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NEWS STORIES

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

Adam Fox
10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
afox@wjfw.com


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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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/03/2015

- Gogebic Taconite may have left northern Wisconsin – and any potential iron ore mine there—behind. But leaders in Iron County hope a new company might want to pick up on what Gogebic left behind.

- As wildfires rage on the west coast, students from a Northwoods school will race head on into them. We catch up with students from Blackwell to find out how they feel headed to help people from out of state.

- And a family in Antigo will soon get the keys to their new home. But first, they'll have to help build it. We'll meet them and the organization helping to make it all happen.

We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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WOODRUFF - More than 9,000 firefighters spent the day Monday in California battling wildfires.

20 more from Northern Wisconsin will join that group this week.

Firefighters, along with students from Blackwell Job Corps left for Oregon Monday.

Students at Blackwell Job Corps near Laona have been learning how to fight wildfires.

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ANTIGO - Excitement and joy filled faces in Antigo Monday afternoon.

Habitat for Humanity of Langlade County broke ground on their 9th home, but it will take some hands-on work before the family can move in.

David and Theresa Ferrel have been renting for the last 10 years. This will be the first home they will own.

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EAGLE RIVER - Vilas County might get a larger courthouse.

The Vilas County Board Public Property Committee met on Monday to discuss possible plans.

The county thinks it needs another courtroom to accomodate its second circuit court judge, which it asked the state for last year.

Vilas County Clerk David Alleman said the committee is in a preliminary conceptual design phase.

"There's actually a number of steps that have to go to the board," Alleman said. "The first being you have to present the plan to the board. They would have to approve going forward with that." 

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker has asked Wisconsin's attorney general to take "immediate action" to protect ratepayers and workers from what the Republican presidential candidate calls "devastating impacts" of a new rule designed to cut greenhouse gases.

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STEVENS POINT - A 58-year-old Portage County man accused of killing his wife and getting in a standoff with police is competent for trial.

That standoff happened in Bancroft, which is south of Plover, in June.

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MARATHON COUNTY - Warren Rydell doesn't mind the buzz or stingers.

"You don't need to be afraid of bees, you just have to love them for what they are," said Rydell.

Rydell has raised bees since the 1980s. Now with 35 colonies and thousands of bees in Marathon County, he's produced hundreds of pounds of honey just this year.

"We're having success with it," said Rydell, who's with the Marathon County Beekeepers Association. "A little at a time. You make mistakes, but it's getting better."

But here and across the country, bee populations have been on the decline for years. Bees are important pollinators for the environment, which is why the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection will meet next week to devise a pollinator protection plan.

"Whether people know it or not, for every three tablespoons of food you eat, two of those table spoons are produced by bees, and without them, we're not going to be able to feed people," said Rydell.

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