Wisconsin first to test repeat drunken drivers with alcohol biomarkers

About 100 milligrams of nails are all that's needed to show if someone has been heavily drinking — at least six binges in the past three months.

In the past several years, a handful of Wisconsin counties became the first nationwide to test repeat drunken drivers for molecular evidence of heavy drinking in nail or blood samples. Researchers say their initial data show that biomarker testing during treatment may help these offenders stay sober longer, keep them from getting rearrested, save counties money — and make roads safer. Continue Reading

Family planning clinics say state audits could force many to close

State auditors say two family planning clinics overbilled Medicaid for $3.5 million, largely for birth control. The providers say the state is using the wrong reimbursement rate.

Two family planning clinics serving low-income women say their operations will be at serious financial risk if state auditors stand firm on claims that they overbilled Medicaid by $3.5 million, largely for birth control drugs and devices.

“My hunch is that if any one of us were audited it would come out the same way. We’re all operating the same way,” said Beth Hartung, president of the Wisconsin Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association. “It would mean, quite frankly, that we would all close.” Continue Reading

Center awarded $35,000 from Knight-supported INNovation Fund to translate investigative reporting into art, explore new audiences — and profit

I often uncover disturbing statistics that stick with me. A reader normally might pass by them in the story in a second. Carrie Roy makes them into physical objects that a person can touch and linger over. So we’re collaborating to find new audiences for investigative reporting, transforming reporting into sculptures. Continue Reading

Investigative author Charles Lewis speaking Oct. 9 at UW-Madison: On power brokers who block truth, and what lies ahead

Top investigative journalist and bestselling author Charles Lewis will deliver a lecture Thursday on “Investigative Journalism and the Future of Truth” in Madison — and the public is invited. Lewis will speak at 4 p.m. Oct. 9 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s annual Ralph O. & Monona H. Nafziger Lecture. The free event will take place in Howard Auditorium at The Fluno Center, 601 University Ave. Lewis, a professor of journalism and the founding executive editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop at the American University School of Communication in Washington, D.C., will discuss his recent book, 935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity. Continue Reading