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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

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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
Sex offender charged for allegedly making booklet filled with photos of young girlsSubmitted: 10/29/2014

MINOCQUA - A Rhinelander sex offender could go back to prison.

Albert Chagnon allegedly made a booklet filled with photos of young Northwoods girls while he was still in prison in Oshkosh.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office had a community meeting Wednesday. Parents at the meeting were given details about the booklet.

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Candidates spar over Ebola, mining, minimum wage and other national topics during debateSubmitted: 10/29/2014

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WAUSAU - Candidates for the 7th Congressional District debated over topics like mining, jobs, Ebola, healthcare, and other issues in Wausau Wednesday night.

Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wisconsin) and Kelly Westlund (D-Ashland) are running for the 7th Congressional District seat. The district covers part of 20 counties across northern Wisconsin.

The area lags behind the rest of the state economically. That was one of the reasons mining was a topic of focus. The Gogebic Taconite project would involve a four mile open pit mine in Iron and Ashland County. The project could mean more than 600 jobs with other secondary jobs connected to the mine.

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Wisconsin study to probe farm kids' allergiesSubmitted: 10/29/2014

MARSHFIELD, WI - Marshfield Clinic researchers are enrolling pregnant Wisconsin farmers in a study of children's allergies and asthma.

News-Herald Media reports (http://mnhne.ws/1FSghvR ) the clinic's National Farm Medicine Center plans to enroll about 100 expectant mothers who live on farms and 100 non-farm women. The center will work with the University of Wisconsin's asthma and allergy research center to track kids' development of allergies and respiratory infections for two years, starting before the babies are born.

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Boy Scouts receive a big donationSubmitted: 10/29/2014

WESTON - A big donation will help scouts in central and northern Wisconsin.

A man who went to a scouting camp in Rhinelander wants to help send more kids to camp.

The Samoset Boy Scout Council announced the $3 million donation Tuesday. It was made by Chicago real estate executive and former scout Albert Hanna.

The money will help send under-served kids to summer camp.

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Professional cartoonist paints Hodag mural Submitted: 10/29/2014

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's beloved Hodag will come to life thanks to a local cartoonist this week.

Thomas Barnett is painting the mural inside the Northwoods Community Elementary School.

"Mr. Losch, the principal, showed me this penciled Hodag that they had on the wall for years that no one ever did anything with. He had heard that I was an artist and asked if I'd be interested in coming in one of these days and doing something on the wall," said cartoonist Thomas Barnett.

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Rapture Education Group hosts Halloween eventSubmitted: 10/29/2014

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ANTIGO - The Rapture Education Group will give a special presentation on owls on Halloween (Friday). The meeting will be geared for children and adults. Live owls will be at the event and three of them will be released in the wild at the end of the meeting.

"We get all the species you can find in Wisconsin, they come in for rehab," said Director of Education Abbey Krumrie. "We get a lot of baby owls in during the spring and we have foster parents that help take care of them.
So that's what we have to release on Halloween."

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Police search for man who shot at off-duty officerSubmitted: 10/29/2014

MILWAUKEE - Police are looking for the gunman who fire shots at an off-duty officer in Milwaukee.

Authorities say the 52-year-old University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee officer witnessed a traffic accident Tuesday about 5:30 p.m. and following the striking vehicle which had left the scene. At one point the male suspect got out of his car and showed a handgun.

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