MADISON - We expected Wisconsin Republicans to put forward a new mining bill soon after Governor Walker emphasized it in Tuesday night's State of the State.
Most of us didn't expect it so quickly.
Just about 12 hours after Walker's speech ended, Republicans introduced a new mining bill.
It looks a lot like last session's version that failed by one vote in the Senate.
They say it could create thousands of jobs without hurting the environment.
"This is a real opportunity here in the State of Wisconsin for us to have a resurgence in manufacturing. We've always been a great manufacturing state. We make things. This gives us an opportunity to rejuvenate manufacturing here in the state of Wisconsin," said Sen. Tom Tiffany, (R) Hazelhurst.
Democratic Representative Janet Bewley covers the district where the Gogebic Taconite mine was proposed last year.
She feels Democrats were left out of the bill-writing process.
She hopes people in northern Wisconsin won't be left out of the public input process.
"One of the most important things we have to have is a hearing in the North. Not near the North. Not the quasi-North in Wausau. The real North, Ashland and Iron Counties where the mine exists," said Rep. Janet Bewley, (D) Ashland.
Republicans say the bill would give a more concrete timeline to companies applying for a mining permit.
The DNR would have up to 480 days to approve it.
The GOP hopes if the bill passes, it could convince the Gogebic company to come back to the state.
RHINELANDER - For better or worse, drivers in Rhinelander will get an extra week to use the Davenport Street bridge. The city's contractor for its downtown reconstruction project delayed closing the bridge for repairs to May 8th.
Crews first planned to close the bridge in mid-April, then pushed that back to May 1 due to weather. Now, weather has further delaying the month-long repairs to the concrete decking.
This is part of a larger project to finish up the downtown reconstruction, which began in March 2016. The city reconstructed 21 blocks, replacing underground utilities and modernizing the downtown area.
MINOCQUA - Police officers often meet people on their worst days: after a death, crime, or other bad situations. The Minocqua Police Department hopes some unpaid additions to their staff can help victims, families, and officers cope with those situations a little better.
The department is looking to add a team of clergy members to form a chaplain program. The chaplains would be on call and show up to scenes when needed. Chief David Jaeger had been considering the idea for a while when he heard about police in Oneida County using the same program.
ANTIGO - Pushups, wall sits, and sit ups may sound like a tough workout for most of us. But dozens of kids from the Boys and Girls Club of Langlade County did that and more as part of a national fitness competition Friday afternoon.
Boys and Girls Clubs from around the country are teaming up to help kids become more active with the Nestlé's National Fitness Competition.
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