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Lobbyists spent big bucks on miningSubmitted: 09/13/2013
Lobbyists spent big bucks on mining
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - Lobbyists spent plenty of money on bills to make it easier to site an iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin.

The Government Accountability Board yesterday released figures for the first half of the year.

Over 35-hundred hours were spent twisting arms on the mining bills, or more than 27 hours for each lawmaker.

Lobbyists reported spending just over 17-million during the first half of the year, a 28 percent decrease from 2011.

The total number of hours spent lobbying dropped by 25 percent.

The state budget was debated during the time period in both years.

However, in 2011 Wisconsin was the center of a national battle over union rights.

That was due to Governor Scott Walker's proposal curbing public workers' ability to collectively bargain.

(Copyright 2013 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)


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 IN OTHER NEWS

MINOCQUA -
You can help the Oneida County Dive Team by grabbing your goggles and swim cap Saturday (June 23) morning.

Swimmers will launch from Torpy Park for the Minocqua Island Swim Challenge.

The race is one mile long, but people can choose to swim just 400 meters, too.

The water temperature will be about 65 degrees during the race.

"A lot of people will wear wet suits and be very comfortable. I have seen plenty of people go without and have no trouble," says Laura Fuhrman.

Money raised from the race will go to Oneida County's dive team.

They are first responders to water rescue calls.

"We just got our dark vision gear last year through fundraisers like this. It helps us be more efficient and safe," says Assistant Dive Team Leader, Michael Fraley.

You still have time to register in person Friday night from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Torpy Park.

Click below for more info.

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CHIPPEWA FALLS - A World War II veteran who spent more than a year as a prisoner of war is finally being awarded the Purple Heart.

The Leader-Telegram reports that 94-year-old Max Bergen will receive the medal Friday. The Wisconsin man says he's overwhelmed and stunned by the honor.

Bergen was serving on a bomb squadron when he was shot down over Germany in 1944. He was held prisoner at a camp in Austria for 14 months.

Bergen suffered shoulder and ankle wounds in the crash, but he had no paperwork about the injuries because he was immediately taken prisoner. Such documentation is needed for the medal that honors troops injured in combat.

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PRENTICE - Right now, anyone can walk into the Prentice School District building at just about any time.

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Prentice was one of the first districts in Wisconsin to get a state grant for school security. It will install a secure entrance, cameras throughout the school, and a new communication system.

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MADISON - A judge has sentenced a former University of Wisconsin-Madison student who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting three female students and choking or stalking two others to three years behind bars.

WKOW-TV reports Dane County Circuit Judge Stephen Ehlke sentenced 22-year-old Alec Cook of Edina, Minnesota, on Thursday to three years in prison and five years of extended supervision.

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FOREST COUNTY - Police arrested two Milwaukee men Wednesday morning on three drug related charges. 

The Forest County Sheriff's Department got a call around 9:30 Wednesday morning about a suspicious car in the Mole Lake area that was possibly involved in trafficking drugs. 

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RHINELANDER - More than 10,000 cars pass through one of the area's busiest intersections each day: Highways 8 and 47 on Rhinelander's west side.  But next year, all those cars might need to go around the intersection as construction for a roundabout gets started.

The Department of Transportation is considering two options for traffic flow as crews build an approximately $2 million roundabout.

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TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk worked for nearly 20 years to buy property to connect the city to nearby trail systems.

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The project got pushed back because the Wisconsin Department of Transportation can't fund its part of the project this year.

Tomahawk is still ready for the addition.

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