MADISON - President Barack Obama is stepping up pressure on states that have refused to expand Medicaid eligibility.
The White House Council of Economic Advisers has released a report saying expansion here would mean health coverage for an additional 120,000 people in 2016. The report says expansion would lead to 11,200 new jobs by 2017 and result in nearly $2.6 billion in additional federal spending in Wisconsin.
Republican Gov. Scott Walker has rejected any federal money to expand Medicaid and restricted coverage to those whose earnings are at or below the poverty level. He has expanded coverage to childless adults who had been on a waiting list, however.
Walker's spokeswoman called the report wrong. She says more than 80,000 childless adults now have coverage under the governor's changes.
RHINELANDER - Most people stop by Rhinelander's chamber of commerce to get their picture taken with the giant hodag out front. Visitors to the chamber can also stock up on Rhinelander trinkets and gear.
Now, the chamber has decided to downsize its store in order to let someone else set up shop.
- A Nicolet College club provides a safe space for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and allies to socialize and discuss personal issues related to gender and sexual orientation.
However, outside of the campus, there is no supportive group in the Northwoods. Now, the Rainbow Hodags Club is helping to get a community LGBT group started. Club member Don Schindhelm says he wishes a club like this existed years ago.
"I really felt like I didn't know anyone else who was gay or lesbian. It was frowned upon, so I suppressed it for most of my life. That's why I struggled with it for so many years," said Schindhelm.
EAGLE RIVER - A lot of things need to go right to build a 40,000 square foot addition in just one year. Workers in Vilas County used a fairly mild winter to their advantage to work toward that goal.
Construction on the county courthouse's addition is both on budget and essentially on time. Crews have the drywall up on the second floor and are working to do the same on the first floor soon. Vilas County Clerk Dave Alleman says a rainy spring held some masonry work up, but it's nothing crews can't handle to stay on track.
"Very well disciplined," Alleman said of the workers. "They're working every day, things are being done on time. I think overall that makes for a good project."
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