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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FLORENCE COUNTY - Two high school students died in a car crash early Friday morning in Florence County. The wreck happened at around 6:20 a.m. according to the Florence County Sheriff's Office.

The vehicle was traveling north on County Highway N in the Commonwealth Township, when the driver lost control while making a turn. The vehicle crossed the center line, left the roadway, and hit a tree, bursting into flames upon impact.

The names and ages of the Florence High School students will be released after notifications are made.

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ARBOR VITAE - Last summer the Northwoods LBGT community and allies come together to celebrate love, diversity and acceptance.

After last year's successful festival, the Rainbow Hodags planned an even bigger one for this year.

More than 75 people celebrated gay pride at the second annual Pride Fest in Arbor Vitae.

Lots of laughter, live music, and dancing filled the park. 

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - Back in the early nineties, an event in Lake Tomahawk gave thanks to veterans. This year, a group of community members decided to bring it back.

The Vets and Guides event invites veterans from King, Tomah, and other areas to come to Lake Tomahawk for a day of fishing, food, and a good time.

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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander group working to maintain recreational trails in the area got some help in their mission. The Rhinelander Area Silent Trails Association received grants to help fund its various projects.

The group got two DNR Recreational Trail Act Grants totaled at a little more than $13,000. The WPS Foundation also gave a total of $1,800 in grants. The grant money will be used to help with multiple projects. 

One project is to construct a boardwalk over the wetlands of the Cassian Cross County Ski Trail. RASTA is also going to construct a new ski trail at Washburn.

For more information on all of RASTA's projects, visit their Facebook page lined below.

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RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander District Library creates several programs each year for its library summer reading program. This year, the library is adding a twist to the typical craft contest.

The overall theme of this year's summer reading program is "The Library Rocks." One of the programs for adults is "The Chopped Craft Contest."

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 06/22/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

The unusual weather this spring could have an effect on how many fish you might catch this season. We talk to a local bait shop owner about the connection between the weather and the number of catchable fish that are in the water.

And we'll take you to a recycling event and tell you how you can help a local homeless shelter by bringing in old appliances.

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

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MARATHON CITY - A truckload of huge, heavy pieces of concrete piping sat outside County Materials Corporation in Marathon City on Friday afternoon.

They won't be there long.

Soon, it will head for Racine County, one of hundreds of truckloads delivering pipes to the Foxconn site.

Gov. Scott Walker promised luring the electronics company to southeastern Wisconsin would help the entire state. He visited County Materials on Friday. It's one of 27 contractors in the state selected to help with the Phase One build of Foxconn.

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