Mining Hearings Underway In Madison
(AP) Dozens of people have jammed a hearing on a bill to jumpstart an iron mine in northwestern Wisconsin. Gogebic Taconite wants to mine just south of Lake Superior. Company officials want lawmakers to guarantee a stopping point in the state's open-ended permit process before they move forward, though. Assembly Republicans have passed a measure that would require a permitting decision within a year, eliminate contested case hearings and cap application fees at $2 million. It now goes to the state Senate. The Legislature's budget committee opened a public hearing on the measure Friday morning. Rep. Robin Vos, the committee's co-chairman, says he wants finish by 5 p.m. Sen. Pam Galloway is sponsoring the Assembly bill in the Senate. She told the committee the mine would be an economic boom.
Your Getting Married Where!
(AP) It's the ultimate winter wedding. Bride-to-be Jennifer Truex explains that she will wed her fiance Dan Petrie on the ice of Gull Lake Saturday because they're ``outdoorsy people.'' Truex says even Petrie's proposal was a bit out of the box. The two were four-wheeling in the woods last fall and ``waist deep in mud'' when Petrie proposed. Truex says she didn't hesitate to say `yes'. Saturday's forecast in Brainerd calls for temperatures in the mid-30s. Truex tells the Brainerd Dispatch that she's reminded guests to buddle up because the reception will be on the ice as well. There will be ice fishing before and after the ceremony and minnows and fishing poles will decorate the tables. And for their guests from Arizona and Texas, the couple will have a heated tent.
Gundersen Lutheran Joins 8 Other HMO's In Minnesota Now
A new health maintenance organization has been authorized to operate in Minnesota for the first time in 14 years. Gundersen Lutheran Health Plan of Onalaska plans to operate in four southeastern Minnesota counties Fillmore, Houston, Olmsted and Winona. Gundersen will be the ninth HMO operating in Minnesota, which only allows nonprofit or governmental HMOs. Gundersen's HMO started in 1995 as a way for the company to finance its employees' health care. It was expanded to provide benefit plans for other area businesses and now has more than 90,000 members. It also does business in Wisconsin and Iowa.
Looks Like Green Bay New Host Of State Tourney's
The WIAA state basketball tournaments appear to be headed to Green Bay. The WIAA Board of Control has voted to accept a bid from PMI Entertainment, which manages the Resch Center, to hold the WIAA state tournaments there as early as next year.
WIAA executive director Dave Anderson confirmed the vote, but said that the Board also authorized him to clarify the understanding of the UW's most recent proposal regarding the availability of the Kohl Center in 2013 and 2014. The UW has said that it could not guarantee access to the facility due to conflicts with WCHA men's hockey in 2013 and a possible NCAA Women's Frozen Four in 2014.
Anderson said the WIAA would not consider using the Dane County Coliseum or the UW Field House in either of those two years until the Kohl Center became available.
Bike Signs to be Thinned Out
Up to three quarters of the new Share the Road with Bicycle signs could be taken down from a couple of streets in La Crosse. City traffic engineer Matt Gallagher blames a lack of communication on the apparent extreme level of signage along Main street and 16th street in the city. Several days ago, big safety yellow signs were installed on both side of those streets, one per block. The signs show the silhouette of a bicycle and the words, "Share the Road." Some of the signs will be left in place and others are set to be added to La Crosse, seventh, Pine and Badger streets. Others will be placed up Bliss road to the top of Grandad Bluff.