WisconsinWeekly: Childhood trauma, hate crime, lead dangers, green water and harmful anti-malarial drug

Oprah explores childhood trauma; Madison sees another hate crime; adults harmed by lead exposure and other stories affecting Wisconsin

Of note: This week we look at local — and national — news reports that touch on deep problems, several of which we’ve previously examined here at WCIJ. On 60 Minutes, Oprah Winfrey produces a “life-changing” report on trauma suffered in childhood, exploring her own upbringing in Milwaukee. The Wisconsin State Journal reports on Trent Jackson, a former University of Wisconsin-Madison basketball player who was racially harassed while walking his dog. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel cites a study linking lead exposure to 250,000 cardiac deaths. WisContext shows the links between agriculture and icky green algal blooms in water. And Current reports on calls by former Peace Corps members and others for NPR to release Daniel Zwerdling’s report on the dangers of the anti-malarial drug mefloquine. Zwerdling left NPR last month amid allegations of sexual harassment.

WisconsinWeekly is produced by Andy and Dee J. Hall, a couple who founded the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. Andy is the executive director and Dee is the managing editor.

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Treating childhood trauma

60 Minutes — March 11, 2018

Inspired by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report published last March, Oprah Winfrey reports for 60 Minutes on how trauma plays a role in childhood development and how new methods are being used to help kids who have experienced it. A revolutionary approach, called “trauma-informed care,” is used at SaintA in Milwaukee, the city where Winfrey grew up. Earlier from WCIJ: Focus on traumatic childhood helps victims heal and succeed

Racially tinged confrontation ends in broken nose, remorse — and lingering sense of violation for former Badgers star Trent Jackson

Wisconsin State Journal — March 12, 2018

While walking his dog on Dec. 20, former Badgers basketball player Trent Jackson was attacked by two young white men, one of who called him the N-word while the other tried to attack him. “I see myself as a black man who lives in Madison and because I played college basketball for the Badgers, I’m maybe handed a little more credibility. That still doesn’t change the fact that I’m a black man,” Jackson said. Earlier from WCIJ: Across Wisconsin, recent rises in hate, bias incidents spark concern and Controversial Proud Boys embrace ‘Western values,’ reject feminism and political correctness

Lead exposure may be linked to 250,000 heart-disease deaths each year, study finds

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — March 12, 2018

A new study has found that the deaths of an estimated 250,000 Americans from cardiovascular disease each year may be linked to lead exposure. Medical researchers have long known that lead poisoning can be extremely damaging. In previous studies, researchers assumed that low levels of lead wouldn’t increase the risk of death. But, the new study found even minute levels of lead substantially increase the risk of death. Earlier from WCIJ: Lead pipes, antiquated law threaten Wisconsin’s drinking water quality.

Slowing the growth of slime in central Wisconsin’s waters

WisContext — March 12, 2018

Phosphorus pollution afflicts bodies of water all over Wisconsin, creating nasty green algal blooms that make it dangerous for wildlife and unpleasant for humans. The primary source? Agriculture. Phosphorus seeps or runs from fields into surface and groundwaters from many dispersed locations. Even though large farms are regulated, it is complicated to track such “non-point” sources of pollution. Earlier from WCIJ: Our Murky Waters series on how the Madison-area lakes got so polluted.

Peace Corps alumni, drug safety groups press NPR to release Daniel Zwerdling’s investigative report

Current — March 15, 2018

Peace Corps alumni and drug safety organizations are calling on NPR to air an investigation by Daniel Zwerdling, a reporter who left NPR after facing sexual harassment allegations. The report on the anti-malarial drug mefloquine was supposed to air in November. The Peace Corps alumni and drug safety organizations are urging NPR to air the report because of its public service value and the time and resources the organizations invested in Zwerdling’s research. The University of Wisconsin-Madison has one of the largest contingents of Peace Corps volunteers in the nation.

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