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Rhinelander GOP Rep. 'surprised, confused' by Walker's loss, willing to work with Gov. Elect EversSubmitted: 11/07/2018
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com

Rhinelander GOP Rep. 'surprised, confused' by Walker's loss, willing to work with Gov. Elect Evers
RHINELANDER - Northwoods Republican State Rep. Rob Swearingen felt a mixture of surprise and confusion when Governor Walker lost to Tony Evers early Wednesday morning.

Walker won all Northwoods counties, but couldn't get close enough in places like Milwaukee, Madison, and Kenosha.

Swearingen told Newswatch 12 he thought voter approval of the state's economic direction would be enough to carry over into a Walker win.  The Northwoods representative says he's willing to work with new governor Tony Evers, but added this election was not a "mandate" to take on more liberal policies.


"Let's produce some more bi-partisan legislation, but I will not sacrifice my Republican values either," Swearingen said.

Swearingen easily won his race against Democrat Chris Meier for the 34th Assembly District, by a 61-38 margin. He thinks his work on better broadband, rural school funding, and tax cuts all gave voters a clear choice.

"All these things put together gives the Northwoods a real good boost and I'd like to think I've been a big part of that over the last three terms," Swearingen said.

Tony Evers' experience as State School Superintendent could help Swearingen accomplish his goal of finding a better funding formula, but the Republican wants to make sure it's a balanced solution.

Swearingen says Evers' idea of the Fair Funding Formula, which funds schools better in a uniform way across the state but calls for more spending, doesn't work in his mind, but he's willing to compromise.

"Parts of it are probably just fine. Maybe we can incorporate that with some Republican ideas and values and move something forward," Swearingen said.

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CRANDON - Recently, flooding closed roads and frustrated communities from Rhinelander to Plover. A bad combination of rain and melting snow led to days of flood warnings. As those warnings go away, a related risk could do a lot more than frustrate you - it could make you sick. Flooding can cause contamination in wells, but the Northwoods is lucky to have a world-class water testing facility.

RT Krueger's Northern Lake Service in Crandon has about 50 specialized machines that test drinking water for half of the municipalities in Wisconsin. Krueger tests Rhinelander's water three times a week. Every year 65,000 water samples flow in and out of this lab.

"The safe drinking water testing for the city of Madison is being performed up in little tiny Crandon," said Krueger.

Many people have their own wells, which are not tested regularly like municipal water. If your well is submerged due to flooding, filtered groundwater mixes with potentially harmful surface water.

"You're introducing the bacteria and all the compounds and organisms that are normally above the water that you're drawing," said Krueger.

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VILLAGE OF HEWITT - Monday around 7 A.M. Wood County police responded to a man who was run over by a dump truck in the Village of Hewitt.

When the police arrived they were informed by emergency responders that the man's injuries were fatal.

The victim of the accident was 77-years-old.

Police have ruled the death as an accident, and it was determined that the subjects involved were performing maintenance on the dump truck when the accident happened.

The Wood County Sheriff's Department, Hewitt EMS, Marshfield Ambulance, and the Wood County Coroner's Office all responded to the accident.

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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander man could face prison time after police arrested him in an online underage sex sting.  Oneida County prosecutors charged Adam Van Roy with three felonies on Monday.

A Wisconsin Department of Justice Special Agent working with the Oneida County Sheriff's Office posed as a 19-year-old woman named 'Julia G' on several social media applications March 13-15.  Van Roy, 36, started talking with 'Julia' during that time.  

'Julia' soon told Van Roy she was actually only 15 years old.

The agent's notes show Van Roy asked 'Julia' for pictures, including nude images, and asked her "what do you like in the bedroom?"

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CRANDON -
(Suspects identified clockwise, beginning with upper-left: Robert Daniels, Andrew Phillips, Richard Harris, Geraldine Dubray, Allyssa Wamego, Tammy Mann)

A report of a noisy house party and fight near Crandon led to six drug-related arrests earlier this month.  Officers eventually found heroin, cocaine, and guns along with other drug items inside, but getting there took some extra work.

According to a release from the Forest County Sheriff's Office, police responded to a home at 7840 Love Knot Lane in the Town of Lincoln, which is east of Crandon, on March 7 around 7:15 p.m.

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MILWAUKEE - Officials say a man shot by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee police on campus is hospitalized in stable condition.

University Police Chief Joe LeMire said at a news conference Tuesday two officers found the man, armed with a gun, sleeping on a bench in the Fine Arts Complex building around 7 a.m., an altercation occurred and he was shot. The police officers were treated for minor injuries.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 03/19/2019

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:


We talk to a snowplow driver in Lincoln County who says he was attacked with a baseball bat after accidently knocking down a mailbox.

We'll take you to the ribbon cutting for a new utility garage in Stevens Point and show you some sustainable design features that are part of the facility including the largest solar array in Central Wisconsin.

And we'll speak with a water testing specialist in Crandon to go over the importance of testing groundwater especially after there has been flooding in the area.


We'll bring you this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MERRILL - The Merrill Area Public School District will need to replace its school board's vice president.

Eric Geiss emailed his resignation to Board President Kevin Blake, announcing he would step down immediately.  Geiss cited personal reasons for his decision.

"I regret any inconvenience that my resignation may cause," Geiss said in his email, which was relayed to Newswatch 12 through the MAPS Administrative Office. "I have enjoyed the experience and am honored to have worked with you in service of the students and the district, helping transform the board's reputation and community relationships. I do believe we have done very good things for our kids, the future of the district and the community."

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