Northwoods clerks fight against added election in 2020Submitted: 11/27/2018
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

Northwoods clerks fight against added election in 2020
NORTHWOODS - This month, Wisconsin Republicans floated the idea of putting elections in February, March, and April of 2020.

The plan would separate Wisconsin's 2020 presidential primary from the April general election. Some Republicans hope it would give a conservative-leaning Supreme Court candidate a better shot in the April election.

But county clerks in the state were quick to criticize the proposal.

Lincoln County Clerk Chris Marlowe was one of them.

"[It's] overwhelming at times, the amount of work," he said. "We're already preparing for April, February."

Marlowe and 33 other county clerks signed a letter opposing the idea of a new March election.

"It concerns me that they would throw another election between February and April because they're certainly going to overlap," he said.

Earlier this month, outgoing Republican Gov. Scott Walker sounded open to making the change.

"I always thought it was odd that those of us who were in nonpartisan office were on the ballot at the same time as partisan elections," Walker, who once served as Milwaukee County executive, said.

Oneida County Clerk Tracy Hartman couldn't believe some people were taking the idea seriously. Hartman worries about the tight turnaround and the extra money a new election would cost. She thinks it might even lead to some mistakes.

"People are going to be speeding things up. They're going to be reading through stuff quicker. They're going to be trying to get it out and back again. I think you're just asking for some human error to occur," Hartman said. "I don't know that I've had a single county clerk say they're for this. I think we're all very concerned with the expense, with the added time crunch, the added pressure that's being put on these clerks."

Hartman, like Marlowe, hopes the idea dies, and 2020 has just four elections: two in the spring, and two in the fall.

"Five is just too many," Marlowe said.

In an interview with the Associated Press on Monday, state Senate Republican leader Scott Fitzgerald said he had concerns about a new election, but he refused to rule it out.

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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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(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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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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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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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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PARK FALLS - Shopko announced it would close all of its stores Monday. That leaves many towns and cities across the Northwoods wondering what, if anything, can fill the gap that will create within their local economies. 

Some groups in Park Falls plan to try to capitalize on a unique federal tax incentive program. The Park Falls Area Community Development Corporation and area Chamber of Commerce already had a plan to educate people on a fairly new tax benefit program, one that will help create opportunity in the area.

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