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Hearing Thursday in Madison
6:00 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Frac Sand Bill Could Change Local Non-Metal Mine Control

Frac sand mining
Credit midwestenergynews.com

A state Senator says many people are said to be heading to Madison Thursday morning to give testimony on a bill that would limit local governments control over frac sand mining.

The bill was authored by State Senator Tom Tiffany and Assembly Represenative Joan Ballweg. The bill would limit the powers of local governments to regulate placement of non-metallic mines. State Senator Kathleen Vinehout, whose district includes some of the frac mines, said the issue relates to local control...

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Challenges in Rural Education
5:26 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Lawmakers Learn About Rural Schools

Task Force on Rural Schools
Credit Ken Krall / WXPR News

Eleven Assembly members from both parties came to Rhinelander Wednesday to learn more of the challenges facing rural schools. Ken Krall reports area school leaders had much to say.

The Speakers Task Force on Rural Schools first heard from Rhinelander Superintendent Kelli Jacobi who outlined Rhinelander's history, including cutting $11 million from the budget and closing five buildings, including 4 schools in the past ten years. She says a combination of factors are providing local schools with increasing problems, not the least of which is the drop in state aids...

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A Closer Look at New Laws
4:25 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Mining Critics Call for Independent Testing, Scrutinize Legislation

The state’s Sierra Club is calling for independent testing of a proposed iron mine site.  The group has long been against Gogebic Taconite’s plan to mine in the Penokee Range. 

Dave Blouin is mining chair for Wisconsin’s chapter of the Sierra Club.   Blouin says recent findings of asbestos-like fibers underscore the need for watchdog testing.

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Hands-Off Approach OK'd
3:42 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Van Vliets to Be Passively Managed

Natural Resources Board members have approved a plan to passively manage the Van Vliets.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Presque Isle’s Van Vliet Hemlocks will become a State Natural Area.  And the mostly old-growth parcel will be managed with as little interference as possible.  The state Natural Resources Board voted today to approve the DNR’s recommendation to passively manage the entire area. 

Tom Olson President of the group Friends of the Van Vliet spoke at the meeting, citing widespread public support for letting the hemlock parcel manage itself.

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Aqualand Manufacturing
10:16 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Woman Strikes Plea Bargain On Embezzlement Charges

The daughter of the owners and former bookkeeper for Aqualand Manufacturing in Woodruff has struck a plea bargain concerning multiple charges of theft from a business setting and tax fraud.

46 year old Lisa Saykally was alleged to have taken more than $500,000 from the firm. In Oneida county court Tuesday, Saykally agreed to plead no contest to six felony embezzlement counts and one count of tax fraud. Judge Patrick O'Melia agreed to dismiss six other counts and found her guilty. He ordered a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for January 9.

Nearly flat tax levy
9:03 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Vilas County Passes 2014 Budget

Vilas county courthouse
Credit courthousehistory.com

The Vilas County Board of Supervisors Tuesday night approved a budget for 2014 that calls for a small increase in the property tax rate. Vilas county has one of the lowest property tax rates in the state. The increase will amount to $8 per $100,000 of valuation. The budget is a compromise….in order to maintain a county services, provide for a number of important projects, and maintain a healthy fund balance.

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Quota met
4:03 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Wolf Hunt In Portions Of Northwoods Is Over

Credit en.wikipedia.org

The DNR has closed Wolf Harvest Zone 2 to hunting and trapping of gray wolves effective Wednesday, Oct. 23, 3 p.m. The zone is closed to any further hunting and trapping of wolves for the 2013-2014 wolf harvest season. That zone includes most of Oneida, Forest and Vilas counties, and portions of Lincoln and Langlade counties.

Wolf Harvest Zone 2 is the first zone to be closed this season. The harvest of wolves currently remains open in all other zones.

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Keeping Mercury Out of the Environment
3:02 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Statehouse Bill Requires Recycling of Mercury Thermostats

Proposed legislation would tighten rules for disposal of mercury-based thermostats.  Though no longer made, many households still use them.  But if thrown away or burned, that mercury can get into the environment.

A new bill would require manufacturers to pay for recycling programs, and make them easy to use by the public. 

Amber Meyer Smith of advocacy group Clean Wisconsin…says it would be similar to the state’s e-waste recycling program.

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Looking for more rail service
2:33 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Three U.P. Counties Join Wisconsin Rail Group

Credit proactiveinvestors.com

Three Michigan counties have joined the Northwoods Rail Transit Commission, Wisconsin's largest Rail Transit group.

Iron, Ontonagon and Dickinson counties join 12 central and northern Wisconsin counties to promote more rail service here. Canadian National provides the service.

Wendy Gehlhoff from Florence County is the group's chairperson....

 

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Risk of Carbon Monoxide Exposure
2:01 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Furnace Maintenance Cuts Down on Health Risks

Wisconsin Public Service is urging homeowners to get their furnaces checked to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Credit home.howstuffworks.com

The early cold snap has residents cranking up their furnaces. A Wisconsin Public Service spokesperson offers a reminder to think about maintaining that furnace, to prevent a possibly fatal build-up of carbon monoxide.

News Director Ken Krall talks with Leah Van Zile.

Van Zile says chimneys should be checked to make sure critters haven't taken up residence in them and preventing good ventilation.

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