.
Some people thought the tickets were excessive, but in a press release in released Thursday by the Wausau Police Department said they "believed there was a serious, potentially life threatening situation".
Someone called the Wausau police around 9:45 p.m. Tuesday.
The person said there were people pointing guns at other people in a car.
Police say they handled the situation different than a traffic stop because of the seriousness of the call.
After police got all the seniors out of the car, they saw the nerf guns.
The teens got the disorderly conduct citations because police say they caused a disruption in the neighborhood.
Leaders at Wausau West High School said in a statement that there's "potential in a game like this for negative consequences."
Some of the students have also been placed on athletic probation.
Six kids got tickets after a battle using toy Nerf guns in Wausau.
Police issued disorderly conduct citations to the high school seniors.
Some residents of Wausau called police when they saw the young people pointing a gun at a car Tuesday night.
But, it was only a toy Nerf gun that shoots foam bullets.
Wausau West High School officials have also placed some students on athletic probation.
(Copyright 2014 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)
MADISON - The start of a new short-term loan program that wasn't slated to begin until July has been moved up in an effort to help businesses hurt by recent cutbacks at Oshkosh Corp.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the state's chief jobs agency, voted this week to start the pilot program earlier. It will provide loans or loan guarantees of up to $250,000 to companies for projects or expenses that may not be eligible for traditional financing.
The board says it was starting the program earlier in light of news that Oshkosh was cutting 760 jobs from its defense division because of budget cuts being made by the U.S. Department of Defense.
The loan program this year will only target businesses in Oshkosh Corp.'s supply chain
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