RHINELANDER - The Gogebic Taconite company hired armed to protect land they want to mine in Ashland and Iron Counties.
Two Democratic lawmakers think that's a huge overreach.
But it sounds like Wisconsin's Lieutenant Governor supports the idea.
Gogebic Taconite says they hired the guards because of protests over the mining project.
A spokesman says teams of mining opponents, "violently attacked" the company's drill site last month.
Now, Democratic Senator Bob Jauch and Representative Janet Bewley call the company's choice to hire the high security guards "appalling."
They want the guards removed immediately.
Republican Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch was in Rhinelander Tuesday for a small business roundtable.
I asked her if Jauch and Bewley's request was reasonable.
"Well, I think we have a duty to make sure that those folks who are working to better that double-digit unemployment rate that we talk so much about are safe," she said.
There's no indication Gogebic Taconite will remove the guards any time soon.
The Lieutenant Governor's main mission in Rhinelander was meeting with people involved in small business.
She talked about the challenge of keeping up the workforce in the Northwoods.
"We don't have, nearby, very large city centers. You're looking at attracting a generation of millenials to an atypical location for millenials. That's a challenge we're going to have to overcome," she said.
About two dozen business and community leaders met with Kleefisch.
PHILLIPS - The Price County Sheriff's Office wants to find out what it needs to do to get a K-9 officer. Sheriff Brian Schmidt believes a new dog would improve the office's ability to find drugs.
The county doesn't have its own K-9 officer. However, they do turn to other departments for help.
"What we would utilize is surrounding counties, and it is at their discretion," Schmidt said. "Like Rhinelander, we utilize their dog on occasion, maybe once or twice a year. But again, it is their dog, so they have their needs come first. So if we have our own equipment, our needs are met with our equipment."
WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling received a record number of phone calls to the helpline in 2014â€"14,731 to be exact. This is a 5.6 percent increase from calls received in 2013.
Some of the callers reported having to file for bankruptcy or having thoughts of suicide. The report from the Council also calculated $47,000 as the average gambling debt of callers in 2014, and $20,000 as the median debt.
VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County finally got what it wanted. For fifteen years, the county had needed someone to act as a full-time Recreational Officer--someone to monitor public safety on the snowmobile and ATV trails as well as the lakes and rivers. Now, Vilas County Deputy Sheriff Randy Schneider will fill that role.
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