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Walker focuses on tax cuts & job training at stop; Deflects email related discussionSubmitted: 02/28/2014
Story By Adam Fox


RHINELANDER - Gov. Walker focused on a property/income tax cut and job training proposal while talking a small group of factory workers at Northstar Steel Fabricators in Rhinelander Friday.

But many people around the state want to hear more from Walker's time as Milwaukee County Executive.

Emails from a former Walker aide during his time with Milwaukee County were released earlier this month. They were part of an investigation into possible campaigning violations by some of Walker's staff.

Six of Walker's now former aides were convicted for campaigning on the county's time. Kelly Rindfleisch was deputy chief of staff in Milwaukee County and was convicted. Walker was never charged in the investigation.

In January, Walker told American Thinker, an online publication, that, "Governors should be defined not just by what they do and say, but who they surround themselves with."

The convicted aides, including Kelly Rindfleisch, don't work with Walker any more, but some of them played a significant role in his campaign.

Regardless, Walker didn't see their association during his time as County Executive as people he surrounded himself with.

"I think out of 79,00, a handful of people who no longer work with me, who are out of the way of the state government right now," Walker said. "Instead, the people I've got surrounding me are helping us."

Walker instead focused on his current staff and what he is trying to do with the state.

"I think most people look at the totality of my time as governor," Walker said. "They look at the team that I've comprised and the cabinet that we have here and they see results."

Walker is touring the state pushing a tax and job training proposal, which is the result of $911 million surplus.

"(The) plan puts more money back into the hands of hard-working taxpayers and invests in worker training, so that companies like Northstar Steel can continue to create jobs," Governor Walker said.

The plan would cut property taxes by $406 million and cut income taxes by $98.6 million. The income taxes focus on the lowest income tax bracket.

It would also adjust withholding of state income taxes by $322.6 million. That would let people get money back immediately from the cuts via their paycheck.

The proposal also focuses $35 million for technical colleges to eliminate waiting lists for high demand fields including manufacturing, agriculture, and Information Technology.

It would also include support for people with disabilities entering the workforce as well as high schoolers training for high demand manufacturing jobs.

"We wanted to highlight manufacturing," Walker said. "Manufacturing has been a key driver not just in our states history, but really even this last year."





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TOMAHAWK - Patricia Tholl from Rodeo Saloon in Tomahawk put her cooking skills toward a good cause Saturday night.
 
"Today I made a bratwurst soup. It's a beef base, your regular onions and carrots and celery," said Tholl.

Tholl is the defending champion of the Empty Bowls soup competition. 

"The prize is a little ladle. It's a lot of fun, I was really happy to have this honor for a whole year," said Tholl.

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CONOVER - Crowds gathered in Conover Community Park today for a little winter fun. The Northwoods Blizzard Blast provided winter games for people of all ages. 

Dylan Kleffman spent his Saturday doing some of his favorite winter activities. 

"So far my favorite thing was the pony and the snowshoeing," said seven-year-old Kleffman.  

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STEVENS POINT - A former Portage County doctor could go to prison for sexually assaulting his patients.  Wilton Calderon pled guilty to three felonies Friday.

Calderon was a caregiver at the Plover Family Practice until leaving it in 2015.  He then moved to Connecticut.  

At least seven women accused Calderon of sexually assaulted them during appointments.  Some patients said Calderon placed his genitals in their hands and performed unwanted gynecological exams by penetrating them with his fingers.

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PLOVER - A 19-year-old man robbed a Plover gas station at gun point Saturday at around 1:30 a.m.

According to the Plover Police Department, a white male wearing dark clothing showed a handgun and demanded cash at the Moto Mart Gas Station on Plover road.

The suspect, Cody Krueger then left on foot.

Police later went to a home on the southwest side of the Plover. Around 11:45 a.m. Stevens Point and Plover joint SWAT team got a search warrant, but Krueger was not inside the home.

Around 1:30 p.m., police were able to find Krueger in Stevens Point. He was taken to Portage County Jail waiting charges associated with armed robbery.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Plover Police Department at 715-345-5255. 

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SUGAR CAMP - Update Feb. 17, 2017 10:20 p.m. -- The woman who runs an Oneida County animal rescue could face animal mistreatment charges.

Oneida County Deputies booked Stephanie Schneider on Thursday. She is due in court on Feb. 27.

Last week, deputies removed 39 dogs from Schneider's "It Matters to One" in Sugar Camp and put them at the Oneida County Humane Society.

Police are recommending charges to the district attorney, which include failing to provide food and water, mistreating animals, and obstructing officers.

People who know Schneider say they can't believe this is happening.

"I'm just heartsick about this, and I'm sick at heart for her," said LynnAnn Thomas, a Sugar Camp resident who says she's friends with Stephanie Schneider.

"Those are her children. She would never, ever , ever mistreat them," Thomas said.

But that's exactly what police believe Schneider did. Last week they removed the dogs from the facility after a weeks-long investigation that was prompted by complaints and concerns from several people.

"People that had worked or volunteered there were concerned about the conditions that the dogs were in and the fact that they were not receiving food or water," said Oneida County Sheriff's Capt. Terri Hook.

Those accusations baffle Thomas.

"I been over there several times, it's always been meticulously clean, happy dogs," Thomas said.

Thomas believes whatever condition the dogs were in, they came to Schneider that way.

"She does get some really, really, really desperate cases, and I imagine that they take a long time to heal," Thomas said.

Thomas added she got her own dog from It Matters To One a few years ago.

"I got my little Hankey, he came in in really bad shape, and she wouldn't let me have him until he was nursed back to health," Thomas said.

Since the dogs were removed, It Matters to One posted certificates of veterinary inspections on its
Facebook page for most of the 39 dogs. The Sheriff's Office has seen those and is including them in its investigation, which is ongoing and may not end soon.

"Just to ensure that all the dogs are healed and make sure they've received all the care they need," Hook said.

Newswatch 12 has reached out to It Matters to One and has been communicating with the rescue via email.

The state Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection is helping the sheriff's office with its investigation and will decide if the rescue can keep its license.

Newswatch 12 also reached out to the veterinarian who conducted the inspections for the rescue, but has not yet heard back.




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LAND O' LAKES - Dental Hygienist Melissa Wagner really listened to the information she learned from her dentist when she was young.

"It started at a young age I want to help people I want to teach them to have great teeth so they can have their teeth for the rest of their lifetime," said Wagner.

Wagner spent her morning teaching students at Land O' Lakes Elementary school what it takes to be a dentist.

"The kids [get to] be the dentists and take food out of the bad teeth [we can help] dads and grandmas and aunts and kids," said Kindergartener Taylen Nelson.

These dentists in training learned everything they needed to stay on teeth patrol and have healthy teeth.

"You can't eat candy and you can't eat squirrel or deer," said 4K student Mackenzie Feltes.

Wagner set up demonstration tables to show what unhealthy foods can do to their teeth, and how to correctly floss and brush their pearly whites.

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