Sponsor of sand mining bill says it needs changesSubmitted: 10/27/2013
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - The chief Senate sponsor of a bill that would weaken local control over Wisconsin's booming sand mining industry says his legislation needs work, and he doesn't expect the Senate will take it up before next year.

The bill is supported by companies that mine and process silica sand used by the oil and gas drilling industry for hydraulic fracturing.

Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1deLZV6 ) that local government officials have raised valid objections that need to be addressed. He declined to say whether the Senate mining committee, which he chairs, will vote before year's end.

The bill's prospects are also uncertain in the Assembly, where Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said last week that his chamber won't hold a vote until next spring at the earliest.

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MINOCQUA - The Minocqua Town Board always knew it would need to replace Supervisor Bryan Jennings eventually. But the Board didn't think it happen so soon.

Jennings died September 8, two days after he was struck by lightning while walking his dog.

Town Chairman Mark Hartzheim says the Town is now accepting letters of interest from anyone wanting to fill Jennings's seat.

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WAUSAU - This fall Wausau's Woodson Art Museum will bring together artists from all over the world. 

The Birds in Art exhibit gives artists an opportunity to share a piece of themselves with their audience.

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People like Dylan Schielke can help make that happen.

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WISCONSIN - This year marks the third highest bear harvest in state history.

The totals cement Wisconsin's title as the best state in the U.S. for bear harvests with 4,643 registered.

But it wasn't all good news for bear hunters. 

This year also marked the highest number of hunting dog deaths.

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EAGLE RIVER - Many of us already put out the scary decorations and pumpkins for some Halloween spirit. But if you're looking to take it up a notch, dress like a zombie and grab your running shoes this Saturday.

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RHINELANDER - We likely won't find out who Rhinelander's next police chief will be until early next year.  But the city is already working to replace Chief Mike Steffes.

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Steffes beat out 34 other candidates to win the chief job in 2007.  Police and Fire Commission President Todd McEldowney expects to see dozens of new applicants this time.

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RHINELANDER - A Marathon County man who drove to Rhinelander to meet up with a 15-year-old girl for sex told police he nearly turned around.

Instead, Dustin Zernicke pulled into the Shopko parking lot Friday night and found officers waiting for him.

The 35-year-old Zernicke made his initial appearance in Oneida County Court Monday afternoon.  Undercover officers posted an ad on Craigslist pretending to be a 15-year-old girl.  The post said "Mom sent me [to] Rhinelander for the weekend and I have nothing to do."

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