Government

Keeping the Burden Off Taxpayers
4:39 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

City Official Will Talk Tax Districts in Madison

Ken Krall interviews Alex Young.
Credit starjournalnow.com

A Rhinelander city council member will testify before an Assembly committee today on a bill that could have a large impact on city taxpayers. 

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Initial claims down
4:45 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Fed Shutdown Slowed Wis. Unemployment Reporting

Depression-era lines
Credit commons.wikimedia.org

The recently-ended federal government shutdown is affecting more than federal programs: it's also slowing down the state's reporting on unemployment.

The Department of Workforce Development routinely puts out local jobless numbers the fourth week of the month. Not this month, as state economist Tom Walsh points out.

But Walsh says some local trends were seen...

 

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State school mandate questioned
4:49 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

More Phy. Ed. Means Less Foreign Language?

Task Force in Rhinelander
Credit Ken Krall

The state is hoping to mandate more physical education in schools. Area school leaders last week said it's a worthy goal, but it places cash-strapped districts into a bind.

The Speakers Task Force On Rural Schools met in Rhinelander last week.

Task Force member, Representative Stephen Nass asked Rhinelander School Superintendent Kelli Jacobi about unfunded mandates. She mentioned the possible new phy ed requirement...

 

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Rhinelander a stop
4:39 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

Vinehout To Test Governor's Race

State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout
Credit legis.wisconsin.gov

She's testing the waters to possibly run again for Governor.

Democratic State Senator Kathleen Vinehout from Alma in western Wisconsin will be in Rhinelander Saturday afternoon to meet the public.

Vinehout is a veteran legislator and ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in the 2012 Gubernatorial recall election. She lost to Tom Barrett, who then lost to Republican Scott Walker.

She says she's concerned about priorities in the Republican majority budget. She says there was 4 billion more dollars in this budget than the last budget...

 

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Faces 43 felonies
2:13 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Former Town Clerk To Enter Plea In January

The town of Elcho's former clerk will be arraigned in January on 43 felonies alleging misuse of more than $100,000 in town money.

43 year old Melissa Bloechl waived a preliminary hearing in Langlade County Circuit Court Friday morning.

Bloechl was charged in August with one count of theft from a business of more than $10,000, two counts of forgery and 40 counts of misconduct in public office. Investigators allege one check was for more than $50,000 and another for $40,000.

Limiting Local Control
4:23 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Strong Opinions Heard on Frac Sand Bill

Senate Bill 349 would mostly regulate non-metallic mining activities like frac sand mining.
Credit Nigel Corby

Impassioned testimony lasted all day at the state capitol, as groups lined up to speak on a bill limiting local control of some mining activities.

The legislation drafted by Hazelhurst Senator Tom Tiffany says towns must defer to state standards regarding air and water quality standards for blasting and other activities. 

Communities could still control non-metallic mining using zoning regulations.  But not all towns have that power. 

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Next report in November
2:19 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Federal Shutdown Slowed State Jobless Reporting

Unemployment lines in Depression-era Chicago
Credit commons.wikimedia.org

The recently-ended federal government shutdown is affecting more than federal programs: it's also slowing down the state's reporting on unemployment.

The Department of Workforce Development routinely puts out local jobless numbers the fourth week of the month. Not this month, as state economist Tom Walsh points out.

But Walsh says some local trends were seen...

 

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Bill would override local restrictions
1:56 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

City Deer Hunts Possible Statewide

Credit ironcooker.com

After several successful years, Rhinelander's city council decided not to hold an in-city bow hunt for deer this year. But if a bill circulating in Madison becomes law, the city might have to open a hunt again.

City council member Alex Young says Assembly Bill 8 allows for bow and arrow and crossbow hunting within city limits statewide. Young says Rhinelander has set forward restrictions during its hunts that aren't in the state bill. He says the bill preempts local restrictions..

 

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Legislation With Broad Impact
11:45 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Frac-Sand Bill Also Has Implications for Metallic Mining Activities

A state Senate bill regulating frac sand mining could overturn local rules relating to the proposed Penokee mine. 

The bill authored by Senator Tom Tiffany has drawn attention for how it would limit local control over nonmetallic mining. 

But the bill also contains provisions that regulate blasting for ANY type of mine or quarry. 

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Two reasons cited in report
11:21 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Minnesota's ACA Premiums Are Lower

Credit oakmontlibrary.org

  

Wednesday, the group Citizen Action of Wisconsin released a report saying Minnesota residents are paying far less in premiums under the Affordable Care Act. Rhinelander and Wausau are two cities the report compared to Minnesota communities.

Citizen Action's Robert Kraig told the media during a conference call his group could find two reasons why the higher rates are being offered....

 

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