WisconsinWeekly: Gov. Walker’s $100 handouts, sexual misconduct at WI DOJ, more

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Lottery fraud, Gov. Walker’s election-year gambit, CTE’s toll, Enbridge fined, farms’ impact on water, sexual misconduct at DOJ

Of note: This week we highlight three stories that address issues we’ve previously investigated at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism:

— The integrity of lotteries. The New York Times offers a deep dive into a lottery fraud case that stretched from Iowa to Texas to Colorado to Wisconsin and beyond.

— The toll of CTE. The toll of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) on a hockey family with strong Wisconsin ties is explored by The New York Times.

— Farms and water pollution. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel breaks the news that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency investigated potential groundwater contamination in central Wisconsin. For years, residents have expressed fears that the farms’ pollution may threaten their health.

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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The man who cracked the lottery

The New York Times Magazine — May 3, 2018

When the Iowa attorney general’s office began investigating an unclaimed lottery ticket worth millions, an incredible string of unlikely winners came to light — and a trail that pointed to an inside job. The New York Times tells the story of lottery fraud extending from Iowa to Texas to Colorado to Wisconsin and beyond. Earlier from WCIJ: Some people repeatedly win the Wisconsin Lottery. Do they play fair?

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is sending 671,000 families an election-year check. Democrats call it bribery.

Washington Post — May 3, 2018

Starting May 15, parents in Wisconsin can log on to a state-run website, answer a few questions and sign up to get checks worth $100 per child. To Gov. Scott Walker, it’s a chance to turn a state budget surplus into a bonus for parents who could use extra cash. To his critics, who note that Walker is a few months away from a tough reelection bid, it looks like campaign-year bribery.

The tragic diagnosis they already knew: Their brother died with CTE

The New York Times — May 3, 2018

To the family of former NHL player Jeff Parker, the posthumous diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) was the predictable conclusion. To the NHL and its commissioner, Gary Bettman, the diagnosis is likely to be the latest piece of evidence to dismiss or combat. Earlier from WCIJ: University of Wisconsin football players downplay warnings while proof of brain injury — even from small hits — piles up

Enbridge fined $1.9 million for inspection woes on Line 5, other pipelines

Bridge Magazine — May 4, 2018

Enbridge Energy has agreed to pay the federal government $1.9 million to settle claims it didn’t properly inspect some of its pipelines, which it was required to do following a pipeline oil spill nearly eight years ago. Two of the six violations concerned Line 5 — a section from Bay City and Sarnia, Ontario, and another between Iron River and Superior, Wisconsin. Enbridge admitted no wrongdoing.

EPA investigates possible groundwater contamination in central Wisconsin as worries grow

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — May 4, 2018

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency investigated potential groundwater contamination in central Wisconsin after longstanding complaints over the health impact farms may pose to drinking water. The investigation underscores growing concerns in rural areas over the impact manure spreading may have on groundwater. Earlier from WCIJ: Bacteria in state’s drinking water is ‘public health crisis’ and Nitrate in water widespread, current rules no match for it

Groping, spying, harassing: Misconduct complaints within Wisconsin’s Department of Justice

Post-Crescent — May 9, 2018

At least seven Wisconsin Department of Justice employees have been accused of sexual misconduct since 2014. Newly released documents show DOJ officials investigated complaints of making sexual innuendos, invading personal space, groping, joking about a worker’s sexuality and spying on women through windows of the agency’s Madison headquarters. Most allegations were ruled unfounded or resulted in directives to stop inappropriate conduct.

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