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Initial claims down
4:45 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Fed Shutdown Slowed Wis. Unemployment Reporting

Depression-era lines
Credit commons.wikimedia.org

The recently-ended federal government shutdown is affecting more than federal programs: it's also slowing down the state's reporting on unemployment.

The Department of Workforce Development routinely puts out local jobless numbers the fourth week of the month. Not this month, as state economist Tom Walsh points out.

But Walsh says some local trends were seen...

 

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Looking Back on a Mine Controversy
4:00 am
Mon October 28, 2013

What Does the Crandon Mine Story Mean Today?

One branch of the Wolf River begins in Forest County, near the site of a mine that was once proposed.
Credit Royalbroil via Wikimedia Commons

Today marks 10 years since a proposal for a copper and zinc mine in Forest County came to an end.  Members of the Mole Lake Sokaogon Chippewa and Menominee tribes gathered this weekend to celebrate…but pointed out that mining remains a controversial issue in northern Wisconsin. 

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Ten Years Later
4:00 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Remembering the Crandon Mine Proposal

At age 28 Fred Ackley Jr. got involved in protesting a mine proposal near Mole Lake.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Today marks 10 years since two Native tribes purchased land that was once slated for a copper and zinc mine near the Mole Lake Sokaogon Reservation.

That tribe and Forest County Potawatomi bought the land for more than 16 million dollars. 

WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski went to a celebration this weekend marking the anniversary…and she sat down with some of the tribal activists from Mole Lake. 

Hear from Fred Ackley Jr.:

Hear from Francis Van Zile:

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Public hearings across state
5:04 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

Walleye Initiative Brings Input From Anglers

A DNR Fisheries Manager says after a series of meetings on upgraded walleye stocking in Wisconsin waters, the public has reacted favorably.

Governor Walker announced in May the state would spend more than $12 million to upgrade facilities and grow walleye fingerlings to a larger size. The larger fish tend to have a higher survivability rate.

Steve Avelallemant outlines some of the feedback they've been hearing...

 

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State school mandate questioned
4:49 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

More Phy. Ed. Means Less Foreign Language?

Task Force in Rhinelander
Credit Ken Krall

The state is hoping to mandate more physical education in schools. Area school leaders last week said it's a worthy goal, but it places cash-strapped districts into a bind.

The Speakers Task Force On Rural Schools met in Rhinelander last week.

Task Force member, Representative Stephen Nass asked Rhinelander School Superintendent Kelli Jacobi about unfunded mandates. She mentioned the possible new phy ed requirement...

 

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Rhinelander a stop
4:39 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

Vinehout To Test Governor's Race

State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout
Credit legis.wisconsin.gov

She's testing the waters to possibly run again for Governor.

Democratic State Senator Kathleen Vinehout from Alma in western Wisconsin will be in Rhinelander Saturday afternoon to meet the public.

Vinehout is a veteran legislator and ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in the 2012 Gubernatorial recall election. She lost to Tom Barrett, who then lost to Republican Scott Walker.

She says she's concerned about priorities in the Republican majority budget. She says there was 4 billion more dollars in this budget than the last budget...

 

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Faces 43 felonies
2:13 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Former Town Clerk To Enter Plea In January

The town of Elcho's former clerk will be arraigned in January on 43 felonies alleging misuse of more than $100,000 in town money.

43 year old Melissa Bloechl waived a preliminary hearing in Langlade County Circuit Court Friday morning.

Bloechl was charged in August with one count of theft from a business of more than $10,000, two counts of forgery and 40 counts of misconduct in public office. Investigators allege one check was for more than $50,000 and another for $40,000.

Winner in WXPR's Fall Drawing
1:41 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Paul Kage Scores The Kayak

Paul Kage, winner of the Dagger Zydeco Kayak in WXPR's Fall Drawing.
Peg Arnold

Paul Kage, avid kayaker and cyclist of Wausau, is the winner of the Dagger Zydeco Kayak offered in WXPR’s Fall Drawing. Our thanks to Mitch Mode of  Mel’s Trading Post for donating this enticing grand prize.    

Paul called in his pledge on late Blues Friday. He was cycling home from second-shift work thinking the show might end before he arrived home. So he stopped in a park and made the winning pledge from his cell phone.  

Fundraiser and pumpkin contest
9:19 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Hodags Auctioned And Pumpkins Aglow Saturday

A Hodag Looking For A Home
Credit downtownrhinelander.com

The principal fundraiser to aid downtown Rhinelander is being held Saturday night and the downtown will also be aglow.

The fundraiser is an adult Halloween Costume party and auction, earning the moniker this year the "Haunted Hodag Howl".

Downtown Rhinelander, Inc.'s Maggie Steffen says the event auctions off Hodag replicas that are seen around the community. But this year, the mythical beast is smaller and there's more of them...

 

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Limiting Local Control
4:23 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Strong Opinions Heard on Frac Sand Bill

Senate Bill 349 would mostly regulate non-metallic mining activities like frac sand mining.
Credit Nigel Corby

Impassioned testimony lasted all day at the state capitol, as groups lined up to speak on a bill limiting local control of some mining activities.

The legislation drafted by Hazelhurst Senator Tom Tiffany says towns must defer to state standards regarding air and water quality standards for blasting and other activities. 

Communities could still control non-metallic mining using zoning regulations.  But not all towns have that power. 

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