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NEWS STORIES

Local Leaders React to Mining Permit ApplicationSubmitted: 05/10/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

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.



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 IN OTHER NEWS

TOMAHAWK - A Northwoods city wants to be prepared for when emerald ash borer is brought to the area.

The city of Tomahawk will create a plan on what to do when the pest reaches the community. That's after it was found in Rhinelander last fall.

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker's administration has determined that complying with Wisconsin's phosphorus limits would cause substantial social and economic impacts.

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WASHINGTON, DC - A retired Northwoods doctor from Eagle River flew to Washington, DC last week. Dr. Lewis Jacobson was one of 27 World War II veterans from northcentral Wisconsin participating in the 19th Never Forgotten Honor Flight. Nearly seventy years ago, he came home from Europe. He was a young, Jewish, American soldier who spent a year and half fighting Hitler's war machine.

"I served from July of 1943 to early January of 1946, a total of about two and a half years, and 18 months was with service overseas in Europe: England, France, and Germany," Jacobson explained.

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WISCONSIN - Wisconsin Public Service encourages any emergency responders to apply for its "Safety is Worth the Energy" grants. It will award 25 $2,000 grants this year.

All of WPS's service area can apply. Money is used for departments to provide special equipment or training which they otherwise wouldn't have.

"This is the second year we're offering the "Safety is Worth the Energy" grant for our local emergency responders in our service area," said WPS Community Relations Leader Leah Van Zile. "That would be fire departments, emergency rescue squads, police departments."

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PRENTICE - Almost a mile of forest and underbrush stands blackened near a Price County railroad track.

A train likely sent sparks flying into the woods as it passed through the area on Tuesday afternoon. That ignited dry grass, trees, and brush near the tracks. The fire put DNR and local firefighters in action fighting the long, narrow fire.

"We believe it was caused by a train," said the DNR's incident commander, Joe Danowski. "It spread about three-quarters of a mile along the north side of the tracks."

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RHINELANDER - The man who traveled with a 17-year-old homicide suspect to Indiana plead no contest to a misdemeanor charge for having sex with a child.

The judge however withheld a decision on sentencing in court Tuesday.

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VILAS COUNTY - Many people enjoy exploring the Northwoods on a bicycle. The Heart of Vilas County Bike Trail spans 47 miles.

Local communities hope more people will use the trail.

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