MADISON - Gogebic Taconite took another step towards mining in Northern Wisconsin. The company submitted a new application for exploratory drilling in the Penokee range.
In 2011 the DNR gave Gogebic Taconite permission to explore the region and test-drill in several sites, but the company withdrew their plans.
Now the DNR is required by law to approve or reject Gogebic's new request within 10 days. The request for exploratory drilling they submitted Wednesday is NOT to mine the area, but to check the ground for certain minerals.
Ann Coakley, the director of the DNRs Waste & Materials Management program explains: "We look at what kind of minerals will be in the water, sediments in the water and make sure that it's clean enough after running through their waste water system that it can actually be put back into the environment."
Before Gogebic Taconite can submit an application to MINE the area, they have to show how they can do it without negatively affecting the environment.
In the exploration they would pull 2-inch cores out of the ground in 13 sites. Some of those test cores come from 300 to 1,000 feet underground. They're looking to see what kind of minerals they'd have to clean up from the "waste rock" they pull out in search of the iron-rich ore.
"It's really up to the applicant to show us that they can have a mine and manage it in a way such that they won't have these negative impacts on the environment," says Coakley.
Coakley says it is possible to manage a mine effectively and safely, but each mining site is different, so each needs to be reviewed carefully.
TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk High School sporting events got an attendance boost this winter. At the same time, local charities benefited from the community's generosity.
The school's Varsity Club sponsored six nights of special events, one for each winter sport. The Varsity Club gave out T-shirts printed with team rosters. Meanwhile, fans brought donations for local charities.
"Each kid would walk in and they'd put on their T-shirt," said Varsity Club member Jackie Elliott. "When we got our student section going, they were all together, and you just had this block of white. It was awesome."
RHINELANDER - Cracked concrete, twisted rebar, and overgrown trees and bushes don't paint the most ideal picture for a park. But a Rhinelander alderman sees the perfect chance for a peaceful place to enjoy nature.
Alderman Alex Young hopes to turn an old snow dumping dock site into a "pocket park." The site sits where Norway Street runs into the Wisconsin River behind Ripco Credit Union and the DNR Service Center building.
RHINELANDER - People lived through detours, dust, and demolition throughout most of 2016 in downtown Rhinelander. Residents won't see that kind of work in 2017, but the city is planning more closures and road work to finish up the Streetscape Project.
Crews will start with the Davenport Street Bridge shutting down for a month in starting April 17. Public Works Director Tim Kingman says some sections of concrete, sidewalk, and asphalt pavement shifted, settled and cracked over the winter.
WAUSAU - A contractor fell from a ladder and died at the construction site of the new Hilton Garden Inn in Wausau last week. Now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death.
Marathon County Sheriff's Captain Dale Wisnewski said Shane J. Cash, 45, of Wisconsin Rapids was drilling holes in the ceiling on Thursday when he fell from his ladder and died on scene.
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