WAUSAU - The leader of the Bad River tribe is concerned for the future of our environment.
He says if the iron mining legislation rejected last year comes back, it will be the obliteration of the Bad River watershed.
Tonight's meeting in Wausau, pointed towards inspiring others to say no to iron mining. The tribe's concerned toxins like sulfuric acid will leak into nearby water and land.
Iron mining is currently on the minds of many Wisconsin legislators.
But tribe leader Mike Wiggins Jr. says the tribe is also focused and prepared to take action.
"One of the things we have that we're confronted with is the human rights issue of this particular mining company's activities. Essentially disproportionally hurting us, and you know we are prepared to do different things to try and protect ourselves along those lines," said Bad River Tribe leader Mike Wiggins Jr.
Wiggins' concern extends to how future generations will be impacted by mining.
He hopes discussion now can lead to working together to find an economically friendly solution.
"We're looking for co-existence, mutual respect, and an acknowledgement that it's not a sustainable type of project. If you're looking at the ability for us to be living our lives in a good way, moving out 500 years, 1000 years- way beyond the boom and bust economy of extractive industry," said Wiggins Jr.
A vote on a bill to overhaul state mining regulations could happen as soon as March.
If favorable laws pass, supporters say the mine could bring 700 jobs to northern Wisconsin.
STEVENS POINT - A former Portage County doctor could go to prison for sexually assaulting his patients. Wilton Calderon pled guilty to three felonies Friday.
Calderon was a caregiver at the Plover Family Practice until leaving it in 2015. He then moved to Connecticut.
At least seven women accused Calderon of sexually assaulted them during appointments. Some patients said Calderon placed his genitals in their hands and performed unwanted gynecological exams by penetrating them with his fingers.
SUGAR CAMP - Update Feb. 17, 2017 10:20 p.m. -- The woman who runs an Oneida County animal rescue could face animal mistreatment charges.
Oneida County Deputies booked Stephanie Schneider on Thursday. She is due in court on Feb. 27.
Last week, deputies removed 39 dogs from Schneider's "It Matters to One" in Sugar Camp and put them at the Oneida County Humane Society.
Police are recommending charges to the district attorney, which include failing to provide food and water, mistreating animals, and obstructing officers.
People who know Schneider say they can't believe this is happening.
"I'm just heartsick about this, and I'm sick at heart for her," said LynnAnn Thomas, a Sugar Camp resident who says she's friends with Stephanie Schneider.
"Those are her children. She would never, ever , ever mistreat them," Thomas said.
But that's exactly what police believe Schneider did. Last week they removed the dogs from the facility after a weeks-long investigation that was prompted by complaints and concerns from several people.
"People that had worked or volunteered there were concerned about the conditions that the dogs were in and the fact that they were not receiving food or water," said Oneida County Sheriff's Capt. Terri Hook.
Those accusations baffle Thomas.
"I been over there several times, it's always been meticulously clean, happy dogs," Thomas said.
Thomas believes whatever condition the dogs were in, they came to Schneider that way.
"She does get some really, really, really desperate cases, and I imagine that they take a long time to heal," Thomas said.
Thomas added she got her own dog from It Matters To One a few years ago.
"I got my little Hankey, he came in in really bad shape, and she wouldn't let me have him until he was nursed back to health," Thomas said.
Since the dogs were removed, It Matters to One posted certificates of veterinary inspections on its Facebook page for most of the 39 dogs. The Sheriff's Office has seen those and is including them in its investigation, which is ongoing and may not end soon.
"Just to ensure that all the dogs are healed and make sure they've received all the care they need," Hook said.
Newswatch 12 has reached out to It Matters to One and has been communicating with the rescue via email.
The state Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection is helping the sheriff's office with its investigation and will decide if the rescue can keep its license.
Newswatch 12 also reached out to the veterinarian who conducted the inspections for the rescue, but has not yet heard back.
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