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Thousands sidelined by Long COVID; WI officials on Oath Keepers list; farmers turn to solar; Black suicide rate up; declining police ranks

Of note: As many as 4 million people across the United States are unable to work because of the lingering effects of COVID-19. Wisconsin Watch reporter Zhen Wang found some employers have figured out a way to keep these long-suffering workers on the payroll. But for others, the sometimes crippling effects of Long COVID — including fever, brain fog and fatigue — make it impossible for them to work.

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Danielle Sigler, the nursing home administrator at Ingleside Communities in Mount Horeb, Wis., contracted COVID-19 in November 2020 and continues to suffer with Long COVID symptoms, including digestive issues, migraines and fatigue. (Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch)

Workers, employers struggle as Long COVID sidelines thousands of Wisconsinites

Wisconsin Watch — September 3, 2022

Millions of people are COVID “long haulers.” One estimate puts the number of Wisconsinites with Long COVID at more than 543,000. Sufferers report in some cases being unable to work or do basic tasks.

Brent Sinkula drives around his farm Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, in Two Creeks, Wis. (Angela Major / WPR)

‘We farm the sun’: For some Wisconsin dairy farmers, solar energy is a new source of income

WPR — September 7, 2022

Wisconsin farmers have what solar energy companies need: land. Across the state, partnerships between dairy farms and energy companies are increasing, changing the landscape and providing farmers extra revenue in a sometimes unpredictable market.

Earlier coverage from Wisconsin Watch: Massive Wisconsin solar proposal splits farmers and clean energy fans

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist James E. Causey, center, is pictured with his father James D. Causey, left and his mother Otha R. Causey in 2017 at his wedding reception. (Photo Courtesy Of James E. Causey)

Opinion: Breaking the stigma of suicide requires honest conversation and loving care. I am living proof of that.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — September 7, 2022

Reporter James Causey tells a personal story about suicides among Black men, which have spiked recently in Milwaukee County. “If we are going to have a real conversation,” Causey writes, “I have to be honest: I reached a point a couple of years ago where I didn’t want to live and considered ending my life.”

A police cruiser drives in the Amani neighborhood on Milwaukee’s North Side in this 2018 file photo. (Edgar Mendez / Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service)

Total number of police in Wisconsin, already at historic lows, continues to drop

The Badger Project — August 29, 2022

The number of law enforcement officers in the state ticked down again in 2022, setting a new record for the lowest statewide total since the state started tracking the numbers in 2008. To relieve some of the burden — and attempt to de-escalate encounters between police and civilians — some jurisdictions are experimenting with sending non-police employees to answer some 911 calls.

Elected officials from 6 Wisconsin communities on Oath Keepers membership list

Wisconsin State Journal — September 7, 2022

Half a dozen local elected officials from Wisconsin — including one Madison City Council member — are among hundreds of U.S. law enforcement officers, legislators and military members whose names appear on the leaked membership rolls of a far-right extremist group accused of playing a key role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, according to a report released Wednesday.

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The byline "Wisconsin Watch" represents members of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism's editorial and public engagement and marketing staff.