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Hearing held on new mine in Ashland

ASHLAND - Residents in northern Wisconsin got a chance to comment on a new permitting law for mines and that's what they did.

A crowd of more than 200 showed up in Ashland yesterday, a majority of them saying streamlining state laws would mean devastating environmental damage for that mostly pristine part of the Badger State.

The listening session was set up by Democratic state Senator Tim Cullen of Janesville. He's the sponsor of legislation offered as an alternative to a Republican bill passed last week by mining committees in both the Assembly and Senate.

Easing mining regulations is a Republican idea to help Gogebic Taconite open a huge iron mine in northwestern Wisconsin. They say the project would mean hundreds of much-needed jobs.