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. Now Republican legislators are seeking an audit of all such clinics in Wisconsin.

Republicans seek Medicaid audit of all family planning clinics, including Planned Parenthood

The 32 legislators’ action was prompted by a Center story in November about state auditors alleging that two family planning clinics overbilled Medicaid by $3.5 million, largely for birth control drugs and devices. Family planning providers say the auditors’ stance could force many clinics to close, while the state maintains it is protecting taxpayers. Continue Reading

Candles with names attached, at a Dec. 30 memorial in Milwaukee for victims of gun violence there.

Profiles in carnage

This story is the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism’s first report for Precious Lives, a newly launched two-year project investigating the problem of gun violence among young people, its causes, and potential solutions in the Milwaukee area and statewide. Read more about the project. Main story
Bullets exacted terrible toll on children, African Americans A Center analysis found that African Americans were more than 30 times as likely as non-Hispanic whites to be murdered by guns in Wisconsin last year. James A. Witt: In January, police asked to check on the well-being of this 60-year-old resident in the village of Summit in Waukesha County found his body wrapped in a blanket; he had died from a gunshot wound. His son Shawn Witt was charged with first-degree intentional homicide and possession of heroin. Continue Reading

Fly ash samples

‘Beneficial reuse’ of coal ash could contaminate drinking water statewide

It’s not a good sign when even the dogs won’t drink your tap water. “They sniff it and then drink the bottled water we pour,” said Frank Michna of Caledonia, one of hundreds of southeastern Wisconsin residents whose wells are contaminated by pollutants that may be coming from buried coal ash. Continue Reading

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.

Wisconsin first to test repeat drunken drivers with alcohol biomarkers

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