Latest Stories

Podcast: Head in the (frac) sand

Alison Dirr on the frac sand beat at Superior Silica Sands in New Auburn, August 2013.

Reporter Alison Dirr just finished a yearlong internship with us, during which she covered the sprawling beat of Wisconsin’s fast-growing frac sand industry. We talk about that in the latest podcast. And below the audio link, further reflections from Dirr. Also, we now have music for the podcast. Alison Dirr: After a year as WisconsinWatch’s frac sand beat reporter, I’m leaving with a real appreciation of the complexity and nuance of this controversy. Continue Reading

New England investigative news center exposes faulty Lyme disease testing

The New England Center for Investigative Reporting has discovered that thousands of people are receiving non-FDA approved tests for Lyme disease, which may be giving unreliable results. The report includes a graphic showing the spread of Lyme disease over time — including to Wisconsin, which is one of the hotspots for the tick-borne disease. One of the testing companies is in Osceola, Wisconsin. Continue Reading

Out of the darkness, a happy first anniversary

Eviction Attempt budget language

Exactly a year ago, the Wisconsin Legislature caught us sleeping. In a secret predawn move on June 5, 2013, legislators anonymously inserted a measure into the state budget. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Jason Stein broke the news in a tweet at 5:19 a.m. — the moment we’re posting this update, as we reflect on the first anniversary. The entire Legislature soon approved the two-sentence provision, titled “Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.” It would have evicted WCIJ from offices we share with our student interns on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, and would have made it illegal for UW employees to collaborate with WCIJ. With your help, our darkest hour became our finest hour. Continue Reading

Gun bills fail, shots fly

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn implored the community to stop tolerating young men carrying guns. And he called on the governor and Legislature “to pass a law that makes these little monsters afraid to get locked up for possessing a gun.” Continue Reading

John Doe ruling alters campaign terrain

Mike Ellis

In some quarters, Randa’s ruling is being hailed as a righteous rebuke to partisan efforts to suppress free speech. But Paul S. Ryan, senior counsel with the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center in Washington. D.C., says Randa’s decision “flies in the face of well-established Supreme Court precedent.”
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