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Of note: This week we highlight a story by Wisconsin Watch’s Jacob Resneck and Zhen Wang about a North Woods cryptocurrency mining operation that is creating more questions than jobs. SOS Limited is using part of the former Flambeau River paper mill to mine for cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin. Two Chinese nationals say they were lured to take jobs at the plant only to find they lacked the legal status to work in the United States. And the company itself faces federal scrutiny for allegedly misleading investors.

Access to some stories listed in the Wisconsin Weekly roundup may be limited to subscribers of the news organizations that produced them. We urge our readers to consider supporting these important news outlets by subscribing. 

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Park Falls, Wis., is home to a former paper mill that is now being used to mine cryptocurrency. Last year, SOS Limited leased the mill’s century-old brick office building and installed racks of computers to mine cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. (Ben Meyer / WXPR)

In rural Wisconsin, former employees lift curtain on troubled crypto mine

Wisconsin Watch — January 17, 2023

An energy intensive crypto mining operation in Park Falls, Wisconsin, can’t replace a once vibrant paper mill, but it has created new conflicts and a cautionary tale. Over the past two years, the mining company, SOS Limited, has seen 94% of its share value erased.

A prolific evictor left a profound mark on Milwaukee. Yet few in power noticed.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — January 13, 2023

Landlord Curtis Hoff centered his rental empire on Milwaukee’s north side. Former tenants — and employees — say he let properties fall into dangerous neglect.

Related coverage from The Capital Times: Boxed in: Eviction moving costs shock Dane County landlords, tenants

In this Friday, Feb. 2, 2018 photo a pair of rainbow smelt are held by a fisherman at Jim Worthing’s Smelt Camps on the Kennebec River in Randolph, Maine. High levels of PFOS chemicals have been found in smelt near the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior. Robert F. Bukaty/AP Photos

New study finds extremely high levels of ‘forever chemicals’ in Great Lakes fish

WPR — January 17, 2023

A new study found dining on one fish caught in freshwater could be the same as drinking PFOS-contaminated water for a month, with highest levels of the harmful forever chemicals observed in Great Lakes fish.

Related coverage from AP: Study: Toxic PFAS chemical plume detected in Green Bay

Ukrainian refugees were quickly welcomed to Wisconsin. Now red tape makes their future uncertain.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — January 18, 2023

U4U, as it’s known, has become the largest private sponsorship effort in U.S. history, bringing tens of thousands of Ukrainians to the country since April. While sponsors and beneficiaries have lauded the program, there is also concern that Ukrainian newcomers lack a safety net if sponsors can no longer provide for them.

Related coverage from Wisconsin Watch: They escaped the Taliban. Now these women in Wisconsin face a new challenge: the high cost of college.

As Black youth suicide rates rise, advocate shares his story of suicidal thoughts that began during childhood

Rates of suicide among Black youth have increased faster than in any other racial and ethnic group in the past 20 years. Some predictors can be community violence, socioeconomic factors, stress, discrimination and stigma. Eddie Cannedy, who was born and raised in Milwaukee, says some of those predictors played a part in his story.

Related coverage from Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service: Milwaukee County sees rise in suicides in Black communities

Access to some stories listed in the Wisconsin Weekly roundup may be limited to subscribers of the news organizations that produced them. We urge our readers to consider supporting these important news outlets by subscribing. 

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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.