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Report to the county board
11:17 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Oneida County Faces Millions In Retirement Health Costs

Credit flicker.com

Oneida county has more than 8 million dollars pending in health benefits being paid to workers who have left county employment, mainly through retirement.

A county financial advisor, John Frederick, updated the county board Tuesday.

He says current accounting practices find the health care benefit must be reflected during the time the person is employed, rather than as a gratutiy after they retire...

 

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A Question of Speed
5:27 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Assembly Endorses 70 MPH Limit

State lawmakers in the Assembly have passed a bill allowing a higher speed limit on rural interstates.  The bill introduced by Republican Paul Tittl raises the cap on speeds to 70 miles per hour on some roads, up from 65. 

The bill says 4-lane interstates could one day have the higher limit, but only after the DOT does a one-year study of safety impacts.

Many Democrats in the state assembly complained the bill was fast-tracked to a scheduled vote.  Representative Fred Kessler of Milwaukee said key voices were missing from the bill’s public hearing.

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Filling the Gap
5:22 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

National Event Highlights Afterschool Programs

Local organizations are helping put the spotlight on the importance of afterschool programs.  Lights On Afterschool is an event happening nationwide.  Old School Arts and Learning Center is having an open house Wednesday.  Director Louise Perreault says programs are intended to keep kids from having to be home alone after school. 

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Medical bills leading cause of U.S. bankruptcy
2:59 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Activist: Glitches Being Fixed In Obamacare Launch

Kevin Kane, Citizen Action of Wisconsin
Credit Kevin Kane

He said a many Americans had either been locked out of getting healthcare because of pre-existing conditions, or had to pay higher rates. He says women paid more because of pregnancy and other issues, but starting January 1, not anymore...

 

"....women on average are charged about one-and-a-half times more, on average, than a 22 year old male. Women are more responsible than men. You go to the doctor more, you get checkups more, you tend to get pregnant more, but that's a whole other issue..."

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Former WPS building an option
12:17 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

OC Board Wrestling With Department Space Needs

Former WPS building in Rhinelander
Credit WXPR

Too many questions remain, so the Oneida county board has moved to have a committee study more options for the former WPS building on Davenport Street. At issue is just what should be done with space needs for the UW-Extension, and Land and Water Conservation Departments now housed at the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport.

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Wolves and Other Species
9:34 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Wildlife Conferences Bring Valuable Conversation

The Midwest has been hosting a lot of wildlife biologists lately.  The International Wolf Symposium was held this past weekend in Duluth, Minnesota.  A week earlier, the Wildlife Society held its annual conference in Milwaukee. DNR Carnivore Specialist Dave MacFarland was at both.  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski sat down with MacFarland to hear about the conference highlights.  

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Some opposition at public hearing
7:51 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Rhinelander Allows Up To Four Chickens

Example of a backyard coop
Credit commons.wikimedia.org

Rhinelander has joined at least two other area communities in allowing small numbers of chickens, but the approval has restrictions.

Jen Van Order asked the city a few months ago to change laws to allow up to 4 hens, no roosters in confined space. She has worked with city officials on the proposal. During a hearing at last night's council meeting, she says hens are less loud than barking dogs and, she says, cleaner. Property owners would need a special permit...

 

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Deer Strategy
5:16 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

DNR Seeks Public Input on Deer Management

Credit Hustvedt via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mule_Deer_in_snow.jpg

Changes are coming to deer management in Wisconsin.  

The DNR is holding a series of meetings in the next few weeks to get public input the rules package that sums up those changes.  Officials are also taking comments through an online survey that launches today. 

The DNR’s Eric Lobner says the rules package comes out of the Deer Trustee Report and public comment taken earlier in the year. 

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Spreading the Word
5:12 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Health Officials Call For Yearly Mammograms

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  

  Public health officials are urging women over the age of 50 to get an annual mammogram.  Vilas County Public Health Nurse Pam Pederson says the breast x-ray can help catch early signs of cancer.

“Breast cancer if detected early is very treatable.  If they do these yearly exams, chances are we’re gonna catch it in a early stage, and be able to treat it and save lives.” 

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Natural Resources
5:02 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Opening Day for Wolf Hunting

This year marks Wisconsin's second wolf harvest season.
Credit Herbert Lange

Wolf hunting season opens Tuesday.  

About 2500 people have been awarded permits to harvest a wolf.  The DNR most recently reported fewer than half of those have actually purchased their licenses.  But DNR Carnivore specialist Dave MacFarland says that’s nothing unusual.

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