MADISON - Wisconsin's legislative Republicans said they wanted to work with Democrats in writing the newest mining bill.
Monday, they said they've compromised on many big concerns from Democrats.
GOP leaders in both the Senate and Assembly introduced amendments to the propsed mining bill.
They're confident the changes will strengthen environmental protections even more.
"Two things have to be preserved. One is Wisconsin's high environmental standards, regulations, and limitations. This is a work that's been ongoing for decades here in Wisconsin. We're very proud of our environmental heritage here in the state. But also that there be certainty for an applicant, that they're going to get an answer," said Hazelhurst Republican Sen. Tom Tiffany.
One major change forces the state DNR to communicate with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The Corps had voiced concerns about the quickened permitting timeline proposed in the bill.
Democratic Senator Tim Cullen introduced his own mining legislation last week.
He said Monday that the Republican changes made the proposal slightly better, but there was a long way to go.
The new amendments will be officially introduced and voted on Wednesday.
WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling received a record number of phone calls to the helpline in 2014â€"14,731 to be exact. This is a 5.6 percent increase from calls received in 2013.
Some of the callers reported having to file for bankruptcy or having thoughts of suicide. The report from the Council also calculated $47,000 as the average gambling debt of callers in 2014, and $20,000 as the median debt.
VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County finally got what it wanted. For fifteen years, the county had needed someone to act as a full-time Recreational Officer--someone to monitor public safety on the snowmobile and ATV trails as well as the lakes and rivers. Now, Vilas County Deputy Sheriff Randy Schneider will fill that role.
PHILLIPS - The Price County Sheriff's Office wants to find out what it needs to do to get a K-9 officer. Sheriff Brian Schmidt believes a new dog would improve the office's ability to find drugs.
The county doesn't have its own K-9 officer. However, they do turn to other departments for help.
"What we would utilize is surrounding counties, and it is at their discretion," Schmidt said. "Like Rhinelander, we utilize their dog on occasion, maybe once or twice a year. But again, it is their dog, so they have their needs come first. So if we have our own equipment, our needs are met with our equipment."
VILAS COUNTY - Many snowmobile trails in Eagle River still need more grooming after all three trail groomers went out of service. The trails didn't get groomed for four days last week because all three of the Sno-Eagles Snowmobile Club's trail groomers need repairs.
The club hasn't had all of their groomers working for a couple of weeks. Sno-Eagles President Ken Storms said the trails took a big hit last week when all three went down. The club says it has made a concerted effort to catch up with trail grooming, and get the trails smoothed out.
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