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.
RHINELANDER - Nineteen months ago, 10 police agencies surrounded the Tripoli home of Kenneth Welsh.
Police say Welsh caused a three-hour standoff, threatened to blow up his house, and threatened to kill his wife.
Later in court, he was convicted of two felonies and sentenced to three years in prison by Oneida County Judge Michael Bloom.
But now, those convictions and prison sentence have been erased. This month, while in prison, Welsh argued he didn't fully understand all the elements of one of the crimes to which he pleaded no contest, first-degree recklessly endangering safety. Welsh's motion put some of the blame on his defense attorney, Rod Streicher.
RHINELANDER - A number of Rhinelander police and firefighters will work a weekend morning shift in December and won't get paid for it. It's an extra task they're happy to help with.
The Rhinelander Police Department's Shop With a Cop program returns December 16. Police and firefighters take 20 third grade students from Crescent, Pelican, Zion, and Nativity schools shopping for Christmas presents at Walmart. The schools recommend students for the event.
RHINELANDER - This holiday season, you might want to tell your child to hug family members at holiday gatherings.
The Girls Scouts of the USA hopes you won't. The organization is saying daughters don't owe anyone physical affection, and that the expectation of hugs and kisses could have bad aftereffects later in life.
"I think for some people, it is a new concept," said Melissa K., the domestic violence coordinator at Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual assault, which is based in Rhinelander.
In a post, the Girl Scouts of the USA told parents their daughters don't "owe anyone a hug. Not even at the holidays."
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