State Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, said at a Monday legislative hearing that he wants to prevent local governments from changing local regulations in ways that hurt existing and permitted nonmetallic mines.

New frac sand bill still divides

A legislative hearing Monday on a revised attempt to limit local governments’ authority to regulate nonmetallic mining, including existing frac sand mines, drew support from mining representatives but opposition from town leaders.

“We know that there are folks out there who are having difficulty enrolling,” said Bobby Peterson, executive director of ABC for Health, a Madison-based public interest law firm.

Wisconsin health-care helpers getting a late start

Three weeks after the launch of federal health care exchanges, just one of the six organizations selected to receive a total of $1 million in federal funds to help Wisconsinites enroll is up and running. J.P. Wieske, spokesman for the state Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, blamed the delay on the federal government. “Functionally, when you don’t get a grant until Aug. 15 and you’re supposed to start Oct. 1, you’re going to have problems,” Wieske said.

Frac sand health fears rise as mining booms in Wisconsin

Like some other west-central Wisconsin residents, Frances and Dean Sayles are frustrated with the state Department of Natural Resources’ lack of a comprehensive approach to addressing concerns surrounding potential health problems from crystalline silica dust. Now some residents, academics, local government officials and even a frac sand producer have begun taking action.