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GOP says mining changes protect environment betterSubmitted: 02/04/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

GOP says mining changes protect environment better
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.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/16/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll update you on a fire at Dolhun Field in Lake Tomahawk last night that required eight different fire departments and destroyed a storage hangar.

We talk to a council member of a Merrill church about their pastor who was seriously injured in a semi-truck/pickup truck accident on Highway 8 near Rhinelander Friday afternoon, and we'll update you on the pastor's condition.

And the Town of Presque Isle is now grooming their cross country ski trails that they hope will bring more people into town.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MERRILL - Pastor James Weiland of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church remains in critical condition after a crash with a semi-truck on Friday afternoon, near Rhinelander.

After the crash, medics took Pastor Weiland in an ambulance and later flew him to Aspirus Hospital in Wausau, where he is now.

The Pastor's truck and the semi crashed a few miles west of Rhinelander on Highway 8. The semi-truck driver wasn't injured.

Weiland has lead the congregation at Christ Evangelical for more than 20 years and is a large part of the entire Northwoods community. 

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PRESQUE ISLE - The Town of Presque Isle dubs itself "Wisconsin's Last Wilderness."

One of the best places to enjoy the outdoors is at the Catherine Wolter Wilderness Area owned by the Nature Conservancy. 

Thanks to the town, it's now more accessible to people who enjoy silent sports in the winter.

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MERRILL - Lincoln County Sheriff Jeff Jaeger will retire.

Jaeger announced Thursday morning he will not run for re-election, and will step down at the end of this year.

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VILAS COUNTY - All but 11 counties in Wisconsin filed a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies for contributing to the opioid crisis.

The lawsuit says certain companies use "deceptive marking" and have "created a false perception of the safety of opioids."

Vilas County is one of the 11 that hasn't joined yet. 

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Oneida County loggers saw a spike in sales this past year.

Local loggers say that record came as a surprise.

Enterprise Forest Products owner Dennis Schoeneck has been logging for more than 40 years.

"I've been through a lot of ups and downs," said Schoeneck.

One of those downs happened to be last year.
"It rained. It rained so much. [There was] so much rain we couldn't get a break," said Schoeneck.

But to Dennis's surprise, Oneida County broke a two-year-old timber sales record in 2017.

"We're just trying to do the best we can," said Schoeneck.

Oneida County Forestry Director John Bilogan says the record was half a million dollars more than their average annual sales.

"We brought in $1,925,000 worth of timber revenue," said Bilogan.

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - A fire in Lake Tomahawk's Dolhun Field Monday night left a storage hangar destroyed. About eight different fire departments worked for hours to put out the flames.

Lake Tomahawk Fire Chief Doug Rehm says the department was called to the fire just before 8 p.m.

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