RHINELANDER - On Monday, some Oneida County Supervisors hoped to end any future mining exploration.
They wanted to remove the current rules, making it more difficult for mining to come back before the board.
But, the full county board decided today to push the idea back to the Forestry Committee, which oversees mining, to make that call.
Any future mining projects would have to write new rules and form a new committee.
Supervisor Paul Dean put forth the resolution.
"Without the language there, that means whoever wants to start this up again will have to go through the language and startup a new committee," Dean said.
"It makes a little bit harder to have another committee or people saying we want this."
Other board members thought removing the committee would waste time in the future if the issue comes up again.
"I don't think it does any harm to anybody to leave this on the books," Supervisor Tom Rudolph said.
"Rather than in case there is some interest in mining or a referendum indicates we should resurrect this issue, we don't have to start again from scratch to draft a new ordinance."
The board voted 15 to 4 to send it back to committee.
Technology upgrades were also up for debate.
The board is looking into county wireless or internet coverage.
Dave Hintz and others mentioned the benefits of enhancing coverage across the county.
"The purpose of this committee would be to enhance internet service throughout the county and cell service throughout the county," Hintz said.
"Basically like an economic development effort to improve service in the area that was facilitated by the town of Three Lakes."
Supervisor Bob Martini thinks the expansion could help business, tourism, and residents.
"I think the more counties that undertake a coordinative role in this subject, the more this whole system will advance across the nation," Martini said.
While some support the idea, Jerry Shidell thinks wireless and information technology should be left to the private sector.
He doesn't think taxpayers should float the cost for people who live in areas without coverage.
"If you live out in the middle of the boondocks, you chose to live in the boondocks," Shidell said.
"Does that mean that, I, who chose to live in the city or others who chose to live in a more populous area have the responsibility to provide you with your coverage? I don't believe so. Especially since you can get that coverage from a satellite, if it is that important to you, put up a satellite."
The board ultimately voted to create a technology committee and explore the options.
VILAS COUNTY - More people today use maps on their phones when traveling, but some people still like those paper maps.
The Vilas County GIS just made 15 maps of the area. They give people the option to download and print them at home. A map of Boulder Junction even won an award at the 27th annual Wisconsin land Information Association conference in Middleton.
“There was a lot of interest in creating a portable, easy to use map atlas that responders, town crew, delivery entities, could take out in the field with them and find any address point any road name any water body,” says Rebecca Nordine, Vilas County GIS Specialist. “Something that they could bring out along out in the field with them.”
The atlases will give people an easier way of looking up addresses across Vilas County.
“We do offer up online mapping and that's great but if you get into an area where there's no cell phone or no internet service you'll need something a map or paper map to fall back on,” says Nordine.
Each atlas will be updated at the beginning of the year.
To download a copy of the atlases for FREE you can visit: http://vcgis.co.vilas.wi.us/vcom/.
RHINELANDER - Wisconsin will get a new state attorney general this election year.That could mean new changes for the department.
But many of the candidates agree that more needs to be done to deal with heroin in Wisconsin.
Police and prosecutors say the drug continues to spread throughout the state. Republican candidate Brad Schimel, Waukesha County district attorney, believes heroin and opiates are one of the state’s biggest challenge.
"We're seeing more people die from accidental drug overdoses than we're seeing in car crashes," Schimel said. "That is a dangerous statistic for us to be looking at."
According to a Gannet Wisconsin Investigative study, at least 199 people died in 2012 in Wisconsin from drug overdoses.
The legislature has passed several bills this session to fight heroin and help people who are addicted to the drug.
State Rep. Jon Richards-(D) Milwaukee, is one of three Democratic candidates running for attorney general. He believes the state needs to keep going after drug traffickers.
"Local prosecutors and law enforcement are already stretched to the max in terms of their man power," Richards said. "We have to be addressing these new problems of public safety in creative ways and effective ways."
Democratic candidates Susan Happ and Ismael Ozanne were not available before running this story.
Richards was touring the Northwoods Friday talking to media and district attorneys in the area.
The Democratic primary is set for August 12th. Election day is Nov. 4, 2014.
WOODRUFF - The Olympics might be over, but the Paralympics are underway in Sochi. Teachers at one local school are using the Olympic spirit to teach students about other countries.
Students at North Country Montessori celebrated International Day Friday morning. The students learn about different countries throughout the school year.
"The children at Montessori do a huge unit on geography and world culture, and we used today as a way to express the information that we found and things that we've learned," says North Country Montessori director Candice Henderson.
This year's theme was the Sochi Olympics.
Each student dressed up as a different country and sang songs in Russian.
This was the school's 30th annual International Day celebration. It ended with a potluck meal featuring ethnic food from different countries.
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