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.
RHINELANDER - Thursday Rhinelander turned into the city of lights. The Light of the Northwoods kicked off its drive-through light show at Hodag Park today. "We never got to do anything like this when I was a kid," said volunteer Corey Passmore. However, Passmore's son will get the chance to experience a Christmas in a way his father was never able to. "As far as I can think back we've never had anything like this in Rhinelander," said Passmore. Months of preparation, hundreds of hours setting up, and more than a dozen creative minds helped create magic in Rhinelander. "Symbolizes an opportunity for community to come together," said YMCA of the Northwoods CEO Ryan Zietlow.
RHINELANDER - It costs nearly $240,000 to run Rhinelander's homeless shelter every year.
Frederick Place got an extra boost this month to help cover those costs with two grants totaling $8,000.
"With our just shy of $240,000 annual operating budget, we typically only get $40,000 from the state and federal government. So we are raising that $200,000 every single year," said NATH Executive Director Tammy Modic.
IRMA - Until Thursday, we never got an inside look at Lincoln Hills School and Youth Prison. We have heard from Lincoln Hills line staff and the Department of Corrections, but never were able to see the facility.
Thursday the DOC held a guided media tour of the school and living units. Newswatch12's Rose McBride has been following the stories that come out of Lincoln Hills for months now, and she went on that media tour.
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