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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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SHAWANO - Health workers want to stop the spread of an infectious disease in the Shawano area.

The Shawano-Menominee County Health Department is investigating an outbreak of a disease called  shigella.

The disease causes flu-like symptoms.

It's been connected to several day care centers in Shawano and Hillcrest Primary School.

Health officers say shigella is very contagious.

Those who become ill should stay home to avoid spreading it.

The disease usually lasts five to seven days.

Washing hands and other hygiene measures can help stop its spread.

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PRICE COUNTY - The Price County Sheriff's Office says that 76-year-old Lola Schmidt died after a truck vs. train crash on Saturday.

The crash happened at the intersection of County Road D and the Canadian National Railroad tracks in the town of Knox.

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VILAS COUNTY - A Lac du Flambeau woman accused of stealing more than $100,000 from a Vilas County contracting company took a plea deal Monday.

49-year-old Samantha Chapman pled guilty to felony theft, fraudulent writings, and tax fraud.

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PHILLIPS - Having just finished her sophomore year in high school, Park Falls' Allison Michels can barely drive a car legally. But even at a young age, she, like many high schoolers in Price County, is already taking college-level classes at Northcentral Technical College.

Michels is taking advantage of a summer Certified Nursing Assistant class at NTC's Phillips campus.

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WASHINGTON - The United States Supreme Court Tuesday formally rejected an appeal from Wisconsin which sought to put restrictions doctors working at abortion clinics.

The Justices on Tuesday refused to hear appeals from both Wisconsin and Mississippi.

They involved laws that would have required doctors who perform abortions at clinics to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

The orders follow Monday's decision in which the court struck down a similar provision in Texas.

Federal appeals courts in Chicago and New Orleans earlier ruled against the states.

Mississippi's law would have closed the lone abortion clinic in the state, in Jackson.

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PHILLIPS, TRIPOLI - Heavy rains dumped three or more inches of rain on parts of Price and Lincoln counties over the weekend.

The precipitation has left farmers in the area watchful as to how it will impact their crops.

"The low spots are going to continue to be wet," said Jeremy Pesko, a farm partner at United Pride Dairy in Phillips.

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Deputies in Vilas County needs help finding a suspect that broke into a local business recently, according to the Vilas County Sheriff's Office.

The suspect triggered an alarm at the Little Creek Coffee Company in Arbor Vitae on June 22.

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