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NEWS STORIES

Local Leaders React to Mining Permit ApplicationSubmitted: 05/10/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

RHINELANDER - Gogebic Taconite applied for an exploratory permit yesterday. The Wisconsin legislature decided in March the DNR has ten business days to approve exploration permits.

If the DNR approves the application, Gogebic will later still have to get federal approval to mine in the area. That's because it would affect federal wetlands.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says that permit process could take up to four years.

We spoke with Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Chairman Mike Wiggins today. The tribe doesn't want iron ore mining in the area.

Chairman Wiggins says the tribe is exploring legal options, and they intend to keep trying to protect their home and the water.

Senator Tom Tiffany says he expects G-Tac to get the permit.

"So this is the first step in getting the permits necessary to be able to mine. The company would start drilling almost immediately, and they would bring in drill rigs to do that. They have to go deep into the ore body hundreds of feet down," says Sen. Tiffany.

Senator Tiffany says G-Tac would need to employ dozens, if not hundreds of people for that sampling part of the process.



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 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - A Milwaukee Public TV program came to Rhinelander last summer to profile the city.

Around the Corner with John McGivern will premier its episode on Rhinelander this week, but Rhinelander community members got the chance to see the episode before it airs.

Wisconsin Public Television hosted a premiere event Saturday night.

The show featured area businesses like Expera, Ponsse, and Foster and Smith.

It also showcased the community.

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MERRILL - That's why she organized a spring craft and vendor show in Merrill. The show was Saturday at Les and Jim's Lincoln Lanes.

About 45 vendors came for the event.

Event organizer Laura Bares became interested in craft shows through another skillset.

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RHINELANDER - It gave people of all ages a community focused event to enjoy.

It's something ArtStart hopes to do after each opening event. It also hopes to mix in different themes for the receptions.

"In the past we've always had earlier receptions and this year we thought we'd try something different and have after parties with dancing and open bar, and hopefully attract maybe a little younger crowd," said Organizer Melinda Childs.

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TOMAH - Air Force veteran Jason Bishop says he has struggled in vain to find chronic pain relief at several Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals, including one in Tomah.

Bishop says the VA hospitals have offered him treatment, including prescriptions for narcotics, but few long-term solutions.

Bishop was one of thousands of veterans to receive the narcotic as well as a prescription for a benzodiazepine, a class of psychoactive drugs that act as a tranquilizer. Experts say combining the two raises risk of injury and death.

The Tomah hospital is at the center of multiple probes after reports of narcotic overprescribing practices and retaliatory behavior surfaced in January, allegations already affirmed by a preliminary report. U.S. House and Senate committees are to hold a joint field hearing Monday in Tomah.

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BAYFIELD COUNTY - Authorities have recovered the body of a missing 77-year-old fisherman from a lake in northern Wisconsin.

Bayfield County authorities say Louis Bickel of Mason had gone ice fishing on Perch Lake in the Town of Drummond on Saturday. His wife reported that night that he had not returned home.

Deputies arrived to find Bickel's vehicle as well as a hole in the ice about 50 yards off shore with some ice fishing equipment in and near the hole.

Due to unsafe ice, the search was postponed until Sunday morning. Bickel's body was discovered in about 18 feet of water at 10 a.m.

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TOMAHAWK - It might not even feel like spring outside yet, but some people at Treehaven in Tomahawk spent Saturday preparing for the day they can start fishing again.

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WOOD COUNTY - A two-car crash in Wood County hurt six people Saturday afternoon.

The crash happened at the intersection of County Highways B and X in the township of Wood.

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