NEWS STORIES

Assembly to take up mining bill next ThursdaySubmitted: 02/28/2013
Story By The Associated Press

MADISON - The state Assembly plans to take up Republicans' contentious mining bill on March 7.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, a Burlington Republican, told reporters during a news conference Thursday GOP leaders expect to begin debate that morning and spend most of the day on the bill.

Republicans control the chamber, making passage all but certain. Approval would send the bill on to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature. The Senate narrowly passed the bill after a nearly nine-hour debate Wednesday evening.

The bill is designed to clear the regulatory path for a huge open-pit iron mine just south of Lake Superior.

Republicans say the mine would create hundreds of jobs for the economically depressed region. Democrats and conservationists maintain the bill will relax environmental protections and lead to devastating pollution.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - A Republican lawmaker has reintroduced a bill that would outlaw using GPS to secretly track someone.

Under Rep. Adam Neylon's bill, anyone who secretly placing a GPS device on another person's vehicle would be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to nine months in jail and $10,000 in fines.

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NEW YORK - More than 2 million Toyota, Chrysler and Honda vehicles are being recalled for a second fix for faulty air bags that may inadvertently inflate while the car is running.

The recall includes some Acura MDX, Dodge Viper, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Honda Odyssey, Pontiac Vibe, Toyota Corolla and Toyota Avalon models made from 2002 to 2004.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says all the vehicles covered in Saturday's announcement had already been under a recall for the faulty air bags, but the carmakers' original attempts to fix the defects only worked about 85 percent of the time.

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NORTHWOODS - The U.S. Forest Service will hire thousands of temporary workers this spring. Leaders at the Chequamegon Nicolet Forest Service want to hire more than 50 temporary employees to work during summer. They're looking for people with diverse backgrounds and plenty of experience.

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MADISON - A team of students from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, is conducting research on foxes and coyotes in hopes of learning how the animals and humans can peacefully coexist.

Forest and wildlife associate professor David Drake and his students are humanely trapping the animals, running tests, then fitting them with tracking devices. The goal is to learn about traveling patterns, diseases the animals might have, and how they interact with other animals and humans.

Drake says foxes and coyotes are moving into areas where people are living. And if that continues, and the animals lose their fear of humans, they could become aggressive in extreme cases.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says residents should stay a safe distance from foxes or coyotes, and shouldn't feed them.

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HUDSON - A standoff between police and a man in Hudson has ended with the man taken into custody.

Hudson Police Chief Marty Jensen says a man with a "known history of violence" was arrested shortly before 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Police were initially called to the house at 3 a.m. Jensen says the man had trashed his ex-girlfriend's home and phone, but she was able to get to a friend's house and call police.

The woman told police there was a handgun in the house. Roughly eight nearby homes were evacuated as police and the SWAT team tried to get the man to come outside.

Jensen says no shots were fired, but authorities used tear gas and other chemicals during the standoff.

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ST. GERMAIN - Bikinis and snowmobiles don't typically mix. Except, when you're at the St. Germain Bikini Run.

The event draws a huge crowd every year and it raised thousands of dollars for charity.

"We started with six girls and maybe $8000 seven years ago. Now, we're up to 33 girls today and more than $50,000," says Mark Hiller, the St. Germain Radar Run race director. "Every year it just grows, and grows."

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WAUSAU - Enrollment for health coverage will end soon. That's why healthcare providers participated in "Super Saturday".

Bridge Clinic in Wausau welcomed people to sign up for health insurance options Saturday.

The Open Enrollment deadline is February 15th. If you don't sign up before then, it could cost you $325 or more depending on your income.

"We recommend just make an informed choice. Don't just let it lapse and get the penalty, be surprised with a penalty later on. Come in, make an informed choice. There are health care options," said Bridge Community Health Clinic Executive Director Laura Scudiere.

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