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NEWS STORIES

Tensions seen between mining company and state regulatorsSubmitted: 01/20/2014
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - Tensions between state regulators and a company that wants to put an open pit iron mine in northern Wisconsin could be a sign of more conflict yet to come.

Gogebic Taconite and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources got into a public dispute last week.

They argued over how much regulatory authority remains in the agency's hands.

That's after a 2013 law rolled back environmental restrictions to make mining easier.

The dispute over what is allowed and what isn't under the mining law may be a preview of what is to come when the company seeks a permit for the mine.

Company spokesman Bob Seitz says rounds and rounds of questions from an overzealous DNR have delayed the process.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)


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 IN OTHER NEWS

PORT WASHINGTON - A Wisconsin jury has convicted TV actor Dustin Diamond of two misdemeanors stemming from a barroom fight, but cleared the former "Saved by the Bell" actor of the most serious felony charge.

The jury's verdict Friday came just hours after the 38-year-old actor testified that he never intended to stab anyone in the fight last Christmas Day.

Diamond said he was trying to scare bar patrons in Port Washington after his girlfriend was punched in the face.

He had pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of recklessly endangering public safety, plus two misdemeanors carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct
.
Conviction on all three counts carried a potential sentence of up to 11 years in prison.

Diamond played the character Screech on the popular 1990s show.

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MINOCQUA - One Northwoods business gives people a bird's eye view. One year into the business venture, Northwoods Zip Line in Minocqua is happy with the business they are doing.

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ARMSTRONG CREEK - Liz Wywialowski gets a certain feeling when she comes back to her old family farm near Armstrong Creek.

"You would see me breathing deeply," she says, drawing in a lungful of oxygen. "Even now, there's nothing like clean, fresh air."

Liz grew up on this farm, and now owns the place, though she lives in southern Wisconsin. Her father built the majestic cedar-sided barn with her brothers, finishing it in 1944.

"He built this barn as if it would be the last barn he would need to build," Liz says.

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WHITE LAKE - Students in White Lake spent the day outside of the classroom learning about invasive species today. It was the 16th annual Spring Lake Day at White Lake. It's part of the year-round Adopt-A-Lake program that teaches students about waterway and environmental preservation.

"Being on White Lake and being in the Northwoods, aquatic invasive species education is extremely important," said Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator John Preuss. "And a good way to reach out to people is through our students and through our youth."

Elementary students from White Lake School learned about the different aquatic invasive species such as purple loosestrife, and Eurasian watermilfoil. They also learned how to prevent them from spreading.

"Those plants spread by fragmentation and boat traffic," said Preuss. "And just educating people so they know the right steps to take and the laws to prevent this plant from moving around. We have 15,000 lakes in Wisconsin; just a small percentage have an invasive species."

Students also learned about the spread of a tree killing bug called emerald ash bore.

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MADISON - The Legislature's budget-writing committee plans to reduce Gov. Scott Walker's proposed $300 million cut to the University of Wisconsin System by $50 million.

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Merrill police donate carSubmitted: 05/29/2015

MERRILL - A Merrill public safety center can now use a new patrol car for training. The Merrill Police Department donated one of their retired police cars to the Northcentral Technical College's Public Safety Center of Excellence. The donation marks the end of Crown Victoria police cars for the city.

"We've just retired our last Ford Crown Victoria," said Merrill Police Chief Ken Neff. "A couple of years ago, Ford stopped manufacturing the Crown Victoria as a fleet vehicle. For years we've had Crown Vics, but now we've gone to the Ford Taurus and the Ford Explorer."

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THREE LAKES - Eleven campgrounds in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest closed this year after the U.S. Forest Service reduced its funding and services.

The cuts happened because fewer people have been visiting the campgrounds in the last few years, but the Three Lakes Town Board will pay to keep one of its grounds open for the 2015 season.

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