National gaze
April 9, 2015

Written by WiG
and AP reports
Friday, 10 April 2015 04:18

Forced sterilization proposed in Tennessee plea deals

Prosecutors in Nashville, Tennessee, made sterilization of women part of plea negotiations at least four times in the past five years. The district attorney banned his staff from using the invasive surgery as a bargaining chip after the latest case.

Earth Day activities in Wisconsin

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Thursday, 09 April 2015 13:51

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22. The following is a collection of activities on or around the eco-occasion.

WiGWAG news with a twist, April 9, 2015

Written by Lisa Neff ,
Louis Weisberg
and Matthew Reddin
Thursday, 09 April 2015 13:13

Apple a day, or so

A study recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine raises questions about the old “apple a day” adage. Researchers reported that apple eaters had slightly fewer doctor visits than apple avoiders — those who ate fewer than one apple daily — or none. However, that difference disappeared when the researchers considered weight, education, health insurance, race and other factors that can explain the frequency of medical visits. Also, the researchers found that apple eaters are less likely to smoke, which could explain better health.

Goals clash as Wisconsin prepares to rewrite campaign finance law
Money & Politics column

Written by By Bill Lueders
Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
Thursday, 09 April 2015 07:00

Testifying at a recent informational hearing on legislative plans to revamp the state’s campaign finance law, Jay Heck of Common Cause in Wisconsin made a keen observation. Two diametrically opposed camps, he noted, both see this as an opportunity.

On one side are advocacy groups like Common Cause, which Heck said long “to strengthen our once effective and widely admired campaign finance laws and return Wisconsin elections and state government to the citizens.” On the other side, he said, are those who “view this as an opportunity to deregulate and dismantle all limitations on money in our elections.”

Amid spate of fraternity investigations, feds indict Georgia man for noose at Ole Miss

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Friday, 10 April 2015 03:40

The federal government indicted a Georgia man on one count of conspiracy to violate civil rights and one count of using a threat of force to intimidate African-American students at the University of Mississippi.

Graeme Phillip Harris was enrolled in classes on the Jackson, Mississippi, campus in February 2014, when the noose and a flag bearing the Confederate battle emblem were found on a statue honoring James Meredith, the student who integrated the school in 1962.

Reason to “whoop”: Central Wisconsin is welcoming back “snowbirds” — Nana and Papa are packing up suitcases and closing down condos on Florida’s sunny shores and heading home. But actual snowbirds are flying 1,000-plus miles over the United States to nest in Wisconsin’s woods and marshes, backyards and shorelines.

Madison joins in amicus brief backing Obama's executive actions on immigration

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 09 April 2015 09:52

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin this week announced that the city joined 73 cities and counties in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals urging immediate implementation of President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

White House backs bans on 'ex-gay' therapy for minors

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 09 April 2015 06:44

The White House this week responded to a petition with more than 120,000 signers seeking “help to ban the practice known as 'conversion therapy.’”

The White House said, “We share your concern about its potential devastating effects on the lives of transgender as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and queer youth. This administration believes that young people should be valued for who they are, no matter what they look like, where they’re from, the gender with which they identify, or who they love.”

Community bulletins
April 9, 2015

Written by WiG reports Thursday, 09 April 2015 14:23

PrideFest Milwaukee expands restroom access

PrideFest Milwaukee plans to provide additional gender-neutral restrooms at this year’s LGBT Pride celebration.

Wisconsin Republicans ‘running scared’ over Walker’s budget

Written by Louis Weisberg,
Staff writer
Thursday, 09 April 2015 13:19

Gov. Scott Walker’s GOP colleagues are balking at his budget, which axes programs and policies that enjoy strong bipartisan support. That leaves many state Republicans in a no-win situation: Those who give the budget blanket approval will alienate significant numbers of constituents, but those who speak out against it could face the punishment of a well-financed opponent in their next primary race — one paid for by Walker’s corporate backers.

Wisconsin DNR mulls dissolving science bureau

Written by By Ron Seely
Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
Thursday, 09 April 2015 07:07

Administrators with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources are considering eliminating the agency’s Bureau of Science Services, a move that would go far beyond cuts to science staff proposed in Gov. Scott Walker’s budget.

Internal correspondence obtained by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism confirms discussions about the possible dismantling of the bureau and a reorganization that would move researchers into other agency divisions.

Walker wanted mining lobbyist to head Department of Natural Resources

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 08 April 2015 18:03

Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s staff considered making a lobbyist for a company seeking to dig an iron mine in Wisconsin the state Department of Natural Resources’ deputy secretary, according to a newspaper report.