Wisconsin Weekly: Climate change plays havoc with attempts to control mercury

Climate change = ‘roller coaster’ mercury levels; medical marijuana value questioned; reverse mortgages hurt some poor homeowners; WI probation and parole study dropped
Of note: This week we highlight a story by Wisconsin Public Radio’s Sarah Whites-Koditschek, the Mike Simonson Memorial Investigative Reporting Fellow who is embedded in the Wisconsin Watch newsroom. Whites-Koditschek writes about the findings of Wisconsin researchers that climate change is moving Wisconsin lake levels up and down, raising and lowering mercury levels in fish. This variation makes it hard to protect the environment — and people. “We like to see progress in mitigating pollution,” scientist Carl Watras said. “So, in a way, it (climate change) is adding an additional complicating factor to our attempts to have a cleaner planet and a cleaner world.”

Access to some stories listed in the Wisconsin Weekly roundup may be limited to subscribers of the news organizations that produced them.

Wisconsin Weekly: When blue-green algae comes back, NASA will track it

NASA tracks algae blooms; nature of human trafficking revealed; Illinois legalizes pot; foreigners own more farmland; and marine sanctuary for WI eyed
Of note: This week we highlight a story about NASA using its sophisticated technology to track potentially harmful and definitely nasty blue-green algae in Lake Michigan’s bay of Green Bay. Such an outbreak in Lake Erie forced residents of Toledo, Ohio to avoid tap water in 2014. That same year, Wisconsin Watch published Murky Waters, a series in collaboration with The Capital Times that explored the problem of algae plaguing Madison-area lakes. And a bit of in-house news: We  are unveiling a new logo that reflects our dedication to bold investigative reporting. Check out the new logo and the story behind it here.