NEWS STORIES

Possible downtown reconstruction discussed at open forumSubmitted: 02/10/2014

MANITOWISH WATERS - A Manitowish Waters woman wants to change the look of the areaís downtown.

Some local residents arenít thrilled with her plans.

The town used a forum to talk things out.

Newswatch 12 was there and talked with the townís supervisor.

"Itís creating a lot of tension in the community. I think we have to find a way
to fix it and to ease their feelings." said Manitowish Waters Town Board
Supervisor, Eric Behnke.

Construction can cause tension.

You can find that feeling in Manitowish Waters.

One person in the community want to upgrade a local park.

But a good portion of the funding would come from a private donor.

"Itís creating a lot of hardships, people are not happy about it and as a town
we need to find a way to make this situation better." Behnke said.

Liz Uihlein owns businesses in the area.

She wants to change the look of the community and she could.

But the town hasnít approved her proposal.

Thatís why the chamber sponsored a town forum so people could talk and ask
questions about the donations.

"Is there a process that you use to evaluate them? At what point do we say, you
know, 'Too much of our budgets is these donations and itís not what we have
funded'?" said town resident, Scott Bertz.

"As well as how much of this is the townís plan and how much of this is someone
elseís plan?"

But many of those questions donít have answers.

Thatís because donations donít need a vote by the townís people.

"Unfortunately with our policy, if itís a donation, some of the town board
members can use that money without townsmen approval," Behnke said.

"I think thatís what we need to focus on."

But the possibility of voting on donation spending is still up for question.

"The one thing we can do is be open and honest with people. We have to
communicate with people about whatís going on," said Behnke.

"If they donít have an opportunity to vote on these projects, then they really
donít know about them. So I think itís our job to communicate with the people
about whatís happening and educate them on where the moneyís coming from and
what itís being used for."


Story By: Shardaa Gray

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Board speeds up start of short-term loan program Submitted: 04/24/2014

MADISON - The start of a new short-term loan program that wasn't slated to begin until July has been moved up in an effort to help businesses hurt by recent cutbacks at Oshkosh Corp.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the state's chief jobs agency, voted this week to start the pilot program earlier. It will provide loans or loan guarantees of up to $250,000 to companies for projects or expenses that may not be eligible for traditional financing.

The board says it was starting the program earlier in light of news that Oshkosh was cutting 760 jobs from its defense division because of budget cuts being made by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The loan program this year will only target businesses in Oshkosh Corp.'s supply chain

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WisDOT leaders hopeful for increase in Northwoods railSubmitted: 04/24/2014

ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Railroads give businesses a chance to move loads of material for a low cost. Loggers could use rail as an alternative to trucking material, but many businesses donít get that opportunity in the Northwoods anymore.

Canadian National bought rail in the Northwoods about a decade ago. They have cut back service drastically since then.

Some counties haven't seen train travel in years, which hurts business. Now, those businesses want to reestablish rail service.

In response, a group of counties in Northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan formed the Northwoods Rail Transit Commission.

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Northwoods prosecutor calls criminal Submitted: 04/24/2014

RHINELANDER - An Oneida County prosecutor canít believe how stupid a move one Wausau man is accused of making in court.

ďThis case is unbelievable, it's hard for me to even fathom we had someone that I hate to say stupid, but I guess that's basically what it was,Ē says Jodie Bednar-Clemens, prosecuting attorney. ďI mean someone who came into court, into our courthouse, into the courtroom carrying illicit drugs in their pocket and much less methamphetamine.Ē

30 - year - old Kurtis Cline was originally facing three theft charges. While in court for those on April 10th, prosecutors say he took a bag of meth from his jeans pocket. He tried to stash the drugs under his seat cushion, but an officer caught him.

ďPulled something out of his pocket and put it under the seat cushion it was so obvious to me that he was doing something I had to keep myself from laughing out loud in court,Ē says Kurt Kopacz, Oneida County Sheriff's Deputy.

Cline pleaded not guilty in court. He's being held on a $5,000 bond. He will be back in court next month.

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Dane County judge to hear Planned Parenthood lawsuitSubmitted: 04/24/2014

MADISON - A Dane County judge is set to hear arguments in a lawsuit challenging a 2012 law that sets out conditions for abortions.

The law requires a doctor to determine whether the woman's consent is voluntary and inform the woman of domestic abuse services if he or she suspects the woman is being coerced. The law also requires doctors to perform a physical exam before they can prescribe abortion-inducting drugs and be in the room when the drugs are given to the woman.

Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit in February 2013 arguing the law is unconstitutionally vague. The organization argues its unclear how doctors should determine voluntary consent and whether doctors need to be present when drugs are dispensed or administered.

Judge Richard Niess is set to hear arguments Thursday morning.

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Unemployment rates dropped in most of Wisconsin in MarchSubmitted: 04/24/2014

MADISON - Unemployment rates dropped in most of Wisconsin in March.

The state Department of Workforce Development released numbers Wednesday.

Unemployment was down in all but three of the state's largest 32 cities.

Rates are down in all but six of Wisconsin's 72 counties.

Several counties in the northwoods had rates above 10 percent.

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Students ticketed after battle with Nerf gunsSubmitted: 04/24/2014

WAUSAU - Six kids got tickets after a battle using toy Nerf guns in Wausau.

Police issued disorderly conduct citations to the high school seniors.

Some residents of Wausau called police when they saw the young people pointing a gun at a car Tuesday night.

But, it was only a toy Nerf gun that shoots foam bullets.

Wausau West High School officials have also placed some students on athletic probation.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)

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Warrant will be required to track cellphone locationsSubmitted: 04/24/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin police will now need a warrant to track the location of your cellphone.

Governor Scott Walker signed the cell phone tracking bill yesterday.

The measure passed the Legislature in February with no opposition.

Under the new law, police would have to give details about their investigation when trying to get a warrant to track a cellphone.

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