Wisconsin Weekly: Is climate change to blame for high water levels?

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Lake Michigan up; crime flat in states with legal pot; central WI homeowners fear water contamination from manure; regulators warn of Superior natural gas plant


Of note: This week we highlight a story by the Green Bay Press-Gazette. The story explores whether the record-high water levels in recent years in Lake Michigan — blamed for eroding backyards, sinking docks and shrinking beaches — are the new normal for the Great Lakes. The answer from scientists: Lake levels are complicated and hard to predict, especially over the long term.

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Lake Michigan reached record high levels this summer. Is climate change the cause?

Green Bay Press Gazette — October 7, 2019

When Hal Wilson moved to Baileys Harbor in 2001, he could walk across a “bone-dry causeway” to reach Cana Island, a favorite tourist spot topped with a historic lighthouse. Several years ago, as Lake Michigan’s waters rose, the Door County Maritime Museum, which owns and operates Cana Island, added a tractor that pulled a trailer for visitors to reach the lighthouse without getting their feet wet. This summer, water often covered the causeway; it was impassable even for the tractor for 30 days this summer.

Emily Hamer / Wisconsin Watch

Cannabis is seen growing in Leafline Labs headquarters, in Cottage Grove, Minn., April 18, 2019. The 42,000-square-foot indoor cultivation and production facility is used to grow marijuana for medical uses and create various pharmaceutical cannabis products.

Does legalizing pot increase crime? Not in Washington or Colorado

The Crime Report — October 8, 2019

Legalizing marijuana for recreational use has had no significant impact on serious crime rates in Colorado or Washington, according to a new study. Although researchers at Washington State University, Stockton University and the University of Utah found an initial but short-lived uptick in some crime categories, the overall serious crime rate in both states was unaffected over the period, the researchers concluded. Previously from Wisconsin Watch: Pitfalls and promises: States with legalized marijuana see mixed picture

State regulators: Proposed Superior natural gas plant would have negative effects on groundwater

Wisconsin Public Radio — October 4, 2019

Wisconsin regulators say a proposed $700 million natural gas power plant in Superior would have significant negative effects on groundwater quantity at its preferred site on the Nemadji River. A subsidiary of Minnesota Power and La Crosse-based Dairyland Power Cooperative are planning to build the 625-megawatt Nemadji Trail Energy Center in Superior. The Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recently released a final environmental impact statement for the power plant.

Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

Manure from cows, such as these seen in a barn in Pepin County, Wis., has been tied to drinking water contamination in Kewaunee County, according to research released this week.

This Wisconsin town is desperately fighting for its drinking water

HuffPost — October 8, 2019

The day the mailer fell onto the Carrells’ doormat was the start of an epic battle — one that is still ongoing and has pitched the tiny community of Saratoga, Wisconsin, terrified of losing its pristine drinking water, against a big agricultural company determined to build another mega-diary. Saratoga citizens’ fight against Golden Sands represents a battle for clean water across the region. “I’ve given up a lot of my life because of this fight,” Carrell told HuffPost over the phone in late January. She admitted she was exhausted. The fight was almost at its seven-year mark, and she still couldn’t see the finish line.

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