Posted Saturday, August 31, 2013 --- 3:48 a.m.
Bill would close forest around Wis. mine site
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Two Republican legislators have introduced a bill that would close down the forest around an iron mine site just south of Lake Superior.
Gogebic Taconite wants to dig a 4 1/2-mile mine in the Penokee Hills. The forest around the site is enrolled in the Department of Natural Resources' managed forest program, which ensures access for hiking, hunting, fishing, skiing and sightseeing. Protesters emerged from the forest earlier this summer and accosted mine workers.
Senators Glenn Grothman and Tom Tiffany's bill would allow Gogebic Taconite to close up to 4,000 acres around the site to recreational use. Tiffany says the proposal is meant to help protect mine workers from more protesters.
The Senate's mining committee has scheduled a public hearing on the bill for Wednesday.
DOA grants 3-day permit for Wis. Capitol singers
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Governor Scott Walker's administration has granted protesters a permit to gather in the state Capitol for three days next month.
Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch says Tom Kasper of Madison requested a permit for the singers. The application asked for a permit with no end date.
Huebsch said in a letter to Kasper that DOA interpreted the application for a perpetual permit. Huebsch said that would conflict with other uses in the Capitol but did grant the request for September 9th, September 11th and September 12th.
Protesters have been gathering in the Capitol rotunda for more than two years. They refuse to get a permit because they feel they're exercising their free speech rights. Police launched a crackdown on them last month and have made scores of arrests.
Wis. DOJ: Plaintiff dead, voter ID suit should go
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin officials say a federal challenge to the state's voter ID law should be tossed because the only individual plaintiff died 10 months ago.
The lawsuit was filed last year by several groups who say it discriminates against blacks and Latinos.
The law requires voters to present an acceptable form of ID at the polls. A Dane County judge has blocked the law in separate litigation, and two federal cases are pending.
The lead plaintiff in one federal case is Bettye Jones, a black woman who lacks a birth certificate.
The state filed a motion Friday saying it recently learned Jones is dead, and the other plaintiffs are organizations that lack standing to sue.
But Jones's lawyer, Charles Curtis, says he believes the other plaintiffs do have standing.
ANCHOR BANCORP REORGANIZATION
Judge accepts Anchor BanCorp reorganization plan
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The parent company of Madison-based AnchorBank says a federal bankruptcy judge has accepted its reorganization plan.
Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin filed for Chapter 11 reorganization earlier this month, asking a judge to clear the way for a deal that would erase its debts and raise $175 million in new investment capital.
A company statement said the judge approved its plan at a Friday hearing. It says some conditions must still be met, including regulatory approvals.
AnchorBank President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Bauer says the reorganization only affects the parent company, and AnchorBank will continue to operate as usual.
Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin filed for bankruptcy after rival Associated Bank rejected a deal to settle a $116 million loan made by it and two other banks in 2008.
No charges for DOJ official for alleged gun sales
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin Department of Justice agent accused of illegally selling and manufacturing weapons won't face criminal charges.
Assistant Attorney General Kevin Potter says the agency will now decide whether to launch an internal investigation into Jay Smith.
Potter made the comments Friday in a letter to the Wisconsin State Journal.
Smith was a supervisor in Superior when one of his agents reported he had been making and selling guns to other law officers without a federal permit. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been investigating Smith since December.
Potter's letter says the criminal investigation into Smith's activities is over, and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota won't be filing charges.
Dan Bethards, the agent who accused Smith, declined comment when reached by The Associated Press.
Copyright 2013: Associated Press