RHINELANDER - After more than a year, a failed bill, and nine hours of debate yesterday, the Senate passed the mining bill. It will streamline the application process for a mine in Northern Wisconsin.
Senator Tom Tiffany co-authored the bill. He says it will create jobs once the mine is active, and even sooner, during the testing and sampling period.
"That miner that's on our flag; he's basically been out of work for almost forty years, other than that brief four year period with the Flambeau mine in Ladysmith. We want to put him back to work. Along with that, a lot of Wisconsinites will go back to work," says Sen. Tiffany.
Democratic opponents are concerned the bill will relax environmental protections and lead to pollution.
"There are so few guarantees for local units of government. There are so few guarantees of protecting water quality that any prudent mind would say this bill is not adequate for the people of Wisconsin," says Rep. Janet Bewley.
Sen. Tiffany expects the bill to easily pass in the Assembly next week. After that, Governor Scott Walker has to sign it into law.
Tiffany says the timeline for the bill to result in job creation will be fairly short.
"I believe it will take about three years for the process to play out. There will be jobs created because there will be a rigorous environmental review that will be done by the company. Then if they're able to get their permit after three, three and a half years, then the construction phase would start with 2,000 jobs," says Sen. Tiffany.
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.
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.
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