November mining referendum appears likely in Oneida Co. as mining ordinance clears committeeSubmitted: 06/13/2018
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

November mining referendum appears likely in Oneida Co. as mining ordinance clears committee
RHINELANDER - In November, people in Oneida County will likely vote on whether they support mining the mineral deposit in the town of Lynne.

Ore valued at millions of dollars lies below county forest land there, and mining companies have been interested in the zinc, lead, copper, and silver for decades.

On Wednesday, the county's Planning and Development Committee unanimously supported a plan to put an advisory referendum on mining on the ballot for the November general election.

"The taxpayers own that property. All of you out there, all of us sitting here, we own the county forest lands," said supervisor Ted Cushing, a member of the committee. "The only way to do this properly is to poll everybody."

The committee also approved a new mining ordinance as part of its zoning code. A new state law puts a July 1 deadline on mining ordinance changes.

The approved ordinance includes few major changes fromĀ the one the public commented on last week.

Mining permits will have to be approved by a majority of the county board. A plan to require a two-thirds majority on the votes was scrapped. Mining opponents in attendance audibly protested when the change was made.

Both the new mining ordinance and the referendum proposal will go before the full county board next Tuesday.

"It's right to let the public vote on this issue and vote on the town of Lynne issue, whether we should proceed after due diligence," said county board chair Dave Hintz. "The day when politicians think they're smarter than their electorate, I think we really have a problem."

Mining opponents seemed to like the referendum idea, too.

"Hopefully, we can come up with a once-and-for-all solution. If the [referendum] resolution can help us get there, I think, from my perspective, I would certainly support it," said Jeff Brown, who lives in the town of Lynne.

If approved, the referendum on the November ballot will read, "After performing their due diligence, should Oneida County allow leasing County owned lands in the Town of Lynne for the purpose of metallic mineral exploration, prospecting, bulk sampling and mining?"

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


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.

+ Read More

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.

+ Read More

Play Video

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. 

+ Read More

Play Video

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.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - After a long night shift, DNR Conservation Warden Supervisor Dave Walz answered his phone with some anxiety early Wednesday morning.

"Oh, phone ringing at 1, 2 in the morning, this can't be good," Walz said.

That anxiety turned to excitement.

"They said they had a homeowner with a bear in a basement," Walz said.

+ Read More
Long winter might affect fishSubmitted: 06/22/2018

Play Video

The unusual weather this spring may affect fishing across the Northwoods.

Cold water due to late ice-out on lakes had a negative effect on fish this spring.

+ Read More

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.

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here