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Workers Looking to Make a Living
4:51 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

National Fair Wage Rally Hits Wausau

No protest activity took place at the Rhinelander McDonald's.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Fast-food workers in at least 50 cities rallied Thursday to get higher wages and have the right to organize.


Wausau organizer Melissa Alice Engles-Lewis says minimum wage workers don't have the means to support families on their wages. 



"They're having a hard time paying their bills. They're having a hard time putting groceries on the table. Nobody wants to be on any public assistance, of course, But when you work these jobs you almost have to be(on assistance) because you have no other options..."

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Quarantine on Non-Local Wood
4:24 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

To Slow Ash Borer's Spread, Buy Local Firewood

The emerald ash borer was most recently found in Superior.
Credit USDA

Federal and state officials are reminding campers this holiday weekend to buy firewood close to your campsite.

With the most recent discovery in Superior of the ash-tree-killing Emerald Ash Borer, the insect has moved into the north. To slow the spread of the borer, officials have put a quarantine on firewood from areas away from the campsites.

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest spokesperson Megan Healy explains...

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Factual Dispute
4:03 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

250,000: A Magic Number For Jobs?

Some are questioning whether Governor Scott Walker is backpedaling on his jobs promise.
Credit Blind Nomad / http://www.flickr.com/photos/68512679@N03/6827802602/sizes/m/in/photostream/

One side stands by the story, the other says it wasn't accurate.  Did Governor Walker say the state won't actually create 250,000 jobs?  Ken Krall has the details.  

Earlier this week, WJFW TV in Rhinelander talked to Governor Scott Walker in Merrill.

The WJFW story said Walker had backed off the promise, telling the station he said they state was more than 133,000 down because of the recession and 250,000 wasn't a "magic number" but rather about jobs affecting people.

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Hearing from the Community
3:53 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Forum For Seniors On Changes to Medicare and Social Security

The Wisconsin Alliance For Retired Persons is holding a town hall meeting Friday morning in Rhinelander about potential cuts to Social Security and Medicare and other related topics.

Alliance President Billy Feitlinger says he wants to hear from those affected what potential cuts by Congress would mean.

"The most important one is the changing of the annual adjustment for cost of living. That would be very detrimental to current seniors if the formula was changed for that."

Nearing Harvest Time
4:22 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Wild Rice Season Set to Open

Wild rice grows at the mouth of the Kakagon River near Lake Superior.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Wild rice season is set to begin in Northern Wisconsin.  Manoomin, the traditional food of the Ojibwe nations, typically ripens around Labor Day.  But harvesters may need extra patience this year.

Only three out of about 50 lakes regulated by state and tribal officials will open for ricing by this weekend. Manoomin biologist for the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission Lisa David says Wisconsin’s late spring delayed ripening in some areas.

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Financial Balancing Act
4:19 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

County Board Weighs Budget Options

At Tuesday’s monthly meeting, the Vilas County Board of Supervisors went through a second round of voicing their ideas for how to balance the 2014 budget. Finance director Jason Hilger says the county is facing a deficit of roughly $1.2 million for the upcoming year.  Nonetheless, Hilger says Vilas county is in good shape, with a reserve fund of more than $7 million.

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Rhinelander listening session
3:40 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Secretary, Legislators Hear Veteran's Concerns

Veterans Affairs Sec. John Scocos, Reps. Czaja, Swearingen, Sen. Tiffany
Credit WXPR

The state Secretary of Veterans Affairs met with area veterans Wednesday  at a listening session in Rhinelander. He was joined by three Northwoods state legislators.

Secretary John Scocos says the current state budget has more money in it to fund veteran's programs, including money for families and education. One program would help veterans begin new businesses...

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Could be open by January
2:08 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Rhinelander Schools-Aspirus Working On School Clinic

Aspirus Rhinelander Clinic
Credit Aspirus.org

By early next year, staff at Rhinelander schools could be getting some of their health care from a clinic in the school.


The Aspirus Rhinelander Clinic and the school district are discussing how to implement the program. Regional Director Rob Fabich says the school district is looking at ways to cut health care costs and thought having the services on campus would be one way to do that...


 

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Government
4:00 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Vilas D.A. Employee to Stay On

 

 The limited term employee working in the Vilas County District Attorney’s office will be staying on the job for another six months while the office implements a paperless system.

The Vilas County board of supervisors on Tuesday approved a request by District Attorney Al Moustakis to extend the limited term employee through March, 2014.

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Highway 51 Revisited
7:57 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Milder Plan for Hazelhurst, Cassian Highway Reconstruction

Members of the public also had a chance to review preliminary plans for the replacement of the Bearskin Trail Bridge.
Credit Natalie Jablonski

State Department of Transportation officials took public comment Tuesday on a plan to reconstruct parts of Highway 51 south of Minocqua.  A thin crowd gathered at a hearing in Harshaw.

The DOT says changes to Highway 51 are necessary to improve safety.   But an earlier DOT proposal prompted community outcry, as it involved turning a stretch north of Highway Y into a four lane road and widening the bridge over Lake Katherine.  Hazelhurst Town Chair Ted Cushing says the original changes were too dramatic, but he’s much happier with the revised plan.

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