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WI Representative introduces bill for clean water initiatives.Submitted: 01/21/2020
WI Representative introduces bill for clean water initiatives.
Story By Newswatch 12 team

MADISON - Representative Katrina Shankland introduced a bipartisan bill to create a new state trust fund for clean water initiatives.

The fund could only be used on water quality projects. Funds could not be transferred to other accounts except under extreme conditions.

Additional provisions include a rapid response fund and the creation of a new oversight committee.

Representative Shankland said of the bill "The clean water fund will help us ensure the money is there when we need it."

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RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Area Food Pantry (RAFP) dispersed hundreds of boxes of food to community members Wednesday. A line of cars could be seen stretching from the pantry all the way to Home Depot.

Linda and Henry Delisle were some of the many waiting in line for their box of food.

"We've never done this before," said Linda. 

Normally, people qualify for the food pantry based on their income. But on Wednesday, anyone in need could come pick up a box of food, no questions asked. General manager Jane Motowski said it's all thanks to a program called 'Farmers to Families.'

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NORTHERN WI - The State of Wisconsin will start to take applications for money to help small businesses get back on their feet.

The 75 million dollar "We're All in Small Business Grant" intends to touch 30 thousand small businesses--distributing 2,500 dollars to each one.

The Oneida County Department of Economic Development says the money will be focused on all areas of Wisconsin including the Northwoods

"The great news is this is not a first come first serve program, it's done really by area and by need," director, Jeff Verdoon,said. "The aid will be divided up by region so we have a good chance for our businesses up here to be able to receive the money."

During the safer at home order, local businesses could apply for small businesses loans, but some had trouble getting approved--others couldn't qualify.

The Rhinelander chamber of commerce which will work closely with businesses applying, says this program is much different from other grants, executive director Lauren Sackett added.

"Some of those other grants require you to already have financial loans," Sackett said. "[The We're All in Grant] will also look at who has already received funding to try and determine essential businesses who may have been missed."

Unlike different programs that may have more restrictions and requirements, local businesses find this application process fairly easy.

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Prosecutors on Wednesday filed a tougher charge against the police officer at the center of the George Floyd case and charged three other officers, delivering a victory to protesters galvanized by a death that roused racial tensions and unleashed coast-to-coast unrest.

The most serious charge was filed against Derek Chauvin, who was caught on video pressing his knee to Floyd's neck and now must defend himself against an accusation of second-degree murder. The three other officers at the scene - Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao - were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. All four were fired last week.

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MADISON - The Wisconsin Elections Commission has chosen a new leader.

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MADISON - University of Wisconsin President Ray Cross asked Gov. Tony Evers and legislative leaders Wednesday to call a special session of the Legislature to allow for UW to borrow money through a line of credit and possibly start classes earlier to help deal with "unprecedented financial and planning challenges" due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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MADISON - Republicans want to keep any legal battle over Wisconsin redistricting in the state Supreme Court, starting the legal fight over the redrawing of political boundary lines on Wednesday a full year before any new maps are created.

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