In two instances, Wisconsin appears to be violating state laws in its failure to maintain committees and update standards. Critics say this failure also means lost savings for homeowners and taxpayers, reduced accessibility for people with disabilities and increased dangers for building occupants.
Many of the building code advisory councils established to advise the state have not met in years, and many state codes have not been promptly updated to reflect contemporary national models. These models, when they exist, are typically updated every three years. This chart presents relevant information in selected code areas.
Despite a huge oversupply of cranberries, the U.S. Department of Agriculture rejected a recommendation to curb cranberry production, citing concerns over possible illegal coordination between the Cranberry Marketing Committee and Canadian growers.
Cranberry growers charge in a federal lawsuit that Ocean Spray, the industry’s most dominant player, is costing them hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue by wielding undue influence over the market and driving prices lower than the cost of production.
Overproduction has prompted cranberry growers and industry leaders to look for creative ways to get people in the United States and other countries to expand the role of cranberries beyond their annual cameo appearance on the Thanksgiving table.
With a 57 percent increase in cranberry production nationwide from 2002 to 2013 — and sales that continue to trail demand — U.S. growers such as the VanWychens are struggling to create new markets to absorb a growing oversupply of the tiny tart berries grown in marshes.
While the number of Wisconsin car-train accidents has remained relatively steady in recent years, and derailments actually are down, some residents who live near train tracks used for transporting sand, primarily in western and northwestern communities, complain about noise and traffic delays in addition to safety worries.
Accessible sand can bring a windfall for some landowners. Others worry that proximity to sand mines is bringing down the value of their homes. And in some communities, a safety net of sorts is emerging.
A refinery’s proposal to ship heavy crude oil from Superior across the Great Lakes has emergency responders gearing up to bolster gaps in current oil spill response plans. And the gaps are substantial, experts say.
A legislative hearing Monday on a revised attempt to limit local governments’ authority to regulate nonmetallic mining, including existing frac sand mines, drew support from mining representatives but opposition from town leaders.