Wisconsin home to influential GOP donors, Trump family benefits from land deals, lottery integrity in question and rape kit testing delays examined
Lottery fraud, Gov. Walker’s election-year gambit, CTE’s toll, Enbridge fined, farms’ impact on water, sexual misconduct at DOJ
WisconsinWeekly: Blast renews focus on dangerous chemical, errors surround WI youth inmate suicide try; CWD concerns persist
Dangerous chemical at refinery, a young inmate’s suicide try, CWD threatens WI, MKE doctor implicated in sex cult, Green Bay shines in Rust Belt, EPA shrinks smog zone
WisconsinWeekly: Air quality concerns, IL lottery questions, poor struggle with welfare changes, $$ pours into WI race, former Badger star says doctor ‘may have saved my life’
Ozone plagues WI counties, IL lottery ‘unfair,’ Milwaukee family struggles with welfare changes, WI Senate race draws millions in outside spending, ex-footballer praises doctor
WisconsinWeekly: Black infant mortality, $60K for 10 minutes in court, dairy despair, skimpy legal help for poor, deportation looms, few early releases for ill inmates
Black infants die and farmers despair; legal bills for redistricting fight pile up; WI pay for indigent defense hits bottom; few sick inmates get early release and a refugee faces removal
WisconsinWeekly: Cranberry tariffs, Foxconn jobs, frac sand pressure, Facebook ads, Paul Ryan’s future
WI cranberry growers fear tariffs, Racine may miss Foxconn boom, DNR fast-tracks project, state targeted by shadowy ads, and Paul Ryan early exit as speaker predicted
Of note: Donald Trump’s tough talk on trade helped get him elected president. Now, WUWM reports, some parts of Wisconsin that voted for Trump could bear the brunt of threatened Chinese tariffs on cranberries. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Racine residents, traumatized by years of economic and other woes, may be ill-suited to fill the tens of thousands of jobs promised by Foxconn. Citing public records and an interview with a former Department of Natural Resources supervisor, Wisconsin Public Radio reports that DNR staffers were pressured to quickly approve permits allowing destruction of rare wetlands for a planned frac sand facility in western Wisconsin. Channel 3000 reports on research by a UW-Madison journalism professor who found that many of the anonymous Facebook ads aimed at influencing the 2016 election targeted people in Wisconsin.
WisconsinWeekly: Ryan re-election doubts, Loyola hoopla, water quality and quantity, Supreme Court race and dangerous hate
Former Center interns take center stage, Dane County helps elect liberal justice, water quality and quantity issues dominate, white supremacist dies while making bombs
Of note: In this week’s edition, we highlight work of two of the Center’s former interns and a former fellow along with other news stories of interest to Wisconsin. Former Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism intern Tara Golshan, now writing for Vox, explains the growing speculation about whether House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin will seek re-election to his Janesville-area seat. Former WCIJ photojournalism intern Lukas Keapproth, now working for Loyola University, chronicles the school’s unlikely and thrilling trip to the NCAA Final Four men’s basketball tournament. Former Wisconsin Public Radio/WCIJ fellow Bridgit Bowden reports for WPR that groundwater quality is an election issue for some voters this fall. We also feature a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel analysis of the recent state Supreme Court race that saw liberal Rebecca Dallet beat a well-funded conservative candidate largely on the strength of high turnout in Dane County.
WisconsinWeekly: Winning the lottery 20+ times, Russians trolling WI, child sexual assault, frac sand is back
Win, and win again at the lottery; Russian trolls visit; the truth about child sexual assaults; frac sand revival
Of note: This week we highlight the Center’s latest investigation examining the curious circumstances surrounding some of the repeat winners of the Wisconsin Lottery. A database of frequent winners shows many have ties to the stores where they bought their winning tickets, either as owners or employees. We also offer a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article tracing the efforts by Russian trolls to stir up racial animosity in the wake of the shooting by police of a black man in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood in 2016. The Janesville Gazette finds 39 of 40 child victims of sexual assault in 2017 in Rock and Walworth counties knew their attackers, a story that dovetails with our recent investigation into problems with monitoring and residency restrictions of sex offenders. Finally, the La Crosse Tribune reports that frac sand mining is back.
