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TOP STORY

25th Senate candidates differ over mining law, agree on importance of broadband and educationSubmitted: 10/31/2014

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RHINELANDER - The mining issue might decide the winner of the 25th State senate district. The huge district covers a large portion of northern Wisconsin stretching from parts of Vilas County to parts of Barron County. Two types of mines have caused controversy in the district. A proposed taconite mine in the north, and sand mines in the west.

Gogebic Taconite is proposing a four-mile open pit taconite mine in Ashland and Iron County. Project leaders say the project will lead to 700 direct jobs, as well as numerous spillover jobs because of the construction of the mine.

Republicans rewrote and passed the state's mining law in 2013. Many believe the rule change weakened water protections, but Republican candidate Dane Deutsch doesn't agree.

"I think the key is that folks need to realize that there is enough in that mining law to allow responsible mining and have accountability," Deutsch said.
However, Deutsch's opponent Rep. Janet Bewley (D-Ashland) believes the laws don't protect the environment.

The district is also dealing with a number of sand mines. Companies use the sand while fracking to drill for natural gas. Bewley isn't against mining. She says she's just against what mining can be under current state law.

"It takes away a lot of the ability of local people in local communities to have a say in the decisions that concern them," Bewley said.

That's only one issue in the 25th Senate district. Deutsch believes the area needs broadband now. He thinks his IT experience from his time in the military can help.

"We should be able to find other alternatives for getting people broadband so that folks can actually increase their entrepreneurism," Deutsch.
Bewley agrees about broadband. She believes the area won't catch up economically without the technology.

"Until we get all of northern Wisconsin into the 21st Century, like the rest of the state, we're at a competitive disadvantage," Bewley said.

Deutsch lost the 2010 race to longtime State Senator Bob Jauch (D- Poplar) by about 1800 votes. Deutsch says he wants to advocate for the district.

"I'm willing to be that person that is going to champion our businesses, champion our schools, our education, more importantly, and champion our resources," Deutsch said.

Meanwhile, Bewley says she wants to represent the people.

"I am not there to take a stand on an ideology, nor am I there to take a sword to somebody," Bewley said.

Deutsch and Bewley also agreed that rural schools and fund for the schools are a major focus of their campaign.

Deutsch owns a gym and coaches gymnastics in Rice Lake. Bewley has represented part of the area in the 74th Assembly district since 2011.

A Democrat has represented the 25th Senate district for more than 25 years.

Voters will decide if that will continue Tuesday.


Story By: Adam Fox

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 LOCAL NEWS
Homeless charity drive needs helpSubmitted: 10/31/2014

RHINELANDER - The Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing needs your help taking care of the homeless. The alliance helps homeless people in Lincoln, Langlade, Forest, Oneida, and Vilas counties. Organizers just started the Everybody Deserves Shelter Campaign. Local businesses are helping run the campaign.

"We are working at establishing businesses ,within our hopefully five counties that we serve, that will offer customers and employees the chance to make a nominal one dollar donation," said NATH Executive Director Tammy Modic.

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Minocqua Chamber of Commerce members break ground for expansion Submitted: 10/31/2014

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MINOCQUA - Minocqua gets many tourists. An expansion to the town's chamber of commerce might bring and keep more people in the area.

Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce board members broke ground outside of the chamber Friday. They'll be adding an extra 900 square feet of office space.

"It'll have a small kitchenette for gatherings and then a really large open concept room with all concealing. It'll have a new foyer for guest," said Minocqua Building Committee chairman, Mike Brighum." Then we'll also be remodeling about 150 square feet of the existing building to make it more useable for the staff for efficiencies."

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100 Yards of Halloween DecorationsSubmitted: 10/31/2014

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RHINELANDER - A lot of people in the Northwoods will put out decorations for Halloween. But one Rhinelander woman and her daughter have gone above and beyond. They've grown their display for the past 10 years to extend between their houses and covering more than 100 yards.

"We had four boys and we wanted a girl and she was born on Halloween, so my husband said, 'Look, we finally got our witch!'" said Linda Klaver.

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Sex offenders must follow strict rules on HalloweenSubmitted: 10/31/2014

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RHINELANDER - Sex offenders on probation or parole need to follow strict rules on Halloween. It's part of the state Department of Corrections' trick-or-treat safety plan.

Sex offenders need to stay home tonight. They can't wear any costumes or have any Halloween decorations up. Their porch lights also need to be off during trick-or-treating hours.

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Hire me then fire me, Northwoods candidate for State Treasurer wants to eliminate positionSubmitted: 10/31/2014

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RHINELANDER - Hire me then fire me. That's what a Northwoods candidate for State Treasurer wants voters to do.

Jerry Shidell is a libertarian from Rhinelander. You'll find his name on the ballot for State Treasurer. He plans on getting rid of the job.

Shidell says the treasurer doesn't have many responsibilities and the position costs too much.

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Walker turning to RGA to help boost voter turnoutSubmitted: 10/31/2014

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RHINELANDER - Gov. Scott Walker, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour finished off Walker's Friday bus tour with a stop in Rhinelander.

The message from the group was clear. Get voters out to vote.

"What I hope is in the end, more so than air time, more so than names, is that voters like voters here will get out and talk neighbor to neighbor, where they get the facts," Walker said.

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School District of Rhinelander passes 2014-15 budget; sees increase in enrollmentSubmitted: 10/31/2014

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RHINELANDER - The School District of Rhinelander will get a little bit more funding from property taxes this year. Rhinelander passed a referendum in 2013.

The district gets 4 million dollars per year through 2016.

On Monday the district approved the tax rate and mill levy for the year. Taxpayers will pay $10.99 per thousand dollars of property values.

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