Baldwin encouraged by coming reauthorization of Land and Water Conservation FundSubmitted: 02/06/2019
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

Baldwin encouraged by coming reauthorization of Land and Water Conservation Fund
WASHINGTON - In September, hunters, fishermen, and conservationists in Wausau pleaded with Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

She was in favor of it. But it took until this week for Congress to take action.

The fund takes money from federal oil and gas leases and puts it toward projects for parks, rivers, and forests. Its reauthorization will come four months after the fund expired.

"This stream of revenue again, that's not taxpayer-funded can be available to protect the natural resources that really define why Wisconsin is such a great place to live," Baldwin said.

She said she expects the legislation to pass this week or next.

"What's new and very pleasing in that legislation is this is finally a permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund," Baldwin said.

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WAUSAU - Last year, police officers in Wausau documented hundreds of cases of marijuana possession in the city.

That resulted in more than 250 cases of arrest or criminal referrals.

But if a plan by Gov. Tony Evers is put into place, that number will likely drop in Wausau and around the state. Evers wants to remove penalties for possessing or selling 25 grams or less of marijuana.

Wausau Police Capt. Todd Baeten said the 250 marijuana-possession cases are pretty consistent for his department each year, although he couldn't say how many of them fall under the proposed 25-gram limit.

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RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Area Food Pantry canceled its distribution for Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Executive Director Guy Hansen told Newswatch 12 the snowfall concerns the staff about safety for patrons and others.  The normal distribution on Wednesdays is from 4-7 p.m.

Hansen says the next round of distribution will be Saturday, Feb. 23 from 10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

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GREEN BAY - Can you name every Packers player by number?  How about list off their entire 2019 schedule?  The latest addition to the Packers Fan Hall of Fame can.

Amy Nelson of Fence, Wis. was named the 21st member during a ceremony at Lambeau Field on Wednesday. Fence is in Florence County.

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MADISON - Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has vetoed an income tax cut bill in an early showdown with legislative Republicans who had moved to weaken the Democrat's powers just weeks before he took office.

Evers' veto Wednesday came on a bill that his party had called a stunt by Republicans. The GOP doesn't have enough votes to override the veto.

Evers is proposing his own income tax cut and plans to include it in the state budget he will unveil next week.

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WAUSAU - Drivers in Wausau will need to deal with closures on major east-west roads and a bridge over the Wisconsin River this summer.

On Wednesday, the city announced its plans for this year's construction projects.

Wausau will completely reconstruct more than a mile of Townline Road.

Work will also close parts of South First Avenue and Thomas Street, including the Wisconsin River bridge.

"It's going to be an inconvenience. There's no getting around that," said Mayor Robert Mielke. "But I always like to say, when this stuff is done, it's going to be great, so you got to look at it in that positive sense."

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MADISON - Gov. Tony Evers says he won't be proposing building a new prison in Green Bay.

Evers told reporters Wednesday that while building a new prison is "something we have to weigh," he won't be including funding to do that in the budget he releases next week.

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MADISON - Department of Corrections Secretary-designee Kevin Carr is trying to persuade a legislative committee to recommend the state Senate confirm him.

Carr appeared before the Senate judiciary committee Wednesday to answer questions about his philosophy and approach. The committee will vote in the coming days on whether to recommend the Senate confirm him.

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