Dozens Travel South to Speak on MiningSubmitted: 01/23/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

Dozens Travel South to Speak on Mining
MADISON - Dozens of Northwoods people made the long trip to Madison Wednesday to speak before lawmakers on the newest mining bill.

It was the first day of testimony in the Capitol on a bill that Republicans proposed last week.

The Senate and Assembly committees in charge of mining heard stories at the same time.

The bill would streamline the permitting process for mining companies.

Many came on buses to speak for and against the mining bill.

"We are not going to stand by and let this happen without a fight. We don't fight with our hands nowadays, or bows and arrows. We fight with words in court. You will be faced with litigation until day's end. I can guarantee you that," testified Brooks BigJohn of the Lac du Flambeau Tribe.

"If we get ten more jobs, it's better than what we have now. I've had to sit across the table over the last nine years and tell about 25 people they don't have jobs anymore. So, I think a chance at it is better than no chance," countered Chris Patritto, the Hurley Schools Superintendent.

Gogebic Taconite also testified at the hearing.

A year ago, they pulled plans to mine iron ore in Ashland and Iron Counties after the last mining bill failed.

Wednesday, they said they would reinstate those plans if the new bill passed.

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MADISON (AP) - An environmental organization and the U.S. Forest Service are working together to harvest timber in northern Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that the 2014 Farm Bill has allowed the two groups to enter into a stewardship agreement. The conservancy will hire loggers, sell timber and use the proceeds for projects the Forest Service can't afford to do.

The conservancy plans to use some money to restore Simpson Creek by rerouting the channel and exposing the gravel floor that fish need to spawn. The group also plans to rebuild a handicap accessible boardwalk on the Oconto River and will use funds to restore habitat for the endangered Kirtland's warbler.

Forest Supervisor Paul Strong says the Forest Service's budget has been stretched by efforts to fight wildfire that have become more frequent and more intense.

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WAUSAU - Seven of the Democratic gubernatorial candidates participated in a public forum this weekend. Citizen Action of Wisconsin held the event at the Wausau Labor Temple.

Citizen Action is a statewide grassroots organization. Dozens of people came out to hear the candidates' opinions on many topics including prison reform. health care, and rural broadband.

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CLARK COUNTY - David Farris has been found safe according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice. 

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TOMAHAWK - A popular Tomahawk event welcomed a sold out crowd over the weekend.
350 people attended the 15th annual Taste of Tomahawk.
Local restaurants, breweries and wineries displayed the best they had to offer at the Inshallah Country Club.
Organizer Jesica said the event successfully shows what Tomahawk has to offer.
"We want to feature the region and all the wonderful things we have to offer. So we hope we get a lot of folks to come to Taste of Tomahawk, that maybe don't visit us other times of year. We can really show them what Tomahawk's all about," said Jesica.

Some vendors used the event as an opportunity to show products and flavors people may not be familiar with.
The Silver Birch Supper Club has attended Taste of Tomahawk since the beginning.
"[It's great] seeing it grow, from just starting out to seeing what it is today. The costumes are great. Great costumes for St. Patty's Day," said Silver Birch Supper Club General Manager Chris Copiskey,

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MADISON (AP) - Wisconsin voters will decide April 3 whether to eliminate the office of state treasurer.

The little-known position dates to territorial days, but Republicans say it's outlived its usefulness. The office has already been stripped of most of its duties over the past decade.

But it has defenders, who say it's an essential check on executive power. They argue it should have powers restored so it can function as a strong independent watchdog.

Attempts to remove the office have been voted on in the Legislature for decades, but it's never gotten enough support to go to voters until now.

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RHINELANDER - A New York based dance company brought their talent to Northern Wisconsin.
The Equus Projects performed at ArtStart in Rhinelander Sunday.
ArtStart Program Director Ashley McLaughlin was excited to bring art the community usually doesn't get to see
She also wanted to bring new talent to the area.

The group doesn't perform traditional choreography.
"[I's] improvisation of dance so they're reacting off of each other. [Their] acting off the spot. Very little is choreographed. So that goes to the whole emotion of the group," said McLaughlin.
ArtStart collaborated with the Ware House in Eagle River.
The Equus Projects will participate in dance classes at ArtStart all week.

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RHINELANDER - Some members of the Hyms and Hyrs singing group have shared a stage together for more than 30 years.
However, they almost had to stop when one of their key members passed away.
"When it all works really well, nothing can top it," said Hyms and Hyrs singer Corky.
The 25 members of the Hyms and Hyrs singing group are used to hitting the right rhythm together.

"We have a lot of fun," said Hyms and Hyrs singer Jim Priovolos.
However, when the group's director and founder of the group died, they thought they would have to put their beats on hold.
"We were wondering where we were going to end up with that," said Hyms and Hyrs singer Ken.
Just a few months before their talent showcase at Nicolet College Sunday, Priovolos stepped in.
"I feel very honored to be conducting them," said Priovolos.
Priovolos got the group to pick up exactly where they left off.
"He's kept us going," said Ken.

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