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.
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
RHINELANDER - It won't be much longer before the Hodag water show gears up for the summer, but right now they need to make repairs to their building. Rod Olson says it may cost between $15,000 and $20,000 to make repairs to the building. To watch the video click on the video link.
RHINELANDER - There was no severe weather Thursday, but sirens across the Northwoods were blaring at about 1:45 pm on Thursday.
That's because the National Weather Service held a statewide tornado drill.
It was part of their severe weather awareness week, and Oneida County took part in the drill.
"The sirens are only set off for warnings, in the city of Rhinelander, it's only going to be a Severe Thunderstorm Warning that is affecting the city area," said Oneida County Emergency Management Director Ken Kortenhof. "It's also going to be set off for a Tornado Warning affecting the area."
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.
ACROSS THE U.S. - A new proposal from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would expand regulation on tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, not regulated already by the agency.
The proposal, which was released Thursday, would regulate hookahs, nicotine gels, cigars and e-cigarettes. The FDA currently only regulates cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco.
Some smokers turn to e-cigarettes to try to stop smoking. Medical experts donít know the full health impact of e-cigarettes yet. Leaders at the FDA want to get ahead of the trend.
The proposal would make e-cigarette producers register their products and show their ingredients to the agency.
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