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Critical Access Hospitals
10:44 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Federal Budget Problems Stall Cuts For Some Rural Hospitals

Langlade Hospital Antigo
Credit langladehospital.org

For now, a move to cut a subsidy critical for some Northwoods hospitals has been put to the back burner says a hospital group spokesperson.

In August, the Wisconsin Hospital Association put out alarm bells about funding for "Critical Access Hospitals". A federal Health and Human Services Inspector General recommended removing critical access hospitals from Medicare payment status. The money from the federal budget helps the most rural of hospitals maintain service and without it, experts say, it could end service in those communities.

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Families Will See Fewer Dollars
4:00 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Foodshare Benefits Go Down Friday

Families will see a few less dollars on their EBT card starting next month.
Credit Robert Neff

Thousands of people will see their Foodshare benefits go down starting Friday.  It’s because a temporary federal program that began in 2009 is ending. 

The American Recovery Act gave people extra food stamp money during the economic downturn.  It raised maximum Foodshare benefits by more 13 percent when the federal law took effect.

But Claire Smith, spokesperson for the state Department of Health Services, says the impact won’t be as dramatic when the extra benefits expire November 1st. 

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Mix of Jazz, Blues and Swing
4:00 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Randy Sabien: "Not Quite Like the Beatles"

Randy Sabien's style is a combination of blues, jazz and swing.
Credit Randy Sabien

WXPR’s Fall Concert and Auction is coming up this weekend.  It features music by Randy Sabien, accompanied by cellist Ed Willet.  

  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski called up Sabien to find out a little more about his musical style and history.

More from our conversation with Randy Sabien: On the importance of teaching, and how he was influenced by Western Swing music.

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Geared for tech users
4:56 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Grant For Vilas County Silent Sports Trails

Credit en.wikipedia.org

A nearly $40,000 grant will help promote silent sports trails in Vilas county.

Tourism and Publicity Director Cindy Burzinski says the money will be used to give travelers a way to find the trails...

 

"....the entire project is going to be one cohesive map. And the map will have all the land and water-based trails, non-motorized, that Vilas county has to offer. And added to that we will be putting together an "app" for mobile devices. It will be using all the digital GPS data..."

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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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Looking Back on a Mine Controversy
4:00 am
Mon October 28, 2013

What Does the Crandon Mine Story Mean Today?

One branch of the Wolf River begins in Forest County, near the site of a mine that was once proposed.
Credit Royalbroil via Wikimedia Commons

Today marks 10 years since a proposal for a copper and zinc mine in Forest County came to an end.  Members of the Mole Lake Sokaogon Chippewa and Menominee tribes gathered this weekend to celebrate…but pointed out that mining remains a controversial issue in northern Wisconsin. 

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Ten Years Later
4:00 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Remembering the Crandon Mine Proposal

At age 28 Fred Ackley Jr. got involved in protesting a mine proposal near Mole Lake.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Today marks 10 years since two Native tribes purchased land that was once slated for a copper and zinc mine near the Mole Lake Sokaogon Reservation.

That tribe and Forest County Potawatomi bought the land for more than 16 million dollars. 

WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski went to a celebration this weekend marking the anniversary…and she sat down with some of the tribal activists from Mole Lake. 

Hear from Fred Ackley Jr.:

Hear from Francis Van Zile:

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Public hearings across state
5:04 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

Walleye Initiative Brings Input From Anglers

A DNR Fisheries Manager says after a series of meetings on upgraded walleye stocking in Wisconsin waters, the public has reacted favorably.

Governor Walker announced in May the state would spend more than $12 million to upgrade facilities and grow walleye fingerlings to a larger size. The larger fish tend to have a higher survivability rate.

Steve Avelallemant outlines some of the feedback they've been hearing...

 

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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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