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NEWS STORIES

Joint Finance Committee approves mining legislation, Democrats expect court dates in the futureSubmitted: 02/25/2013
Story By Lane Kimble

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MADISON - Lawmakers took another step toward making it easier to mine in Wisconsin.

The state's Joint Finance Committee passed the new Republican mining bill on a 12 to 4 vote Monday afternoon. The bill now moves to both the full state Senate and Assembly.

The GOP's bill is mainly designed to make it easier for a mining company to open a large mine. It would be on the border of Ashland and Iron Counties.

Democrats think the bill's language doesn't do enough to protect the environment.

But Ashland Representative Janet Bewley thinks the progress can be slowed in the courts.

"There are so many things in the bill that are ambiguous that will end up in court," Rep. Janet Bewley said. "I don't want to say I'm grateful to (Republicans) for writing such a sloppy bill, but the bill is written in such a form that there are many opportunities for it to end up in court."

Republicans don't think they're rushing anything. Hazelhurst Senator Tom Tiffany points to numerous changes from the first bill to this version.

He hopes it doesn't end up in the courts.

"We passed 11 amendments out of our Senate committee about two weeks ago," Sen. Tiffany said. "We've really, thoroughly vetted this bill. Will there be lawsuits, as Representative Bewley hopes? Perhaps, because some people will sue over anything in modern society. But this is really a good bill that protects the environment, while giving certainty to an applicant."

The mining bill will likely pass because Republicans control both the Senate and Assembly. Senator Tiffany thinks the Senate will take up the bill Wednesday.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Prentice teacher organizes bike drive for developing countriesSubmitted: 09/22/2014

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PRENTICE - Quan Banh hates to see bicycles go to waste.

The Prentice High School science teacher saw too many bikes used for scrap metal in Price County.

Banh thought those bikes could be fixed up a little and sent to developing countries.

He found a group in Chicago called Working Bikes, which does just that.

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Local authors talk about experiences and booksSubmitted: 09/22/2014

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RHINELANDER - Most people usually don't get to meet some of their favorite authors, but a group of people had the chance to meet two local authors Monday night.

Judith Norling Carlson and Ann Andrashie shared their experiences. Monday, they discussed their books at the Rhinelander District Library. Andrashie wrote her book called "Dog Island" because she feels connected to the animal world.

"We learn a lot from them. That's one of the main reasons why I wrote this. To try and help people understand that they do have feelings. They do have emotions," said Andrashie. "Most people don't believe that animals have emotions, but guess what? They do."

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Volunteer fire departments need more volunteersSubmitted: 09/22/2014

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RHINELANDER - Rural areas rely on volunteer fire departments to respond to emergencies.

That's the case in Oneida County.

The Rhinelander Fire Department is the only paid full time department in the County.

But it can be difficult for fire departments to draw more volunteers.

The Crescent Fire Department in Oneida County relies on 25 volunteers for an area that serves about 2,800 people.

They need more people to help.

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Updated-Name released in deadly UTV crashSubmitted: 09/22/2014

TOWN OF LITTLE RICE - We now know a Rhinelander man died in a UTV accident on Gobbler Lake Road in the town of Little Rice.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Department tells us 52-year-old Richard Johnson died from injuries he suffered in the crash. Johnson apparently missed a curve and left the road.

It happened after 10:40 p.m. on Saturday.

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Woman accused of driving drunk with kids in the carSubmitted: 09/22/2014

MARATHON COUNTY - Police accuse a woman in Marathon County of driving drunk with kids in the car.

A Wausau trooper from Wisconsin State Patrol arrested 35 year old Jessica Poetsch from Waukesha for her 4th OWI. It happened Sunday night, around 8 in the evening. There were 2 children in the car at the time of her arrest.

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Northwoods school inspires students from around the world to take care of the planetSubmitted: 09/22/2014

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LAND O' LAKES - Many people know Land O' Lakes as a great vacation destination. But it's not just resorts that draw people to the area. A state-of-the-art school attracts high school students from across the country and around the world.

"There's no other opportunities like this," said Conserve School student Lange Navarro.

That's why she left her high school in Arizona to spend a semester at Conserve School in Land O' Lakes.

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Phillips prepares for Saturday's Fall Harvest FestivalSubmitted: 09/22/2014

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PHILLIPS - Phillips hopes more than the fall colors will draw visitors to the community this weekend.

The city will host the 21st Annual Fall Harvest Festival.

A farmer's market, sidewalk sales, food booths, scarecrow contests, and pumpkin decorating are part of Saturday's celebration.

We asked the Chamber of Commerce what people like best.

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