WISCONSIN - In Wisconsin, miners last dug into deposits of copper, lead, and zinc 20 years ago.
That's when the open-pit Flambeau Mine in Ladysmith closed.
Nineteen years ago, the state put into place a partial mining moratorium, making opening that kind of mine much more difficult.
State Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) wants to pull back some of those mining restrictions. Tiffany hosted a public hearing of the Senate Sporting Heritage, Mining and Forestry Committee in Ladysmith on Thursday.
"Anyone, anyone who actually cares about our planet and our environment should be clamoring to have these materials mined here," testified Lucas Vebber of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.
"I do not want this bill to be passed, because it will greatly increase the chances of water pollution in many areas of our state," said Rusk County farmer Al Manson.
The hearing lasted hours, and featured several speakers on both sides of the issue.
"I really think that we have gone back and listened," Tiffany said. "Of course, that's why we're here today, to hear people's perspectives."
The bill would get rid of the current law on sulfide mining. The law requires companies interested in mining minerals called sulfides--most commonly, copper, lead, and zinc--to show examples of similar American or Canadian mines that have operated without causing surface or groundwater issues.
Gov. Scott Walker wouldn't say whether he supported a repeal of the mining moratorium. We spoke with him in Three Lakes on Thursday.
"If there's any state in the nation that should be able to do safe and environmentally sound mining, it should be the Badger State," Walker said. "We have a proud tradition when it comes to mining. It's a key part of why we're such a strong manufacturing state. It would do well to continue to improve the economy in northern Wisconsin. But we also need to make sure it's done in a way that's both safe and environmentally strong."
Tiffany's mining bill is still in its early stages. It wouldn't impact proposed iron ore mines, like the one in the Penokee Hills. A 2013 law already removed the moratorium from those mines.
Click the link below for the original, more in-depth, story on the proposal.
RHINELANDER - Nineteen months ago, 10 police agencies surrounded the Tripoli home of Kenneth Welsh.
Police say Welsh caused a three-hour standoff, threatened to blow up his house, and threatened to kill his wife.
Later in court, he was convicted of two felonies and sentenced to three years in prison by Oneida County Judge Michael Bloom.
But now, those convictions and prison sentence have been erased. This month, while in prison, Welsh argued he didn't fully understand all the elements of one of the crimes to which he pleaded no contest, first-degree recklessly endangering safety. Welsh's motion put some of the blame on his defense attorney, Rod Streicher.
RHINELANDER - A number of Rhinelander police and firefighters will work a weekend morning shift in December and won't get paid for it. It's an extra task they're happy to help with.
The Rhinelander Police Department's Shop With a Cop program returns December 16. Police and firefighters take 20 third grade students from Crescent, Pelican, Zion, and Nativity schools shopping for Christmas presents at Walmart. The schools recommend students for the event.
RHINELANDER - This holiday season, you might want to tell your child to hug family members at holiday gatherings.
The Girls Scouts of the USA hopes you won't. The organization is saying daughters don't owe anyone physical affection, and that the expectation of hugs and kisses could have bad aftereffects later in life.
"I think for some people, it is a new concept," said Melissa K., the domestic violence coordinator at Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual assault, which is based in Rhinelander.
In a post, the Girl Scouts of the USA told parents their daughters don't "owe anyone a hug. Not even at the holidays."
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Rockfleet Broadcasting / Northland Television, Inc. and By Request Web Designs shall not be held responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, or misprints.