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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
20 flu-related hospitalizations in Wisconsin so far in OctoberSubmitted: 10/22/2014

MADISON - State health officials say the flu season is off to a strong start in Wisconsin.

State epidemiologist Thomas Haupt says influenza hospitalizations have been unexpectedly on the rise in October. 20 people have been hospitalized in the past three weeks. Haupt tells WISN-TV (http://bit.ly/1wo5JOD ) one or two hospitalizations are common this time of year, but not 20.

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Many Northwoods voters will consider whether to accept federal BadgerCare moneySubmitted: 10/22/2014

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RHINELANDER - Voters in Oneida, Lincoln, Florence, and Iron Counties will tell the state whether it should accept federal money to expand BadgerCare.

That's Wisconsin's health insurance program for low-income people.

Gov. Scott Walker rejected federal money offered by the Affordable Care Act.

President Obama promised that money would cover at least 90% of the cost of expansion for years into the future.

Walker has said Wisconsin can't trust the federal government to keep paying the money.

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Northwoods Parish raising money for school, church upgradesSubmitted: 10/22/2014

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RHINELANDER - A Northwoods Parish wants to raise at least two million dollars to renovate its schools and church.

Nativity of Our Lord Catholic School needs technology and infrastructure upgrades. One of the school's buildings hasn't been updated since the 1950s.

School leaders think it's important to also upgrade the school's wireless ability. The school has SmartBoards, iPads, and laptops, but they want the equipment to work better.

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Integrys declines Eaglewatch bidSubmitted: 10/22/2014

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ST. GERMAIN - The winner of a huge Northwoods land auction will end up getting nothing.

The parent company of Wisconsin Public Service won't go through with the sale of its large lakefront property, Eaglewatch, in St. Germain.

Integrys declined a $3.8 million bid for the 187-acre property.

It held the auction last month to sell off the land.

That property also has 10,000 feet of lake frontage.

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Spending less on HalloweenSubmitted: 10/22/2014

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RHINELANDER - The average person will spend $77 this year on Halloween costumes, decorations, and candy.

The Goodwill in Rhinelander hopes you'll look good for much less. Goodwill has Halloween items like hats, trick-or-treat baskets to full costumes.

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Water weevils not effective option in fighting EWMSubmitted: 10/22/2014

NORTHWOODS - Earlier this summer, scientists thought they may have found a new way of fighting one Northwoods invasive species.

Water weevils are native to the Northwoods. Scientists hoped the weevils could kill invasive Eurasian water milfoil.

It turns out the weevils do kill milfoil, but the beetles are not very efficient.

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Northwoods farmers behind on corn harvestSubmitted: 10/22/2014

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ANTIGO - Some corn farmers in Wisconsin need to catch up on harvesting.

One Northwoods farmer is about 2 weeks behind this year.

But that doesn't necessarily mean the worst.

Dairy farmer Butch Maly in Antigo wishes his corn season started a few weeks earlier.

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