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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


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
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 11/21/2014

- Find out about a new attraction to downtown Rhinelander in advance of the holiday shopping season.

- Plus, Michigan's deer hunt started a week ago today. How is the western Upper Peninsula doing in terms of harvest success?

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

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Some Northwoods school districts give students longer Thanksgiving break for deer huntSubmitted: 11/21/2014

CRANDON - Students in some Northwoods school districts won't go to school at all next week.

The districts decided not to stand in the way of family hunting traditions.

The School District of Crandon gave students Friday and all of next week off.

They've been giving students the week of Thanksgiving off for as long as anyone can remember.

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Remember safety when gun deer season kicks off tomorrowSubmitted: 11/21/2014

ANTIGO - Saturday kicks off the start to the nine day gun deer hunting season here in Wisconsin.

Many people in the Northwoods spent this Orange Friday shopping for their last minute hunting gear.

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Wisconsin faces $2.2 billion budget shortfall Submitted: 11/21/2014

MADISON - Governor Scott Walker's administration says Wisconsin faces a $2.2 billion budget shortfall by mid-2017, a problem that will have to be tackled by the Republican-controlled Legislature next year as Walker is building his resume for a potential presidential run.

The estimate released Thursday by the state Department of Administration is required under the law. It takes into account spending requests made by state agencies for the next two years.

The figures will be further refined by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau in January.

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DNR to ask for first revisions to invasives listSubmitted: 11/21/2014

MADISON - The state Department of Natural Resources' board is set to consider next month whether to make the first revisions to the state's invasive species list since it was created in 2009.

The DNR has proposed classifying 49 more species as prohibited, which means people can't sell, possess or transport them and must destroy them if they find them on their property.

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Minocqua Winter Park will open weekend after Thanksgiving DaySubmitted: 11/21/2014

MINOCQUA - Winter enthusiasts will get an extra treat this Thanksgiving weekend in the Northwoods.

Minocqua Winter Park will open up again for a small session during the Friday through Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend.

This comes just after the park opened for a few days last weekend.

The park doesn't normally open earlier than December, but because of the success of last week's session the park wants to open up again.

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Downtown Rhinelander debuts Holiday Open House SaturdaySubmitted: 11/21/2014

RHINELANDER - The opening of the gun deer season often leaves wives and girlfriends at home on their own.

Downtown Rhinelander hopes it can attract many of those women, and maybe even some men, to get started on holiday shopping.

The first-ever Holiday Open House on Saturday will feature sales, special events, and demonstrations at several businesses.

Its timing falls perfectly with the hunting season.

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