MADISON - Dozens of Northwoods people made the long trip to Madison Wednesday to speak before lawmakers on the newest mining bill.
It was the first day of testimony in the Capitol on a bill that Republicans proposed last week.
The Senate and Assembly committees in charge of mining heard stories at the same time.
The bill would streamline the permitting process for mining companies.
Many came on buses to speak for and against the mining bill.
"We are not going to stand by and let this happen without a fight. We don't fight with our hands nowadays, or bows and arrows. We fight with words in court. You will be faced with litigation until day's end. I can guarantee you that," testified Brooks BigJohn of the Lac du Flambeau Tribe.
"If we get ten more jobs, it's better than what we have now. I've had to sit across the table over the last nine years and tell about 25 people they don't have jobs anymore. So, I think a chance at it is better than no chance," countered Chris Patritto, the Hurley Schools Superintendent.
Gogebic Taconite also testified at the hearing.
A year ago, they pulled plans to mine iron ore in Ashland and Iron Counties after the last mining bill failed.
Wednesday, they said they would reinstate those plans if the new bill passed.
TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk High School sporting events got an attendance boost this winter. At the same time, local charities benefited from the community's generosity.
The school's Varsity Club sponsored six nights of special events, one for each winter sport. The Varsity Club gave out T-shirts printed with team rosters. Meanwhile, fans brought donations for local charities.
"Each kid would walk in and they'd put on their T-shirt," said Varsity Club member Jackie Elliott. "When we got our student section going, they were all together, and you just had this block of white. It was awesome."
RHINELANDER - People lived through detours, dust, and demolition throughout most of 2016 in downtown Rhinelander. Residents won't see that kind of work in 2017, but the city is planning more closures and road work to finish up the Streetscape Project.
Crews will start with the Davenport Street Bridge shutting down for a month in starting April 17. Public Works Director Tim Kingman says some sections of concrete, sidewalk, and asphalt pavement shifted, settled and cracked over the winter.
RHINELANDER - Cracked concrete, twisted rebar, and overgrown trees and bushes don't paint the most ideal picture for a park. But a Rhinelander alderman sees the perfect chance for a peaceful place to enjoy nature.
Alderman Alex Young hopes to turn an old snow dumping dock site into a "pocket park." The site sits where Norway Street runs into the Wisconsin River behind Ripco Credit Union and the DNR Service Center building.
WAUSAU - A contractor fell from a ladder and died at the construction site of the new Hilton Garden Inn in Wausau last week. Now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death.
Marathon County Sheriff's Captain Dale Wisnewski said Shane J. Cash, 45, of Wisconsin Rapids was drilling holes in the ceiling on Thursday when he fell from his ladder and died on scene.
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