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Lieutenant Governor supports armed guards protecting mine siteSubmitted: 07/09/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


RHINELANDER - The Gogebic Taconite company hired armed to protect land they want to mine in Ashland and Iron Counties.

Two Democratic lawmakers think that's a huge overreach.

But it sounds like Wisconsin's Lieutenant Governor supports the idea.

Gogebic Taconite says they hired the guards because of protests over the mining project.

A spokesman says teams of mining opponents, "violently attacked" the company's drill site last month.

Now, Democratic Senator Bob Jauch and Representative Janet Bewley call the company's choice to hire the high security guards "appalling."

They want the guards removed immediately.

Republican Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch was in Rhinelander Tuesday for a small business roundtable.

I asked her if Jauch and Bewley's request was reasonable.

"Well, I think we have a duty to make sure that those folks who are working to better that double-digit unemployment rate that we talk so much about are safe," she said.

There's no indication Gogebic Taconite will remove the guards any time soon.

The Lieutenant Governor's main mission in Rhinelander was meeting with people involved in small business.

She talked about the challenge of keeping up the workforce in the Northwoods.

"We don't have, nearby, very large city centers. You're looking at attracting a generation of millenials to an atypical location for millenials. That's a challenge we're going to have to overcome," she said.

About two dozen business and community leaders met with Kleefisch.

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CRANDON - The first annual Legionnaire Mud Challenge made its way to Crandon Saturday.

The International Off-Road Raceway welcomed nearly 200 participants ready to get down and dirty.

Men and women of all ages were brought together by the desire to work up a sweat.

"There's not a lot of opportunities like this in the northwoods, so it's always great to see one pop up," said Justin Lund.

He's an experienced obstacle course athlete and came in first in the men's 10k.

And for the women, Sheila Reynolds also took first place.
 
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Athletes participating in the mud challenge had the option of running as an individual or on a team. When registering, they chose between the 5k or 10k.

Not only are these athletes getting all muddy as they're going through the race, they also have to climb over obstacles like these barrels of hay.

Some of the obstacles included a tire wall, slip n' slide, and muddy wet puddles to get through.

"I talked to a lot of the runners before we went and they said that the obstacles were tough and they really liked the course," said Beaver, one of four runners on a team.

Beaver and The Boys completed the course with only a few setbacks along the way.

"I lost my shoe in the middle of it and had to go back and find it," he said.

Athletes had to get up and over more than 15 obstacles throughout the race.

All the money raised will go to the Northwoods United Way and American Cancer Society.

The second annual Legionnaire Mud Challenge will take place next year.

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