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."
BOULDER JUNCTION - Pilots find very little room for error when they make a landing. Wings, flaps, and landing gear all need to work properly. Then there's the runway itself, which needs to be flat and smooth.
So, when pilots found ruts and divots torn into the grass runway at Boulder Junction's airport, folks were more than upset, they were worried about safe landings. Airfield president Jeff Long thinks someone used a pickup truck to do the damage. It happened right before the airfield's busiest weekend of the year, the Musky Day fly-in.
"To see somebody disregard that, disrespect that, and then again the safety, where somebody could get hurt that we're inviting up here for summer fun, doesn't make you feel very good," Long said.
RHINELANDER - The City of Rhinelander and Oneida County will consider borrowing $15 million to help develop a manufacturer in Rhinelander, according to an Oneida County Economic Development Corporation release Tuesday.
The money would help Rhinelander Coated Products start work inside the former Printpack building on Kemp Street.
MADISON - New state regulations designed to retain teachers are going into effect.
The package was published Tuesday. The provisions allow retired teachers or teachers nearing retirement to apply for a nonrenewable five-year license without submitting a professional development plan. They also increase the time that short-term substitute teachers can serve in the same assignment from 20 days to 45 days.
THREE LAKES - Pollinators play an essential role in the growth of plants, and it's not just bees that help pollinate.
Butterflies, bats, and even mosquitoes are pollinators, but those populations have been in decline in recent years.
"Across the U.S., pollinators have been seeing big declines," said Oneida County Conservationist Michele Sadauskas. "We've been hearing more and more about our honeybee pollinations. The monarch populations have had dramatic decreases. So we're seeing it across the board."
EAGLE RIVER - Cities across the Northwoods drop tens of thousands of dollars every winter on crack sealing roads. The Eagle River Airport is no different. The airport spent about $25,000 in 2016 patching up its main runway.
Arguably, that runway is even older than most roads people drive on. The runway was last redone in 1971. On a busy day, the 5,000-foot runway hosts upwards of 80 takeoffs and landings. Airport manager Rob Hom showed Newswatch 12 a number of places where the pavement is buckling and cracked. That can lead to dangerous landings for small planes.
"Relative to a car or a truck [a prop-powered airplane is] pretty light relatively speaking, so having a smooth runway is imperative," Hom said.
CRANDON - For some Northwoods families, it can be hard to find the money to pay for their kids' school supplies every year, but a back-to-school program in Forest County is giving children the supplies they need to succeed.
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