The Wisconsin Department of Justice has hired nearly 20 more workers and begun a pricey renovation of its Madison crime lab so that it will be able to handle tens of thousands of additional DNA samples when new collection requirements take effect next year.
Wisconsin currently takes DNA samples from anyone convicted of a felony and certain sex-related misdemeanors. A Republican-backed law set to take effect on April 1 dramatically expands the grounds for collection.
A prosecutor's inflammatory remarks about medical marijuana have cost her a conviction in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
The Michigan appeals court says Paul Heminger apparently was growing more marijuana than allowed under law, but the verdict last year was spoiled by the closing argument of the Alger County, Michigan, prosecutor.
Wisconsin Democrats generally praised President Obama’s executive order on immigration reform, while Gov. Scott Walker called it illegal. He joined other GOP governors in calling for a lawsuit, which House Republicans filed on Nov. 21.
Supporters and family members of a black man fatally shot by a white Milwaukee officer protested a tree lighting ceremony in the downtown park where he was killed.
President Barack Obama’s carefully cultivated Hispanic coalition was starting to splinter.
Immigration legislation on Capitol Hill was going nowhere. Deportations were nearing 2 million under Obama’s watch. And the president was resisting calls to use executive actions to address the issue.
Daniel Handler apologized again for racial comments he made while hosting the National Book Awards and promised to back up his words with his wallet.
The best-selling author also known as “Lemony Snicket” tweeted late last week that his remarks on Nov. 19, centering on a joke about black author Jacqueline Woodson being allergic to watermelon, were “monstrously inappropriate and yes, racist.” Handler pledged $10,000 to a campaign for diversity in publishing and added that for 24 hours he would match donations up to $100,000. Earlier, he tweeted that his humor “clearly failed.”
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has been elected as the next chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
The second term governor will take the reins from New Jersey's Chris Christie, who has been on a victory lap at the group's annual meeting in Florida this week after Republicans did especially well in the midterm elections.
More than 100 scientists called on leaders of President Barack Obama’s Pollinator Health Task Force to take action on pesticides to protect and promote healthy populations of bees and other pollinators.
“Bees have been quietly pollinating our crops for millennia, but now they need our help. It is vitally important that we take steps to reduce exposure of bees and other wildlife to these systemic, persistent neurotoxins,” said Dave Goulson, PhD, a bee expert and biology professor at the University of Sussex, and a leader of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) global Task Force on Systemic Pesticides.
A federal appeals court has upheld the path set by the Obama administration that allows religious nonprofit groups to avoid paying for contraception under the president's health care law.
In a 3-0 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected a challenge by the groups, which claimed that the accommodation still imposes a substantial burden on their expression of religion.
The parents of Matthew Shepard, the gay Wyoming college student tortured and murdered in 1998, are traveling to Russia on Nov. 21 to spread their message of tolerance and acceptance in a country where anti-gay policies and attitudes are widespread.
The centerpiece of their five-day trip is a gay film festival in St. Petersburg at which the documentary film, "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine" will be shown and discussed. The film's director, Michele Josue, a high school classmate and close friend of Matthew's, will be accompanying the Shepards on the trip.