Residents of Walworth County were shocked in January when a couple was arrested for allegedly holding a runaway 16-year-old Waukesha girl in a Janesville home and prostituting her to men they solicited on the Internet.
Sex trafficking is much more common in the state than it’s perceived to be. While Wisconsinites tend to think human trafficking is a problem confined to developing nations and large urban areas, the statistics show otherwise.
More than 200 victims of trafficking have been identified across half of Wisconsin’s counties, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice. During a nationwide FBI-coordinated investigation of human trafficking last summer, 10 children were rescued in Wisconsin and 100 suspected traffickers were arrested in a single day — numbers that were among the highest of all the cities participating in the probe.
Experts say the one-day operation revealed only the tip of a crime that is mostly hidden.
Jan Miyasaki, director of Madison’s Project Respect, said in her work with local women in the sex trade, she encounters between 50 and 75 cases a year involving force, fraud or coercion. Claudine O’Leary, a community educator who works with minors in the Milwaukee sex trade, said she’s come into contact with more than 100 young people in the past year whom she believes fit the definition of human trafficking victims.
A federal judge has said she can work on an expedited schedule in handling a challenge to Wisconsin's ban on gay marriages. However, the judge said she’s not likely to issue a preliminary injunction barring the state from enforcing the ban.
The order was filed on March 4. It referred to a motion filed on behalf of the plaintiffs by the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin and requesting the injunction. A hearing on the motion had been tentatively set for March 27.
When the air temperature is minus 10 degrees or snow is falling fast and heavy, most Homo sapiens are more concerned with getting indoors than contemplating the sunny side of the weather. But there are positives that come with winters like the one winding down in Wisconsin.
And the end of winter is near, really.
A new poll found that nearly 60 percent of voters in the 2014 battleground states of Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are dissatisfied with their state’s economy.
The survey by Hart Research Associates found that 91 percent of respondents in those states say that they are falling behind economically or just keeping even.
Four Wisconsin dairy farm workers have been charged with mistreating animals after an animal rights group released secretly recorded video.
Video released in December by the animal rights group Mercy For Animals showed workers at Wiese Brothers Farm beating, kicking, stabbing and whipping sick and injured cows.
U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb set March 27 as the date for a first hearing in Wisconsin's marriage equality case.
On that date in Madison, Crabb will hear arguments on a motion from the plaintiffs to block the state from enforcing its ban on same-sex marriage.
Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his lair on Feb. 2, caught a glimpse of his shadow and left the impression that the brutal winter would last another six weeks.
Wisconsin's U.S. senators recently announced their joint recommendation that the White House consider three Wisconsinites for the federal bench in the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson, R, and Tammy Baldwin, D, recommended Beth J. Kushner, Pamela Pepper, and William S. Pocan, who were backed by a bipartisan federal nominating commission established last April.
UPDATED: Democratic lawmakers in Wisconsin today (Feb. 13) announced a drive to repeal the state's constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage.
State Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa, D-Milwaukee, and state Sen. Tim Carpenter, D-Milwaukee, made the announcement at the state Capitol in Madison, joined by legislative colleagues and marriage equality advocates.
Increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 by July 2016 would increase wages for more than half a million Wisconsin workers, according to a report released on Feb. 24 by the Center on Wisconsin Strategy.
COWS is a think-tank based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Newly released records show that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's campaign partnered with a Republican lieutenant governor candidate in 2010 to tap wealthy donors who had already given all they could to Walker, a move designed to bolster their potential ticket.
The behind-the-scenes navigating of Wisconsin's campaign finance laws by Walker staffers was revealed on Feb. 19 as part of the release of 28,000 pages of documents collected during a criminal investigation into one of the governor's aides.
The recently introduced Senate Joint Resolution 68 proposes a November ballot referendum asking Wisconsin voters whether their elected leaders should support a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United.
Citizens United is the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that cleared the way for corporations to make unlimited contributions to campaigns and have unprecedented influence in U.S. elections. The Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group described it this way: "The ruling, based on the premises that corporations have the same constitutional rights as people and that money is equivalent to speech, opened the floodgates to the corrupting influence of big money in our democracy by granting corporations the power to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence our elections."
“I heard his head hit the pavement.” Krista Kathrine said she was getting out of her car at about 5:30 a.m. March 17, 2013, when Rien L. Hendricks hit her brother in the head with a piece of wood and he tumbled to the parking lot pavement outside a Rice Lake restaurant.
Kathrine, who testified on Feb. 11 during the trial of Hendricks and wife Shannon R. Hendricks, said she heard “a lot of awful noises.”