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NEWS STORIES

The DNR extends comment period for pre-application of the proposed Gogebic Taconite MineSubmitted: 09/06/2013
Story By Melissa Constanzer


Photos By KARE-11

ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - We can feel strongly about environmental topics. That's especially true when it comes to mining in Northern Wisconsin, specifically the Gogebic Taconite mine proposed in Iron County.

On Tuesday, the comment period on bulk sampling ended. That period allowed the public to weigh in on one GTAC plan. The company wants to take four thousand tons of rock from the mine site for testing. The DNR got hundreds of comments, some for mining in general and others against it but the DNR really values the technical comments about the site itself or the sampling they would like to see.

"When we get the completed bulk sampling plan, we'll look at that bulk sampling plan and we'll also look at the technical comments we received on the bulk sampling plan when we're making our permitting decision," says Ann Coakley, DNR Waste and Materials Management Director.

While the bulk sampling got lots of comments, the pre-application notification did not. That's different from the request to sample. The pre-application is one of the first steps in the process of asking for an actual permit to mine.

"It was just very clear that they didn't know that the hearing or the comment period were for the pre-application notification so I just wanted to make it clear and to give people more time to comment on that pre-application notice," says Ann Coakley.

The comment period on the pre-application has been extended to September 17th.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MERRILL - The school bells rang Tuesday morning for students across Wisconsin.

Another school year has begun with kids looking forward to a new year.

It also means that drivers should be on the lookout around schools.

In Merrill, police keep a close watch around school zones the first few weeks of class.

Speed limits drop dramatically as drivers enter school zones.

Merrill Police Chief Ken Neff says it's important to be especially observant this time of year.

"Especially the first week or two of school because kids are excited, and maybe not so excited, about getting back to school," Neff said. "They're thinking about their friends and maybe not paying attention to traffic."

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NORTHWOODS - Children went back to school across the Northwoods Tuesday. That's why it's important to make sure you're prepared for anything.

Emergency workers say it's important to have a plan in place for all possible emergency situations. That plan should include emergency contacts, safe meeting locations, and emergency kits in homes and cars. Officials say taking time to plan and practice is crucial.

"Look at things before it happens," says Dawn Robinson, Oneida County Emergency Management Program Assistant. "Make sure your family, your loved ones, your neighbors, make sure everyone has a plan and practice those plans. That way when something does happen, it becomes more, that you know what to do, so be prepared as much as possible, and practice."

Part of being prepared is communication and knowing who to contact. Officials encourage parents to make sure that schools have up-to-date emergency contact information, especially for small children.

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HAZELHURST - You won't find any alligator-filled moats at an upcoming medieval festival in Hazelhurst. But you will get the chance to step back in time during the Northwoods Medieval Faire at Tommy O's Playhouse next weekend.

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RHINELANDER - September might not seem like the best time to plan your garden, but taking steps now can mean better results later.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Drivers in Woodruff and Minocqua might want to avoid a popular shortcut soon. A several month long road project will start next week on County Highway J between Highways 51 and 47.

Last year, the intersection of County Highway J and Highway 51 was completely redone.

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RHINELANDER - Anxious and excited kids will find more creative ways to learn this year at Crescent Elementary School in Rhinelander.

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MINOCQUA - Many kids like to take art classes over the summer. The Campanile Center for the Arts in Minocqua has one project for kids that is made out of all-natural materials.

The project is called Uprooted. It started in July and was supposed to end in August, but the kids had so much fun working on the art project that it was extended until the fall.

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