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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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Nearly 17,000 attended Beef-A-Rama, more than 2013 total Submitted: 09/29/2014

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MINOCQUA - Leaders at the Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce believe nearly 17,000 people came to the area for Beef-A-Rama.

Last year, about 15,000 people attended. Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Krystal Westfahl believes the significance of the 50th anniversary celebration played a role.

"It was huge for us to have this 50th anniversary, but I also think the fact that the weather was so great," said Westfahl. "People are just really getting to know the Minocqua area as just being full of life."

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Inmate walks away from Marathon County JailSubmitted: 09/29/2014

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MARATHON COUNTY - Marathon County deputies want to find an inmate who walked away.

Tommie Rothenberger was let out of jail Friday morning to go to school at Northcentral Technical College. He never came back.

Around 4:25 p.m. Friday afternoon, a call came in saying Rothenberger was at a hotel in Clintonville with his girlfriend.

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FAA: 2 weeks to reopen Chicago-area control centerSubmitted: 09/29/2014

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The FAA said Sunday it hopes to return the facility to full service by Oct. 13.

Authorities say a contract employee started a fire Friday at regional control center in suburban Aurora and then attempted to commit suicide. More than 2,000 flights were canceled that day at O'Hare and Midway international airports, disrupting travel nationwide.

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Cranberry crop estimated at 5.3 million barrels; still a surplus in the marketSubmitted: 09/29/2014

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WISCONSIN - Cranberry growers don't expect another unprecedented harvest, but the industry does expect to keep Wisconsin's cranberry crown.

Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association Executive Director Tom Lochner says the state should produce 5.3 million barrels of cranberries from the 2014 harvest. Lochner says a barrel holds 100 pounds of cranberries.

The state produced 5.8 million barrels in 2013. Lochner credits the weather in September 2013 for that large harvest.

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Local group helps fight Ebola in AfricaSubmitted: 09/29/2014

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RHINELANDER - The Ebola virus may seem to be a world away... but people right here in the Northwoods are helping to fight it.

Wise Intentional Leadership Development, otherwise known as WILD, is doing their part to raise money. The Rhinelander based group began training and developing young people in Africa in 2001.

"Our primary purpose, mission is to offer leadership development with a Christian perspective and really focus on the youth, cause over half the population in Africa is 25 and younger," explains WILD Executive Director Mike Prom. "So if we can help develop the youth, we can help change Africa."

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Learning in Retirement program offers variety of classes for retireesSubmitted: 09/29/2014

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LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Retiring in the Northwoods can be a great option for some people.

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Students in the Learning in Retirement program had the chance to learn more about Ojibwe culture.

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Jackson police use anti-heroin drug to revive manSubmitted: 09/29/2014

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Police say the man regained consciousness around two minutes later and was able to communicate with authorities. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.

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