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Woman charged with role in Gogebic Taconite mine protester incident

HURLEY, WI (WTAQ) - A Stevens Point woman is free on a signature bond, after making her first court appearance for last month’s disturbance at the proposed Gogebic Taconite iron ore mine.

26-year-old Katie Kloth waived the state’s time limit for a preliminary hearing on a felony robbery charge in Iron County. She’s also charged with 3 misdemeanor counts of theft and criminal damage.

Her next court date was not set.

The Ironwood Daily Globe said Kloth wore a T-shirt to court Monday which read, “Save the Penokees.”

The Penokee Hills is where Gogebic Taconite has been drilling eight exploratory holes over the past month. The firm expects to complete its initial drilling by Friday.

The Iron County district attorney said Kloth was among up to 20 protestors at the mining site on June 11th.

The DA said they hid their faces with bandanas as they threw soda cans, shouted obscenities, damaged drilling equipment, and destroyed a worker’s camera and cell phone. The damage totaled $2,400.

Gogebic Taconite responded by hiring a military-style security firm from Arizona – but it was pulled back when it was learned that the firm did not have a state license. BulletProof Securities of Arizona said it applied for the license last Friday, and it expects approval within a couple days.

In Watertown Monday, Governor Scott Walker said he didn’t blame Gogebic for bringing in the camouflaged security guards with assault rifles. The Republican Walker – who supports the mine as a job creator – called the protestors “extremists” who dressed like ninjas. He hoped that, “cooler heads will prevail.”