Christa Westerberg

Your Right to Know: Cops in shootings should be promptly named

Following the Aug. 9 police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, citizens and the public demanded to know the involved officer’s name. The Ferguson Police Department stirred national attention, and some outrage, by waiting six days to reveal it: Officer Darren Wilson. Wisconsin has Ferguson beat. On April 30, 2014, a Milwaukee police officer shot Dontre Hamilton 14 times, killing him. 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

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Frac sand news roundup: ‘I don’t care if the trucks are hauling frac sand, frozen pizzas or water. The volume of trucks is just unacceptable’

The latest in Wisconsin frac sand. See our in-depth stories since 2011 on our frac sand project page. Eleven minor earthquakes in Oklahoma over the course of one weekend renewed concerns that hydraulic fracturing is to blame. RT July 14

New numbers from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show U.S. natural gas output at a record high, due mainly to more hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus shale. Bloomberg Businessweek July 15

Pennsylvania-based Preferred Sands is planning to open a new frac sand facility in 2015 that will “extend our current geographic reach to service every major basin in North America,” according to president and CEO Michael O’Neill. Continue Reading

Lobbying on 10-year Farm Bill reached $500 million, new analysis shows

This isn’t your father’s Farm Bill. That’s the finding of “Growing Influence: Lobbying and the 2014 Farm Bill,” a three-day series on the nearly $1 trillion spending plan signed into law in February by President Barack Obama. The bill, which will set national food and farm policy for the next decade, drew an estimated $500 million in lobbying by groups and companies ranging from large agri-business interests to nonprofits concerned about providing adequate food assistance to the poor. Harvest Public Media and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting teamed up on the series exposing the powerful interests that weighed in as Congress debated the $956 billion spending plan. The media outlets created a searchable database of all of the Farm Bill-related lobbying. Continue Reading