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NEWS STORIES

Mining Bill Doesn't Mean Certainty for the Industry in Wis.Submitted: 03/24/2013
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker signed the mining bill aimed at encouraging construction of an iron mine in northern Wisconsin. But there's still uncertainty about the future of mining in the state. And looking to neighboring states for perspective doesn't clear things up very much.

The mining industries in Minnesota and Michigan have had ups and downs over the past few years. This is due to fluctuating demand and economic uncertainty. Some mining-related jobs have disappeared, and others require a surprising level of high-tech skills.

The job outlook in Wisconsin, as well as the necessary skill set, remain to be seen. And Wisconsin mining opponents have pledged a legal fight, further complicating the picture.

One of those legal fights might soon become official. The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has is fundraising for a possible lawsuit. It would challenge the iron mine near the reservation.

It has set up a link on the tribe's website that allows visitors to donate directly to the tribe.

Gogebic Taconite wants to dig an open-pit mine just south of the tribe's Ashland County reservation.

Tribal members fear pollution from the mine will contaminate their water and wild rice sloughs.



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 IN OTHER NEWS

BLAINE, MINNESOTA - Firefighters from Upper Michigan put themselves at risk to battle fires in Utah.

On the way home, two were killed when the bus they were riding in crashed over the weekend in Minnesota.

Now the firefighter who was driving the bus is facing charges.

According to a criminal complaint, 28-year-old Michael Johnson told authorities he'd slept just 45 minutes the previous 28 hours as he drove a bus with 8 other wildland firefighters returning from a fire in Utah to their home base near Baraga in Michigan's Upper Penninsula.

Officers say Johnson was combative and showed signs of impairment at the crash scene, and later admitted to using marijuana the morning of the crash - and cocaine two days earlier.


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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander City Administrator Kristina Aschenbrenner walked into what she thought would be a routine performance review Monday night.

She left without a job.

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MERCER - This year, almost 40 northern Wisconsin communities formally expressed interest in becoming the new home of the DNR's state forestry headquarters. But there's a chance the headquarters stay right where they are--in Madison.

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MINOCQUA - Three local cyclists planned to bike in the Ride Across Wisconsin event just for fun this year, but a few days before the ride, a good friend of theirs became unexplainably sick. In that moment, the purpose of their ride changed.

"This is nothing. This is a day. This is an hour, a minute that I can keep going," said cyclist Connie Trapp.

For Trapp, riding 178 miles was a small hurdle compared to the struggle of a close friend.

"Just having somebody to ride it for and be encouraged that you're doing it for someone else besides yourself really helped," said Trapp.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/30/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll update you on the Rhinelander City Council's decision to remove Kristina Aschenbrenner from the City Administrator position.

We'll tell you about a group of people from Minocqua who took a bike ride across Wisconsin and dedicated it to a friend with serious health problems.

And people driving down Highway 8 in Rhinelander may have to watch out for construction for a while. We'll tell you what crews are doing on two intersections of the bypass.

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

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WOODRUFF - The amount of blood donations usually drops during the summer, but this summer has been particularly challenging in northern Wisconsin.

"Over the course of the summer, our blood supply has declined considerably. It has dropped 35 percent over the course of the summer, and it is approaching dangerously low levels," said Community Blood Center Donor Services Vice President Kristine Belanger.

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WAUSAU - After struggling for a few years, Wausau's mayor hopes new management and building changes will revitalize the Wausau Center Mall.

On Tuesday, Mayor Robert Mielke announced in a press conference that Mid America Asset Management will take over management of the mall. Mielke says Mid America will focus on new marketing, maintenance, and leasing new tenants.

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