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Of note: This week we highlight a story from the Associated Press that reveals a nonprofit whose election grants caused controversy in the 2020 election is again offering financial support to local clerks to run elections. The Center for Tech and Civic Life is awarding the money to local clerks — a move that caused a spate of lawsuits from conservatives and Republican-authored bans on such private grants in 20 states. AP’s Harm Venhuizen reports Madison is among the first jurisdictions in the latest round of grant recipients. 

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Melissa Kono, the clerk for the town of Burnside in Trempealeau County, tests ballots and a ballot tabulator in advance of the Nov. 8, 2022 election. (Matt Mencarini / Wisconsin Watch)

Election nonprofit that drew GOP ire in 2020 renews grants

Associated Press — December 12, 2022

A nonprofit group that became a point of controversy for distributing hundreds of millions of dollars in election grants during the 2020 presidential campaign is releasing a fresh round of money to local election offices, including in states like Wisconsin where Republican lawmakers are trying to ban the practice.

Earlier coverage from APM Reports: How private money helped save the election

How democracy nearly died in Wisconsin

Mother Jones — January/February 2023 edition

Democrats just barely held off a Republican onslaught on fair elections. But the fight is far from over. In a year in which seemingly the entire GOP radicalized against democracy, Republicans in Wisconsin were on the cutting edge of attacking free and fair elections.

Earlier coverage from Wisconsin Watch: Wisconsin’s Assembly maps are more skewed than ever. What happens now? 

Senior hydrogeologist with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Rebecca Higgins points out equipment inside the PFAS trailer parked in Lake Elmo, Minn., on Dec. 7, 2022. (Shari L. Gross / Star Tribune )

Minnesota tries new technologies to remove harmful PFAS from water

Minneapolis Star Tribune — December 12, 2022

Minnesota has spent millions filtering the drinking water in communities where PFAS lingers in the groundwater. A new effort is meant to remove the industrial chemicals from the environment. The project unfolds as researchers in other states, including in Wisconsin, are experimenting with a range of technologies that aim to trap or even destroy PFAS.

Earlier coverage from Wisconsin Watch: What should I do about PFAS in my water?

Teacher Michelle Martin reads to a group of children in the 2- to 3-year-old classroom at Big Oak Child Care Center in Madison. (Amber Arnold / Wisconsin State Journal)

‘Tripledemic’ is trapping families in perpetual cycle of illness

Wisconsin State Journal — December 13, 2022

This cold and flu season has been uglier than most, with an increase in RSV and influenza cases that are mingling with COVID all at once to create what some are calling a “tripledemic.”

Foxconn says it now employs more than 1,000 people in Wisconsin. What are they doing?

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — December 13, 2022

For a second year, Foxconn Technology Group has been awarded state tax credits for its development in Racine County. In interviews with foreign media, the company continues to make grandiose claims for Wisconsin. But the company’s work continues to be something of a mystery.

Earlier coverage from the Journal Sentinel: Foxconn qualifies for $8.6 million in Wisconsin tax credits for hitting job and investment benchmarks, a decline from 2021

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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.