Government

Controversy Over Indian Team Names
4:00 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Mascot Bill Could Become Law Thursday

A bill relating to race-based mascots is still sitting on Governor Scott Walker’s desk.  He until the end of the day Wednesday to sign or veto the bill, before it automatically becomes law.  The bill changes a process established in 2010 for how to handle complaints about race-based school mascots and team names. 

Supporters of the new process say it’s more fair – a person has to prove a mascot is discriminatory before they can get it changed.  And that person needs a petition of signatures to file an initial complaint.  Here’s Representative Steve Nass, who authored the  bill. 

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Baier died Sunday
3:37 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Long Time Oneida Co. Bd. Member Remembered

Gary Baier's District 20 seat Tuesday morning
Credit Ken Krall-WXPR

The Oneida County Board remembered one of their own Tuesday. 69 year old Gary Baier, who represented the towns of Nokomis and Little Rice died Sunday after battling cancer.

Board Chair Ted Cushing said Baier was a mentor to him when he joined the board...

 

"...with Gary you knew where you stood. He had a position and he stuck by it..and I admire him for that..."

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Oneida county board
2:47 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Property Rights Versus Public Rights Debate Resurfaces

A photoshopped version of what Crescent Lake near Rhinelander might look like if the proposed boathouse changes were enacted. Others disputed this portrayal as not realistic.
Credit Joel Knutson-Crescent Lake

The Oneida County Board has tabled a move to allow boathouses  at the water's edge.

A two-hour debate ensued, centering around the long-time flashpoint of property rights versus the water rights of all residents.

A public hearing in July asked whether to allow boathouses at the water's edge for storage and whether those structures could have flat roofs.

Lake protection groups have said the area near a lakeshore is crucial to maintaining a healthy lake, with runoff a problem.

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Running for Congress
2:31 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Democrat Westlund Campaigns in Rhinelander

Kelly Westlund spoke in Rhinelander Tuesday, after declaring her candidacy for Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

A Democratic challenger to Representative Sean Duffy paid a visit to Rhinelander Tuesday.  Kelly Westlund declared her candidacy last week.

About thirty people gathered at the Rhinelander Days Inn to hear from the newest candidate to represent Wisconsin’s 7th  Congressional district.  The 30-year-old Kelly Westlund has served for two years on the Ashland City Council.  Her background is in environmental and sustainability work.  And she says she’s not worried about being relatively new to the political game. 

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Treaty Rights Tested
3:37 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Tribes Begin to React to Night Hunting Ruling

Night hunting of deer has long been banned in Wisconsin, but some of the state's tribes argue it's a federally protected treaty right.
Credit Oregon Department of Transportation

One of Wisconsin’s tribal leaders is expressing disappointment at last week’s federal ruling against night hunting.  

Six Chippewa tribes had filed suit, arguing that night hunting in ceded territory is a federally protected treaty right.  But Judge Barbara Crabb ruled against the practice Friday, citing a risk to the public.

Lac du Flambeau Chairman Tom Maulson says it’s a traditional practice that hasn’t resulted in any incidents.

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15 to 30 years
4:39 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Governor Signs Bill Extending Boulder Shooting Range Lease

Example of a shooting range
Credit en.wikipedia.org

  

One of the bills signed by Governor Walker last week allows the Boulder Junction Shooting Range to extend it's use of state land to 30 years from the current 15.

State Senator Tom Tiffany and Representative Rob Swearingen authored the bills in each chamber in Madison to make the change.

Swearingen says he and Tiffany were approached by the club to help them out of a possible problem...

 

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Hunt returns to Rhinelander
5:22 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

New Law Overrides City Deer Hunt Laws

Credit en.wikipedia.org

The city of Rhinelander deer hunt was canceled this fall after the number of nuisance deer had diminished. But the hunt can resume after Governor Walker signed a bill this week.

The bill allows for greater crossbow use and also opens up deer hunting in cities across the state. But Rhinelander city council member Alex Young points out the bill also takes away many of the regulations local communities had over bow hunts within city limits...

 

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Loosens regulations on hard surfaces
3:11 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

NRB Approves Shoreland Zoning Changes

Grindstone Lake, Sawyer county
Credit en.wikipedia.org

The state Natural Resources Board has approved changes in Wisconsin's shoreland protection laws that a DNR spokesperson says make them better for landowners.

The state updated the regulations in 2010 for the first time since the 1960's. The changes were met with resistence by local zoning administrators who said they were going to be costly and difficult to implement.

 

Russ Rasmussen, an administrator in the DNR's water division, says the update clarifies hard surface regulations concerning runoff. He outlines the changes...

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Plan under review
1:55 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Mine Sample Plan Submitted To DNR

Taconite pellets
Credit en.wikipedia.org

The mining company has submitted it's revised plan to sample iron ore at a mine site in the Penokee Hills, and a DNR spokesperson says they've identified the remaining issues.

The initial plan for Gogebic Taconite's desire to mine the large site in Iron and Ashland counties involves submitting what's called a Bulk Sampling Plan.

DNR spokesperson Larry Lynch says the agency has determined specific permits will be needed...

 

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Oneida county case
11:37 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Bible Camp Rehearing Request Denied By Court

Credit Eagle Cove Camp and Conference Center

The 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago has denied a rehearing on a decision against a family hoping to build a bible camp and conference center on Squash Lake.

The Jaros Family has tried for nearly a decade to build the facility on family owned land in the town of Woodboro, Oneida county. Oneida county and the town of Woodboro, along with the Oneida County Board of Adjustment have all denied needed permits.

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