State Republicans Unveil Newest Mining ProposalSubmitted: 01/16/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

State Republicans Unveil Newest Mining Proposal
MADISON - We expected Wisconsin Republicans to put forward a new mining bill soon after Governor Walker emphasized it in Tuesday night's State of the State.

Most of us didn't expect it so quickly.

Just about 12 hours after Walker's speech ended, Republicans introduced a new mining bill.

It looks a lot like last session's version that failed by one vote in the Senate.

They say it could create thousands of jobs without hurting the environment.

"This is a real opportunity here in the State of Wisconsin for us to have a resurgence in manufacturing. We've always been a great manufacturing state. We make things. This gives us an opportunity to rejuvenate manufacturing here in the state of Wisconsin," said Sen. Tom Tiffany, (R) Hazelhurst.

Democratic Representative Janet Bewley covers the district where the Gogebic Taconite mine was proposed last year.

She feels Democrats were left out of the bill-writing process.

She hopes people in northern Wisconsin won't be left out of the public input process.

"One of the most important things we have to have is a hearing in the North. Not near the North. Not the quasi-North in Wausau. The real North, Ashland and Iron Counties where the mine exists," said Rep. Janet Bewley, (D) Ashland.

Republicans say the bill would give a more concrete timeline to companies applying for a mining permit.

The DNR would have up to 480 days to approve it.

The GOP hopes if the bill passes, it could convince the Gogebic company to come back to the state.

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WOODRUFF - Downtown Rhinelander turned into a sea of green on Saturday.

The St. Patrick's Day Parade brought in hundreds down to Brown Street.

Green beer, good food and great music made for a perfect St. Patrick's Day.

While most people wore their green clothes proudly, Mike Lamarre from Suring Wisconsin didn't get the memo.

"My eyes are green that's it," said Lamarre.

Lamarre came to Rhinelander with one thing on his to do list.

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FOREST COUNTY - A DNR technician went to check on timber sales in Forest County on Thursday. In between checks he found what he thought was an abandoned car in the woods. It turned out to be a woman stuck in the snow for a few days.

Jason Headson and his partner Sam were out checking on timber when they saw a parked vehicle.

"We noticed some movement in the car," said Headson.

They approached the small, grey sedan, which had its hood up. Then they discovered an elderly woman in the car.

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THREE LAKES - A Three lakes Special Education Director started a program with a dream and $500. She hoped a coffee shop would teach students social and life skills but what came out of it went far beyond her expectations.
"My philosophy is dream to inspire," said Three Lakes Special Education Director Deb Straus.
Twenty- three years ago Straus dreamed of creating life experiences for her students.
"Everyone has something to offer to this world that we live in," said Straus.

With a $500 grant Straus made her dream come true with an in-school Coffee House.
"This is like my safe place," said Three Lakes sophomore Christinia Kubiak.
The baristas and bakers are pretty recognizable to Three Lakes teachers and students.
"It's been fun getting things set up in the morning," said Three Lakes sophomore Rain Maves.
Some of the students have worked at the weekly Coffee House before class for years.

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ARBOR VITAE - Hospice workers help people in their finals days. 

It's a hard job that sometimes goes unnoticed.

That's why co-workers and community members took the time Friday to honor one social work at Dr. Kate Hospice in Arbor Vitae.

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EAGLE RIVER - We communicate everyday through cell phones, texting, and social media.

But a group of students in Eagle River goes old-school with their devices.

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RHINELANDER - Billboards popped up in several places around Wisconsin this week calling Rebecca Dallet "Double-Talk Dallet."

The Republican Party of Wisconsin, which paid for the ads, points to the Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate accepting money for her campaign from attorneys who have cases she presides over.

Dallet told Newswatch 12 during a Friday morning stop in Rhinelander that her opponent, Michael Screnock, took hundreds of thousands of dollars from special interest groups.

The current Milwaukee County circuit judge thinks the state supreme court needs to be fair and independent.

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WAUSAU - Ashley Sampson and Dan Dadabo opened a business that's new to Central Wisconsin.

"You get a lot of people waving at you and taking a look at it because they've never seen anything like it before," said Dadabo. 

"I've always seen it in other big cities like Minneapolis and Madison but always wanted to try it and it's a lot of fun," said Wausau Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Cheryl Anderson. 

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