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State Republicans Unveil Newest Mining ProposalSubmitted: 01/16/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

State Republicans Unveil Newest Mining Proposal
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.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/16/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll update you on a fire at Dolhun Field in Lake Tomahawk last night that required eight different fire departments and destroyed a storage hangar.

We talk to a council member of a Merrill church about their pastor who was seriously injured in a semi-truck/pickup truck accident on Highway 8 near Rhinelander Friday afternoon, and we'll update you on the pastor's condition.

And the Town of Presque Isle is now grooming their cross country ski trails that they hope will bring more people into town.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - A fire in Lake Tomahawk's Dolhun Field Monday night left a storage hangar destroyed. About eight different fire departments worked for hours to put out the flames.

Lake Tomahawk Fire Chief Doug Rehm says the department was called to the fire just before 8 p.m.

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MERRILL - Lincoln County Sheriff Jeff Jaeger will retire.

Jaeger announced Thursday morning he will not run for re-election, and will step down at the end of this year.

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MADISON - Governor Scott Walker wants to close Wisconsin's youth prisons in Lincoln County earlier than first planned.

Walker is urging the Legislature to adopt his plan to close the Lincoln Hills-Copper Lake juvenile facility at Irma this spring, rather than 18 months from now.

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MADISON - Impersonating someone on social media would be made a crime under a bill up for a vote in the Wisconsin Assembly.

The measure slated for approval Tuesday targets the practice known as "catfishing." That is one someone impersonates another person online with the intent of defrauding or harassing them.

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MERRILL - One Merrill art teacher spends her weekends painting a giant Bucky the Badger statue inside her classroom.

She was chosen to participate in a free public art event featuring 100 life-size statues of Bucky.

"Right now he's six foot six inches and he weighs about 150 pounds," said Merrill Middle School art teacher Christy Rasmussen.

Rasmussen will help make this Spring's "Bucky on Parade" free public outdoor art event a success.
"It's a tourism draw for people," said Rasmussen.

The parade will consist of 100 giant Buckys hitting the streets of Madison and Dane County this spring all decorated by Wisconsin artists.

"Being an art teacher I thought how fun it would be for my kids to be involved," said Rasmussen.

"I was like what is that," said one of Rasmussen's students, Hailey Nowack.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Cars in ditches and fender benders littered Northwoods roads this weekend.

Icy conditions meant many drivers lost traction.

Tow truck operators have been working around the clock to help people who crashed or spun off the road.
 
"You eat dinner when you can, you don't know how long you're going to be out. I mean us guys can do 12, 18 hour days. It gets a little tough sometimes," said tow truck operator Sean Hobena. 

Hobena got six calls Monday, which he said is mild compared to previous days. He covers areas in Oneida, Vilas, and Price counties. 

He advises drivers to be careful when driving.

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