MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker signed the mining bill aimed at encouraging construction of an iron mine in northern Wisconsin. But there's still uncertainty about the future of mining in the state. And looking to neighboring states for perspective doesn't clear things up very much.
The mining industries in Minnesota and Michigan have had ups and downs over the past few years. This is due to fluctuating demand and economic uncertainty. Some mining-related jobs have disappeared, and others require a surprising level of high-tech skills.
The job outlook in Wisconsin, as well as the necessary skill set, remain to be seen. And Wisconsin mining opponents have pledged a legal fight, further complicating the picture.
One of those legal fights might soon become official. The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has is fundraising for a possible lawsuit. It would challenge the iron mine near the reservation.
It has set up a link on the tribe's website that allows visitors to donate directly to the tribe.
Gogebic Taconite wants to dig an open-pit mine just south of the tribe's Ashland County reservation.
Tribal members fear pollution from the mine will contaminate their water and wild rice sloughs.
MADISON - The Wisconsin Senate has unanimously approved an $80 million juvenile justice overhaul plan that would close the troubled Lincoln Hills prison by 2021 and replace it with smaller regional facilities.
The Senate voted without any debate Tuesday to pass the plan, which largely mirrors what the Assembly unanimously approved last month.
RHINELANDER - Looking back on his 28 years as airport director, Joe Brauer says he has a lot to be proud of.
"When we got the disabled passenger lift, the non-motorized one, we were very, very proud of that," said Brauer, who's worked as the airport director for 28 years. He's also been in the airline business for 20 years.
Now, the longtime Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport director will be passing things off to a familiar face.
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