Posted inGovernmentLocal newsPolitics

Your Right to Know: Wisconsin Lawmakers Seek to Keep Their Misconduct Secret

By Bill Lueders WISCONSIN- Even Staush Gruszynski didn’t want this to happen. The former state Assembly representative from Green Bay is the subject of an ongoing legal battle over records regarding his sexual harassment of a female staffer. A judge ruled in late June that the Legislature violated the state’s open records law in denying […]

Posted inCORONAVIRUS

FEMA offers generous funeral aid to those grieving COVID-19 deaths. Getting it isn’t easy.

By Noelle Alviz-Gransee, Wisconsin WatchKristin Byrne, TMJ4 News Shenora Staten-Jordan felt lost when her father, Gary Lee Staten, died of COVID-19 in May. She hadn’t expected to lose him so soon at age 61 — or for a contagious disease to hinder her goodbye.  All of that only strengthened her Milwaukee family’s wishes to give Staten […]

Posted inCommunityLetter to the Editor

Your Right to Know: No Private Email Accounts for Public Business

By Tom Kamenick, Wisconsin Watch Imagine that a developer has been lobbying your local town board to approve a controversial development. You file a record request asking for all emails between that developer and the board’s three members. None of them have official government email accounts, so they search their personal emails. Two members each […]

Posted inLocal newsSchools

Drop out or drown in debt? Many Black students in Wisconsin face stark choices in paying for college

By Alyssa Huglen, Wisconsin Watch When Clint Myrick graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2010, he left with two consequential pieces of paper: a diploma for a bachelor’s degree in music education — and an eye-popping student loan bill. The Milwaukee native was one of the first in his family to attend college, and […]

Posted inCORONAVIRUS

‘He shouldn’t have had to die’: COVID-19 infects half of Wisconsin inmates, five times the overall state rate

By Vanessa SwalesWisconsin Watch Calvin Johnson spent his final weeks at Prairie du Chien Correctional Institution wracked in pandemic anxiety, a former cellmate recalled. He closely tracked COVID-19’s spread in and outside of the medium-security state prison — eyeing daily infection counts in surrounding Crawford County and across Wisconsin. Johnson, who grew up in Milwaukee and […]

Posted inHealthLocal news

‘The happiness and joy has been sucked out of me’: Wisconsin dairy farmers face mental health crisis

By Jack Kelly For Wisconsin Watch It was Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. David Fischer had just arrived for work at his dairy farm in Rio, Wisconsin. A slight breeze punctuated the freezing, grey morning. His drive to work is just 2 minutes. From where he parked his pickup truck on the farm’s gravel driveway, he […]

Posted inGovernmentLocal newsPolitics

Wisconsin caucuses pose thorny safety issues during pandemic

By Anya van Wagtendonk Wisconsin Watch This article is made possible through Votebeat, a nonpartisan reporting project covering local election integrity and voting access. Every January across Wisconsin, some towns and villages hold time-honored, in-person caucuses to nominate candidates for local offices. Residents gather in town or village halls, schools, and other community spaces to […]

Posted inElectionsGovernmentLocal newsPolitics

Wisconsin’s nonvoters could be a powerful bloc — but barriers, disillusionment stand in the way

By Nora Eckert Wisconsin Watch This article is made possible through Votebeat, a nonpartisan reporting project covering local election integrity and voting access. When Angela Lang reflects on the thousands of conversations she and other members of her community organization, BLOC, have had with Milwaukee residents, one floats to the top of her mind. Angela […]

Posted inCORONAVIRUS

A Wisconsin hospital promised to stop suing most patients during the pandemic. Then it filed 200 lawsuits.

By Bram Sable-SmithWisconsin Watch/WPR Alysa Gummow didn’t know what to think in October when the letters from bankruptcy law firms arrived in the mail. She had filed for bankruptcy in 2017 to restructure nearly $50,000 in debt — mostly stemming from a hip surgery two years earlier. But that was resolved. Why was she getting […]

Posted inElectionsGovernmentLocal newsPolitics

Wisconsin GOP lawmakers call for tighter voting rules; Dems call election hearing a ‘sham’

By Anya van Wagtendonk and Nora Eckert Wisconsin Watch This article is made possible through Votebeat, a nonpartisan reporting project covering local election integrity and voting access. About two hours into a joint legislative hearing Friday, state Rep. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit, said he had enough of the “sham” gathering called by Republican lawmakers to investigate […]

Posted inCommunity

Aggressive policing escalates violence at protests, research shows. A former Madison police chief touts a better way.

By Clara Neupert Wisconsin Watch At least 1,500 young people gathered on Madison, Wisconsin’s Mifflin Street in April 1973 for a block party featuring street dancing, potato salad and sunshine. People drank beer, smoked weed and tossed Frisbees in the neighborhood near the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus known informally as Miffland. Police officers observed the […]

Posted inCORONAVIRUS

COVID-19 killed a thousand Wisconsinites in three weeks. These residents don’t see the danger.

By Howard Hardee Wisconsin Watch Dan trusts practically nothing the media and medical establishments say about the COVID-19 pandemic. He considers the threat overblown. And saying as much on Twitter has triggered some heated arguments. “You question anything, you get told you’re going to kill grandma or you’re doing something wrong, and you’re made to […]

Posted inElectionsGovernmentLocal newsPolitics

Despite a surge in absentee voting, changes to ballot processing languish in Wisconsin

By Nora Eckert Wisconsin Watch This article is made possible through Votebeat, a nonpartisan reporting project covering local election integrity and voting access. As Claire Woodall-Vogg stood in the middle of an empty Central Count facility days before the Nov. 3 election, it wasn’t just the national spotlight on the city of Milwaukee or the […]