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NEWS STORIES

Duffy might have used earmark to help pay for Northwoods water main breaks, if he couldSubmitted: 04/24/2014

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com

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NORTHWOODS - Water main breaks from this harsh winter will cost Northwoods communities millions of dollars.

The U.S. Congress might want to help.

Under old rules, northern Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy (R-Weston) might have tried to get direct federal money to help pay for repairs.

He can't anymore.

Congress used to have the power to earmark money for specific projects across the country.

But that hasn't been allowed since 2010.

"If we were still earmarking in Congress, this would be one that would be considered through the earmark process. But again, it was abused at a pretty disgusting level, and that's why it's gone," Duffy said.

Lawmakers used earmarks to send money for big projects in their home state.

That could help them gain popularity and win reelection.

The practice is gone.

But Duffy might have used it for water main repair projects in Northwoods communities if it was still around.

"They're not bursting at the seams with revenue. They don't have the resources to fix, many times, very, very old infrastructure," he said.

Instead, the state may apply for federal disaster aid to help pay for the work.

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Wisconsin prepares to analyze more DNA samplesSubmitted: 11/24/2014

MADISON - New collection requirements will mean thousands more DNA samples to be analyzed in Wisconsin.

The state Justice Department is getting ready by increasing staff at the crime lab in Madison.

Wisconsin currently takes DNA samples from everyone convicted of a felony.

DNA is also taken for certain misdemeanors.

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Bottled milk makes a comback in Crandon Submitted: 11/23/2014

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CRANDON - Not many people buy bottled milk anymore. But a locally owned store in Crandon recently brought it back.

"Grandpa sold bottled milk in 1935 when he came to Crandon and for many years after that,"

Now third generation Jay Schaefer is continuing the tradition at Schaefer's IGA in Crandon.

He's selling another locally owned business product on his shelves.

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Rhinelander Premier Resort Tax will be on spring ballotSubmitted: 11/23/2014

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RHINELANDER - Some Wisconsin cities rely on tax money from tourists to pay for certain things.

Rhinelander's city administrator wants to know if people would support raising sales tax on tourism related businesses.

The question will be on the ballot next spring.

City leaders think the extra tax could bring in about $400,000 every year.

Businesses like restaurants and department stores would see the increase.

The money would help improve the city's roads.

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Opening weekend deer hunt number downSubmitted: 11/23/2014

RHINELANDER - Hunters from all over got out on opening weekend to enjoy the start of gun hunting season.

But this year's opening weekend hasn't been as successful as last year's.

About 103 total deer were registered on opening day at Rhinelander's main registration location.

DNR workers say that number is actually down 25% from last season, and that downward trend is continuing into Sunday.

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Deer hunt impacts businesses in the Northwoods Submitted: 11/23/2014

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RHINELANDER - The gun deer hunt just started Saturday. Hunters can bring business to the area. Businesses are already seeing an impact.

Some people might travel to the Northwoods just for the deer hunting. That means they'll need a place to stay, but not all of the resorts in the Northwoods saw people dressed in orange or camouflage.

"It does not bring a lot of tourism for out of town guest to Holiday Acres, but it's certainly a big deal as far as the area's concerned," said Holiday Acres co-owner Kari Zambon. "I think there are other places that get traffic that we aren't seeing."

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DNR announces new wetland restoration planSubmitted: 11/23/2014

MADISON - The state Department of Natural Resources and federal environmental officials have developed a new plan to promote wetland restoration.

Currently the DNR requires parties that get permits to fill in wetlands to offset the impact by either restoring wetlands elsewhere or by purchasing credits from banks established by other entities that have done restoration work.

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Empty Bowls event fills Rothschild with soup, hopeSubmitted: 11/22/2014

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ROTHSCHILD - The Rothschild Pavilion couldn't easily hold the huge number of people on Saturday who wanted something simple " soup.

Lines snaked out the door for the 7th annual Empty Bowls event.

Everyone who tried one of 41 different soups will help fight hunger for others in northcentral Wisconsin.

"It's a true reflection of the caring quality of Marathon County," said The Neighbors' Place Executive Director Tom Rau.

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