Governor Walker stopped in Antigo Thursday morning to announced two broadband expansion grants in the area.
The grants are for $70,000 and $150,000 to expand broadband service in Langlade and Shawano counties. The money is part of $1.5 million put into the state budget to expand broadband in rural areas. Walker made the announcement at the Wittenberg Telephone office in Antigo.
".....both leverage private sector investment, that's what we're really looking for is to expand broadband capacity so we can have high speeds all across the state of Wisconsin. We know it's important for the economy. We want to add new businesses here. It's important for our students and schools..."
Wittenberg Wireless will serve 305 residences by Sawyer Lake, near White Lake. The grant will have the benefit of providing Wi-Fi services to as many as 1,000 seasonal campers. Silver Birch Ranch Camp and CellCom also contributed to the grant.
The other grant of $70,000 partners with Village of Mattoon in Shawano county to provide fiber-to-the home broadband to a majority of Mattoon’s 180 current homes, 15 current businesses, 129 students at the Mattoon Elementary school and Village government locations.
Walker also made an announcement in Land O' Lakes regarding a grant we reported on Wednesday for ChoiceTel to serve Vilas county.
On other topics, Walker says doing more for mental health coverage should be the government's reaction to this week's California shootings rather than more gun control. Speaking in Antigo, Walker says he doesn't see more gun control as the answer...
"....what we see consistently is the mental health issue, rather than the firearms issue. California has some of the strictest firearms laws, that didn't stop what happened there...."
14 people died and 17 were wounded when a husband and wife entered a social services center in San Bernadino, California. Walker also told reporters he was confident the courts would rule in his favor regarding a John Doe probe. Walker was under investigation by a special prosecutor for activities during a recall election...
"....I said for years I thought it would end as it did. We believed we were on the right side of the law. We've had the Supreme Court validate that twice and hopefully the state of Wisconsin can move forward...."
The state Supreme Court denied a special prosecutor’s request to reopen an investigation into Walker’s recall campaign. Investigators wanted to see if the campaign illegally participated with advocacy groups. The decision is likely to be appealed. An earlier John Doeinvestigation in August 2012 was based on evidence collected as part of a previous investigation into Walker’s Milwaukee County office. That investigation yielded six convictions, including theft from a veterans fund, illegal campaign contributions and public employees campaigning during taxpayer-funded work time.