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.
WisconsinWeekly: GPS monitoring flaws, coal ash pollution, low-profile Paul Ryan, cash for companies, young offenders
Losing Track: Wisconsin doubles GPS monitoring despite five years of malfunctions, unnecessary jailings; and other news affecting our state
Of note: This week we highlight a significant package of stories by Center reporter Riley Vetterkind revealing widespread flaws in Wisconsin’s GPS monitoring program for offenders. Riley’s story comes five years after the Center first uncovered the technological problems that land offenders in jail — even when they have done nothing wrong. In other news, the Associated Press reports on water contamination from coal ash, an issue the Center explored back in 2014. Writing in the New York Times, a government professor slams economic development subsidies such as the billions in taxpayer dollars promised to Foxconn as elected officials “using the public coffers for political theater.“ The Times also reports on the suddenly quiet House Majority Leader Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. Finally, we offer a column in The Crime Report written by two University of Wisconsin-Whitewater researchers who warn that raising the age of criminal culpability to 20 or 21, as some states do, could lead to more crime.
WisconsinWeekly: Wetlands destruction, property tax increases, bad doctors, lax gun laws, poor dental care
Investigative reporting about WI reveals hidden impacts of environmental, medical, tax and gun laws and lack of affordable dental care
Of note: This week we highlight some strong investigative reporting about Wisconsin by news outlets here and elsewhere. The Wisconsin State Journal’s Steve Verburg reported on the alarm of former Department of Natural Resources experts to a proposal to let one company destroy valuable wetlands. Jonathan Anderson, reporting for the USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin, found that large tax breaks for manufacturers are translating into big property tax increases for others in some Wisconsin communities. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s John Fauber, with help from MedPage Today, found 500 doctors disciplined for malpractice in one state moved to another state to practice — with sometimes tragic consequences. The Chicago Tribune traces a gun used to kill a Chicago police commander to a Cross Plains gun shop.
WisconsinWeekly: Hate groups up, rape kit testing sees results, MKE hospital accused of unneeded surgeries, WI awaits redistricting decision
Hate groups proliferate, WI rape kits reveal suspects, MKE hospital accused of unneeded surgeries, and court decisions could change political landscape in WI and beyond
Of note: This week we draw your attention to the tracking of hate by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which identified a big increase in hate groups in the past three years, and Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism stories that documented such groups operating in Wisconsin. Also: Long-delayed DNA testing of rape kits is yielding suspects, the Appleton Post-Crescent finds. A whistleblower says in a lawsuit that the Medical College of Wisconsin hired and retained a surgeon accused of performing unnecessary surgeries in part because of the revenue he generated, according to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report. And National Public Radio lays out the three pending lawsuits that could change Wisconsin’s and the nation’s political landscape. WisconsinWeekly is produced by Andy and Dee J. Hall, a couple who founded the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.
WisconsinWeekly: Farmers and suicide; crime victims fight for compensation; MN welcomes immigrants; MKE ‘plagued’ by reckless driving
Dairy farmers in New England offered suicide help, WI gun victim struggles for compensation; MN touts immigrants; ‘red light roulette’ endangers MKE drivers
Of note: This week we offer stories from Wisconsin and beyond that resonate in our state. New England Public Radio reported that one dairy co-op is so worried about farmers in this era of low milk prices that it distributed a suicide hotline number with the milk checks. The Trace finds that crime victims such as Milwaukee shooting victim Claudiare Motley — featured in a Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism report about the high cost of gun violence — routinely have a hard time accessing state compensation funds. The Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service reports on the spike in deadly crashes caused by drivers running red lights. And MinnPost highlights a state report that reveals that Minnesota needs immigrants to keep its economy healthy — a message that runs counter to political debate heard in Wisconsin and elsewhere.