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Johnson asks for congressional action following photo at borderSubmitted: 06/26/2019
Johnson asks for congressional action following photo at border
Story By Associated Press

WASHINGTON - A recent photo showing a migrant father and young daughter found drowned in the Rio Grande River got the attention of Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson.

The father and daughter drowned Sunday as they crossed from Mexico into Texas.

Senator Johnson says he hopes to not see another picture like that "at the U.S. border."

He spoke today at Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing, and said the influx of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border is a huge problem. He says real change starts with a conversation and that congress needs to act.

"I hope that picture alone will catalyze this congress, this senate, this committee, to do something," Johnson told the committee.

The Senate today did act, approving bipartisan legislation providing $4.6-billion to care for thousands of migrants streaming into the U.S. across the Mexican border.

Democrats previously pushed a similar package through the house, but differences would need to be resolved before it could go to the President.

The House bill has more limits than the Senate version on how the Trump administration would be able to use the money.

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RHINELANDER - The city of Rhinelander took a municipal well offline after its water was found to contain excessive levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), according to the Oneida County Health Department and the city.

Since that well is turned off, "the public water system is ok to drink," stated the health department release.

"Based on current, available information, we can conclude that the water is not considered a potential threat to health and is safe to drink," read the city's release.

Some studies have shown people with PFAS expose may be at risk of increased cholesterol levels, worsening response to vaccines, a higher risk of thyroid disease, lower fertility in women, and an elevated risk of high blood pressure in pregnant women.

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RHINELANDER - The City of Rhinelander told residents this week its municipal water is safe to drink, responding to concerns of elevated chemical levels in city water.

On Monday night, the city said it had shut down Well 7 on June 24 after a test for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) came back showing excessive levels.

But on Tuesday morning, the Oneida County Health Department couldn't offer a similar assurance about the purity of private wells in the area.

PFAS refers to a group of manmade chemicals that may cause higher cholesterol, low infant birthweights, and lower female fertility, among other health risks. The manmade chemical is found in products like food wrappers, stain-resistant fabrics, and nail polish.

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WHITE LAKE - The chapel at Silver Birch Ranch near White Lake was full of campers and music Friday night. After looking at the weather radar, program director Jason Kemper rushed in.

"And he was like 'let's finish this song first' and I'm like 'no we're not finishing this song,'" said Kemper.
About 350 campers were brought through the grounds of Silver Birch Ranch to shelters.

"A couple minutes after that, after everyone was safe, trees just started falling down," said Kemper.

The morning light revealed downed trees, broken power poles, and smashed buildings. In the 52 years of Silver Birch Ranch, it's the first time campers had to be sent home.

Though the campers left, staff and volunteers stayed.

"I'm here because I wanted to stay and help," said Maxine Stewart. "My parents could've taken me home but then I wouldn't have been able to see all this progress made."

"We want to get the campers back here as soon as possible so we're trying to get cleanup going as quick as we can," said Halle Cox.

"It's cool to see how much we've done," said Brooke Bennett. "I'm a little tired but we've accomplished a lot in the past few days."


People from as far away as Chicago have been helping out too, providing heavy machinery and working long hours.

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RHINELANDER - Running the master streamer on a Rhinelander firetruck gave Nick Heise a sense of control over an exciting situation this morning.  The junior firefighter got the chance to do something he s never done before: go into a burning building and put out the fire.

"You can call us crazy, but we actually like to do it," Heise said.  "Fire rolling over our heads and got to play with it and learn some stuff about fire behavior."

Rhinelander firefighters were practicing controlled burns along Ohlson Lane, just behind the Home Depot. Crews lit four sets of fires, with two on the top floor and two on the ground level, then burned the whole thing down and worked on putting that out.

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS - A lineman needs help after being paralyzed while fixing storm damage in Wisconsin Rapids.

A GoFundMe campaign set up for the family of Brian Ortner has already raised more that $65,000.

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STEVENS POINT - Michael Currier has always loved food, but never specifically cheese curds.

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RACINE - A Racine woman is accused of leaving her 3-year-old grandson in a hot vehicle while she shopped at the Dollar Tree.

A criminal complaint says police were called when someone spotted the toddler in the vehicle with the windows up Friday when temperatures were in the 90s. The complaint says first responders broke a window to rescue the boy who was "limp and very warm to the touch."

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