ONEIDA COUNTY - The Oneida County Board Chair used the term "off the table" to describe metallic mining in the town of Lynne going forward.
Nearly two-thirds of the county said "no" to mining exploration in an advisory referendum question on Tuesday.
The county board doesn't have to follow the wishes of voters in the referendum. But Chair Dave Hintz now calls the chances of the board moving forward on mining "remote."
"The answer was not yes. The answer was no," Hintz said Wednesday. "So, we will not go through that due diligence process, which means mining of the Lynne property is off the table, not on our agenda at this point."
The Lynne ore deposit contains valuable minerals below county-owned land in western Oneida County. Mining companies have showed interest for years. But it's also near the Willow Flowage, a major water resource in the county.
This year, the county board put the referendum question asking about mining on the November ballot.
"We would like to put this thing to bed for quite a while," said Jeff Brown, a Lynne resident and member of the Protect the Willow anti-mining group.
Brown calls the group a team of political "rookies." But nearly 12,000 Oneida County voters agreed with the group's message on Tuesday. Sixty-two percent of the county voted "no."
"The people across the board, Republicans and Democrats, have said, 'It doesn't matter what party we're at, we don't want a mine in Oneida County on the county forest land,'" Brown said.
Hintz admitted the board could act against the wishes of the voters, but said it wasn't likely.
"I think it's a remote possibility. I do not give that a strong chance of success," he said.
"We don't have a social license to lease our public lands in the town of Lynne for mining. I hope that our county board will listen to what their constituency has made clear," said Pete Zambon, who handled communications and coordinated canvasses for Protect the Willow.
The Lac du Flambeau Tribe also fought hard for a "no" vote, on the ground and through television commercials.
"I think the people have spoken loud and clear," said tribal president Joseph Wildcat Sr. "A lot of the tribal community is happy, and also, I think, the residents of an area like the Willow. We're all trying to protect the resources."
Hintz said he was most impressed by the Oneida County turnout. More than 19,000 people voted on the mining question.
RHINELANDER - The start of gun deer hunt season can mean fun and family tradition for many in the Northwoods. But for animal rescue organizations, it means business will pick up.
Rhinelander's Wild Instincts rescue service dealt with about 40 cases of lead poisoning last year. Rehabilitation Director Mark Naniot said when hunters use lead bullets, tiny fragments can be found in a deer up to 12 inches around the wound.
For birds, it only takes eating one or two tiny fragments before they get lead poisoning. The disease itself can be deadly, but Naniot believes the treatment isn't much better.
RHINELANDER - Avery Edwards' father wants more time to try and make a deal with prosecutors.
Trung Tran faces felony counts of child abuse and neglect after his ex-wife Ellen Tran was found guilty of killing his 20-month old son.
Tran and his lawyer Jason Luczak phoned into court on Tuesday for a pretrial conference. Both Oneida County District Attorney Michael Schiek and Luczak said they are hopeful they can reach a deal to avoid going to trial.
Judge Michael Bloom scheduled another pretrial conference on Feb. 5, but if a deal has not been made by then a jury trial will be scheduled.
RHINELANDER - Crystal Schaub said Tuesday she gets satisfaction from helping families work through the tragedy of death. The Oneida County Board appointed Schaub as the new medical examiner Tuesday.
She will also cover cases in Forest County, and, starting in January, Vilas County.
Schaub comes from a law enforcement background. She worked for police departments in Lac du Flambeau, Minocqua, and Woodruff.
"[With] the death investigation, you necessarily don't see the first part of it, but you're able to piece all of that together through it and sit down with the families and help them cope with it," Schaub said.
A Green Bay man faces multiple felony charges after being caught with more than $15,000 worth of drugs during a traffic stop in Langlade County.
The Forest County Drug Task Force received information on Thursday Nov. 8 that Ky Martin, 25, was on his way to Forest County with a large amount of heroine and crack cocaine. Forest County detectives passed that information to the Langlade County Drug Task Force as well.
Later that day around 10:00 a.m. a Langlade County deputy pulled Martin over on State Highway 55 and Co. Highway K. That deputy called in Forest County K9 Leroy to search the driver and vehicle. More than 23 grams of heroin and more than 41 grams of crack cocaine were found. Deputies also found ecstasy, oxycodone, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.
Martin is currently being held in Langlade County Jail.
RHINELANDER - A local business refurbishes old furniture. This year, they've come up with a new idea to make Christmas special for seniors.
Unique Creations in Rhinelander recently started "Santa for a Senior." The project aims to put smiles on faces at Home Away from Home Loving Care; an adult daycare also in Rhinelander.
People can come to Unique Creations and take an ornament from a tree. The ornaments have gift requests on then. People can go out and buy these gifts. The requests might seem simple, but they bring joy to the people receiving the gifts.
BARABOO - A parent who took a photo that shows about 60 Wisconsin high school boys giving what appears to be a Nazi salute says he simply asked the youths to wave goodbye to their parents and that he takes the blame for the timing of the shot.
Pete Gust, whose son Matthew appears in the photo, says there was no intention "in any way, shape or form to simulate anything that was offensive to anyone." Gust tells The Associated Press that the boys' arms were extended in various stages of being raised when the shot was taken.
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