As mining ordinance reviewed by Oneida Co., a look at the Lynne ore deposit site Submitted: 04/26/2018
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

As mining ordinance reviewed by Oneida Co., a look at the Lynne ore deposit site
TOWN OF LYNNE - Zinc, lead, copper, and silver buried underneath Oneida County could be worth millions of dollars.

Mining companies have known about the deposit in the Town of Lynne for decades. It's underneath county-owned property, but has never been mined.

Now, a review of county mining rules could change the equation.

"You have to be able to get a mental picture in your mind of we're talking about to really understand it," said Karl Fate as he led a tour of the site for mine opponents on Thursday.

A major portion of the site is covered by wetlands and streams. The Willow River flows into the Willow Flowage about a mile away.

"Sulfur, when it's exposed to air and water, turns into sulfuric acid," said Jeff Brown, referring to the substance exposed in metallic mining. "When you're adjacent to the Willow Flowage, which is an outstanding water resource, it's very high risk."

Brown owns Boyle's Resort on Willow Lake nearby.

"I'm trying to sell my resort right now," Brown said. "I had a prospective buyer tell me that until the mining question is resolved and put to bed, that that offer is off the table."

The "mining question" is before the Oneida County Board again this spring because of a new state law. The law gives counties a July 1 deadline to lock in changes to their mining ordinances. After that, a repeal of the so-called mining moratorium goes into effect.

Lynne Town Board member Lisa Zunker said the entire town board is against mining in the area.

"This is where we want to be, and we sure don't want to have the hazard of dangerous mining or bad water or polluting our lakes and streams," Zunker, who grew up in the town, said Thursday.

Right now, the Oneida County Planning and Development Committee is working with lawyer William Scott on reviewing the mining ordinance.

"The worst case scenario would be for the county to try to strip the protections from our current ordinance that protects the towns," Fate said. "There's a lot of people that think it's pretty important, so it's worth the effort [to save the area from mining]."

Newswatch 12 couldn't reach committee chair Scott Holewinski or planning and zoning director Karl Jennrich for interviews on Thursday.

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RHINELANDER - Hardly anyone goes through life without knowing someone who is affected by cancer in some way.

Thursday evening people gathered to honor those impacted by cancer at the11th annual Celebration of Life in Rhinelander.

Organizers emphasized that cancer survivors can still live active and productive lives.

Becky Gauthier of Rhinelander gave the keynote speech.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2017.

She shared her story that's been driven by courage.

"If it's ever you, just have hope," Gauthier said. "Don't ever give up. Just know that miracles happen every day and even if they tell you bad news, it doesn't mean it's your future."

At the end of the ceremony organizers released butterflies as a symbol of hope. 

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RHINELANDER - The Wilderness Queen river boat moved from the Willow Flowage to its home in Rhinelander 10 years ago.
Later this fall it will move again, but sadly much farther away.

Owner Patty Zastrow sold the boat to people from southern Wisconsin.  She's moving out of state with her husband.

Zastrow is sad to see the boat leave the Northwoods after owning it for six years.  Current State Senator Tom Tiffany owned the boat for 20 years and ran it on the Flowage in western Oneida County before selling it.

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NORTHWOODS - Trout Habitat Project coordinator Kyle Siebers volunteers his time searching the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest for flat, dry streams and rivers.

"I've always been interested in the outdoors," said Siebers. "I just wanted to give back."

Siebers worked alongside CNNF biologists, technicians, and volunteers to restore trout habitats. The group recently restored a quarter mile of habitat for Wild Brook trout near Wabeno.

"We built brush bundles and cut the woody vegetation along the stream banks and then we bundled that together to put in the stream to narrow it," said Siebers.

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MILWAUKEE - A bus driver took action when she saw a little girl standing in the street in a T-shirt and underwear.

Diana Serrano was beginning her route for the Milwaukee County Transit System on Aug. 4 when a motorist in front of the bus stopped to help the girl and carried her to the side of the road.

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NEW YORK - Fans are mourning Aretha Franklin at some of the places where the legendary singer performed.

Several people, some visibly mourning, walked or drove by New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit Thursday morning after news of Franklin's death was announced. Franklin's voice on some of the songs she made hits streamed from the second floor of a home across the street.

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MADISON - Conservative state appeals court Judge Brian Hagedorn is running for Wisconsin Supreme Court, setting up a contest with liberal-backed Appeals Court Judge Lisa Neubauer.

Hagedorn is Governor Scott Walker's former chief legal counsel. He announced his run for the state's highest court on Thursday. The election to replace retiring Justice Shirley Abrahamson is in April.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/16/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll tell you about a quarterback from Chequamegon High School who was recently diagnosed with cancer but is now ready to play football for the Screaming Eagles.

And we'll take you to a stream in the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest where a group of volunteers want to restore the trout population

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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