Rural pain, ‘forever’ chemicals, depression at dairy farms, pot pardons, UW’s racial reckoning
Of note: This week we highlight a story by Bram Sable-Smith, the Wisconsin Public Radio fellow embedded in the Wisconsin Watch newsroom. In collaboration with NPR, he followed a doctor’s fight to treat her patients’ opioid addiction — while still managing their pain — in a rural central Wisconsin community with few services at its disposal. The doctor is Dr. Angela Gatzke-Plamann, the only full-time family physician in the village of Necedah. Like many doctors across rural America, the burden of responding to her community’s slice of the opioid epidemic falls squarely on her shoulders.
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‘Sometimes it’s just pain, pain, pain’: Inside a rural Wisconsin doctor’s fight to manage opioid use
Wisconsin Watch — December 30, 2019
Rural residents are more prone to chronic pain and opioid addiction, but their health care systems offer fewer alternatives and treatments. In the village of Necedah, population 916, one doctor set out to change that. Listen and watch the related NPR audio and video reports.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — December 30, 2019
Wisconsin is grappling with a growing number of pollution cases involving widely used, largely unregulated chemicals contaminating water across the state. Often called “forever” chemicals because they do not break down in the environment, the substances have been used for decades in products including stain-resistant fabrics, nonstick cookware and firefighting foam.
‘You have this burden that you carry’: For dairy farmers struggling to hold on, depression can take hold
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — December 31, 2019
This year alone, about 800 dairy farmers in Wisconsin quit or were forced out of the business, a rate of more than two per day. Some left in despair, having lost not only their livelihood but the home they grew up in, which their parents or grandparents had built.
The New York Times — January 1, 2020
A video was created this fall to show off the University of Wisconsin. Instead, it set off a furor, and a reckoning over what it means to be a black student on campus. Virtually every student in the video was white. Natalie Yahr, one of three journalists who reported this story, is a former Wisconsin Watch intern.
WGN9 — December 31, 2019
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker granted over 11,000 pardons Tuesday for people who had low-level cannabis convictions — one day before recreational marijuana became legal in the state.
Previously from Wisconsin Watch: Wisconsin lawmakers propose easing burdens on marijuana offenders