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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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 IN OTHER NEWS
Lead found in City of Wausau drinking waterSubmitted: 11/27/2014

WAUSAU - Wausau Water Works recently found elevated levels of lead in drinking water.

Now they're asking homeowners to be cautious when using that water.

The city stopped installing lead service lines in 1965.

They stopped using lead solder in 1986.

Today most pipes are made of either copper or plastic.

Any home with lead service lines could have lead in its water.

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People Across the Northwoods are thankful for many thingsSubmitted: 11/27/2014

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NORTHWOODS - Aspects of your life that you are thankful for always seem to standout on Thanksgiving.

It did not take long to find people in Eagle River who were thankful for something's.

"I'm thankful I've got a house, I have a roof over my head I can eat every day, I have a job," said Eagle River's Brad Pagels. "There really isn't much I want for or lack for anything."

"I'm thankful for many many things but the one thing I can think of in particular is having the kindest wife in the world someone who I can love and respect for all my days," said Peoria, Illinois Native Ben Prichard.

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Bundle Up program aims to keep families warm; how you can helpSubmitted: 11/27/2014

RHINELANDER - You can help families stay warm this winter by donating your extra winter clothing to the Big Bundle Up Campaign. Tourism groups across Wisconsin are looking for mittens, scarves, coats, and other winter gear.

"Those would be really helpful for a lot of people in the area," Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dana DeMet said. "And I think the biggest challenge in the Northwoods is that it's just not as visible, so it's a little harder sometimes to garner that support if you are not faced with it on the streets every day."

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Rhinelander residents can give input on city's futureSubmitted: 11/27/2014

RHINELANDER - People living in Rhinelander will find something extra with their tax bills this year.

They'll get a survey.

Cities are required by law to create a comprehensive plan.

They create a new plan every decade.

City leaders hope the survey results will help them plan for the city's future.

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List of holiday events around northcentral Wisconsin this weekendSubmitted: 11/27/2014

NORTHCENTRAL WISCONSIN - Here is a list of some of the special holiday events going on around northcentral Wisconsin this weekend.

FRIDAY
Boulder Junction
26th Annual Christmas
5-8 p.m.
Downtown Boulder Junction

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Wisconsin Rapids Police looking for missing 21-year-old manSubmitted: 11/27/2014

WISCONSIN RAPIDS - Police in Wisconsin Rapids need help finding a missing 21-year-old man. Friends and family of Patrick E. Howard haven't seen him since Tuesday afternoon.

It was at 102 Thousand Oak Road.

Howard is a 6'2", 180 lbs. white man. He was carrying three grocery bags, a comforter and a pillow. Howard has brown hair and blue eyes.

He doesn't have a car or working phone. His friends and family say it isn't normal for him to not contact them.

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Chimney fire significantly damages Conover homeSubmitted: 11/27/2014

CONOVER - Firefighters blame a chimney fire for damaging a Conover home, according to the Vilas County Sheriff's Office.

The fire happened around 4:49 p.m. Thursday at 3950 E. Pioneer Rd. That's south east of Conover near Pioneer Lake.

The sheriff's office says the fire significantly damaged the house.

No one was hurt.

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