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Conservation setback; mom’s custody battle; COVID’s lasting scars; sanctioned superyacht was made in Wisconsin; nursing home voting under scrutiny

Of note: This week we highlight a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story about a surprise setback for conservationists who are trying to protect 131 acres of farmland and undisturbed shoreline along Lake Michigan in Ozaukee County. “The final piece of 10 years of fundraising was set to fall into place this spring — a grant from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program,” Laura Schulte reports. “Until the 11th hour, when an anonymous objector and unwritten rules of the state Joint Committee on Finance combined to throw a wrench into the plans for the preserve.”

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Tom Stolp is pictured in Grafton, Wis. on March 2, 2022. (Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Conservationists hoped to protect Cedar Gorge on Lake Michigan, but an anonymous legislator objected to block funding

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — March 17, 2022

A dream of conservationists that seemed within grasp — preserving for the public a pristine piece of Lake Michigan property 30 miles from Milwaukee — is now hanging on by a thread, dealt an 11th-hour setback by an anonymous legislator acting in secret.

From Sturgeon Bay to sanctioned: The shipbuilding story of the ‘Lady M’ superyacht

PBS Wisconsin — March 15, 2022

A 213-foot luxury vessel constructed by Palmer Johnson Yachts and completed at shipyards in Door County in 2013 was seized by the Italian government in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Its industrial legacy can still summon strong feelings in Wisconsin.

How nursing home voting in Wisconsin became a focus of Republicans scrutinizing the 2020 election

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — March 17, 2022 

How residents of nursing homes voted during the 2020 election in Wisconsin has become a central focus of Republicans questioning the outcome of the presidential contest, even though recounts, an independent audit and a report from a conservative group all verify the result that Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump by more than 20,000 votes in the state.

Julie Valadez in Waukesha, WI at the county court on January 20th, 2022 ahead of her hearing. (Kevin Serna for ProPublica)

She said her husband was abusive. A judge took away her kids and ordered her arrest.

ProPublica — March 14, 2022

The judge in Julie Valadez’s custody case found her disruptive, questioned her credibility and put out a warrant for her arrest. A rare appellate victory is now giving her case a fresh look, but Valadez still is fighting for her four children.

She gave birth while she was in a coma with COVID-19. Today, she’s building a new life with her family.

WPR — March 14, 2022

Wisconsin has confirmed almost 1.4 million cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. More than 12,000 people have died. But even among those who have recovered, the disease has left lasting scars. Some suffer from long COVID; others have lost family members, jobs or social connections.

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