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NEWS STORIES

Joint Finance Committee approves mining legislation, Democrats expect court dates in the futureSubmitted: 02/25/2013
Story By Lane Kimble


MADISON - Lawmakers took another step toward making it easier to mine in Wisconsin.

The state's Joint Finance Committee passed the new Republican mining bill on a 12 to 4 vote Monday afternoon. The bill now moves to both the full state Senate and Assembly.

The GOP's bill is mainly designed to make it easier for a mining company to open a large mine. It would be on the border of Ashland and Iron Counties.

Democrats think the bill's language doesn't do enough to protect the environment.

But Ashland Representative Janet Bewley thinks the progress can be slowed in the courts.

"There are so many things in the bill that are ambiguous that will end up in court," Rep. Janet Bewley said. "I don't want to say I'm grateful to (Republicans) for writing such a sloppy bill, but the bill is written in such a form that there are many opportunities for it to end up in court."

Republicans don't think they're rushing anything. Hazelhurst Senator Tom Tiffany points to numerous changes from the first bill to this version.

He hopes it doesn't end up in the courts.

"We passed 11 amendments out of our Senate committee about two weeks ago," Sen. Tiffany said. "We've really, thoroughly vetted this bill. Will there be lawsuits, as Representative Bewley hopes? Perhaps, because some people will sue over anything in modern society. But this is really a good bill that protects the environment, while giving certainty to an applicant."

The mining bill will likely pass because Republicans control both the Senate and Assembly. Senator Tiffany thinks the Senate will take up the bill Wednesday.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Plan could help developmentally disabled get jobsSubmitted: 08/23/2014

MILWAUKEE - A federal ruling aims to help find jobs for people with developmental disabilities, but some Wisconsin families worry about how it will be implemented.

The decision says people with cognitive disabilities should be given every chance to work and live in integrated settings, where they're surrounded by non-disabled people as much as possible.

That could mean the end of ``sheltered workshops,'' where they work away from non disabled workers, often because they feel safer and less anxious.

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Eau Claire police investigating death after chaseSubmitted: 08/23/2014

EAU CLAIRE - What started out as an erratic driver call for police in western Wisconsin has turned into a death investigation.

Police arrested 61-year-old man at his Eau Claire home after a high speed chase Friday that started in Bloomer.

Officers talked to neighbors who heard a loud sound that evening and that an adult woman also lived in the residence. Police later found a woman dead in the home.

A forensic autopsy is being performed to discover the cause and manner of the woman's death.

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More reports of large fishing spider in WisconsinSubmitted: 08/23/2014

GREEN BAY - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is receiving more sighting reports of the large fishing spider.

Linda Williams of the DNR says that while two or three fishing spider sightings annually are typical in the region, she has received 10 reports this year and has personally seen four spiders herself.

They are found around rivers, streams or lakes, but frequently drift elsewhere to find food or lay eggs.

The spider can reach three inches in size but isn't harmful to humans. It's known for being aggressive enough hunt small fish or tadpoles.

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Price county man is found guilty of killing his wifeSubmitted: 08/22/2014

PRICE COUNTY - A judge found William Rambo guilty Friday of stabbing his wife to death in Park Falls last August.

Rambo asked for an Alford plea. That has the same legal effect as a guilty plea.

Prosecutors think Rambo threatened to stab his wife in early August 2013. They say he did that later that month.

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"I had a feeling something wasn't right": a conversation with 12-year-old crash victim Reighlee Stevenson's motherSubmitted: 08/22/2014

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OSHKOSH - "There is a picture somewhere where it's our last picture," Kristi Colley says as we look through boards of photos of her daughter. "Right here. On our way up to Wausau."

Twelve-year-old Reighlee Stevenson never made it home to Oshkosh from Wausau.

"Is it difficult for you to talk about her in the past tense?" I ask her.

"Yes. Very much. Yeah," she says slowly.

Kristi, a Rhinelander native, is Reighlee's mother.

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Court releases more documents in Gov. Walker probeSubmitted: 08/22/2014

MADISON - A federal appeals court has released more than 1,300 pages linked to a secret investigation into whether Gov. Scott Walker's recall campaign illegally coordinated with conservative groups.

One of the groups, the Wisconsin Club for Growth, had filed a lawsuit to block the probe. A federal judge halted the investigation in May.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals is reviewing that decision. That court released 266 pages of documents in June revealing the nature of the investigation.

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College prepares new students for school yearSubmitted: 08/22/2014

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RHINELANDER - Students at Nicolet College in Rhinelander go back to school on Monday.

For some, it's their first day at college.

The college reaches out to new students before their first day.

Leaders want to make sure they're prepared.

"They've received information about how to be successful in college, information about financial aid, information about test taking and other success strategies," says Dean of Students Kate Ferrel. "Every time we communicate with them we also let them know that we're available to chat."

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