RHINELANDER - Gogebic Taconite applied for an exploratory permit yesterday. The Wisconsin legislature decided in March the DNR has ten business days to approve exploration permits.
If the DNR approves the application, Gogebic will later still have to get federal approval to mine in the area. That's because it would affect federal wetlands.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says that permit process could take up to four years.
We spoke with Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Chairman Mike Wiggins today. The tribe doesn't want iron ore mining in the area.
Chairman Wiggins says the tribe is exploring legal options, and they intend to keep trying to protect their home and the water.
Senator Tom Tiffany says he expects G-Tac to get the permit.
"So this is the first step in getting the permits necessary to be able to mine. The company would start drilling almost immediately, and they would bring in drill rigs to do that. They have to go deep into the ore body hundreds of feet down," says Sen. Tiffany.
Senator Tiffany says G-Tac would need to employ dozens, if not hundreds of people for that sampling part of the process.
MERRILL - For 32 years Battalion Chief Mike Drury walked into the Merrill Fire Department ready to save lives. Friday he walked out of the department for the last time to start the new phase of his life. "It goes fast it goes really fast," said Drury. Drury was about 18 -years -old when he walked into the Merrill Fire Department for the first time. "When you're 18, 19,20 years old and you're looking at 50 something years old you think you're never going to get there," said Drury.
Drury is one of 184 firefighters to ever work full time with the city of Merrill. "As a firefighter they spend a lot of time at the fire house so they miss a lot of things," said Drury's daughter Cassi. After 32 years of missing birthdays, holidays and family time Drury was ready for a change. "I realized I had enough this is a young man's job," said Drury. Friday afternoon Drury said goodbye to a room of men who merged and became family. "Not having that is a little scary I know they'll always be our family but it's hard to leave," said Cassi. Cassi watched her dad rush off to help his community since the day she was born. "It's scary because you hear about the times things don't go right or the times fire fighters don't come home," said Cassi.
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