Wisconsin Weekly is a roundup of the week’s top stories from around the state by Wisconsin Watch and trusted news outlets. Access to some stories 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, and sign up to get our free newsletters here.
Of note: This week we highlight a story from Grist updating the latest chapter in the fight by Peshtigo residents to get clean drinking water. Many residents in this northeastern Wisconsin community have wells contaminated with PFAS, so-called forever chemicals. As John McCracken reports: “Peshtigo residents are torn over their options for getting clean water, which include the possibility of being absorbed into a nearby city and its public utilities, digging new wells at the expense of the company responsible, or building a brand new water utility system for Peshtigo itself. Hundreds of households are living on bottled water and water filtration systems. The town, state, and individuals have sued the company responsible.”
Grist — February 16, 2023
Peshtigo residents are exposed to dangerous levels of “forever chemicals” in their drinking water. The pollution stems from Tyco’s operations at a fire testing center that operated from the 1960s to 2017 roughly a mile from the town of Peshtigo. A town official says Tyco has been “uncooperative” in efforts to secure clean drinking water for affected residents.
Associated Press — February 13, 2023
Recent revelations about Republican election strategies targeting minority communities in Wisconsin’s biggest city came as no surprise to many Black voters. A Wisconsin election commissioner bragged about low turnout in predominantly Black and Latino neighborhoods during last year’s elections. Weeks later, an audio recording surfaced that showed then-President Donald Trump’s Wisconsin campaign team laughing behind closed doors about efforts to reach Black voters in 2020.
Earlier coverage from Wisconsin Watch: Wisconsin GOP leaders made it harder to vote, especially for Black residents
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — February 15, 2023
In Maryland, responding to lead poisoning is a bipartisan issue. Lead-poisoned children had dropped to 1.2% by 2019 under a politically divided state government — a majority-Democrat legislature and Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. That same year in Wisconsin, 3.3% of children under age six were lead-poisoned.
Previously from Wisconsin Watch: ‘It’s criminal’: Milwaukeeans call for speedier lead pipeline removal to cut childhood poisoning
‘We’ve failed mothers and kids so much:’ One year later, there’s no end in sight to the formula shortage
The 19th — February 13, 2023
The ongoing formula shortage, which peaked in May and June last year, has largely fallen out of public awareness. In-stock numbers have improved, and the country appears to have moved on to the next crisis. Yet families in many parts of the country still report bare store shelves and limited options, particularly in rural communities.
Earlier coverage from Wisconsin Watch: ‘When it’s rigid, it breaks’: How federal rules and market dominance fueled Wisconsin’s baby formula shortage.
City of Green Bay defends audio capabilities of security cameras after City Council member complains ‘Big Brother is listening’
Green Bay Press-Gazette — February 12, 2023
News that people in Green Bay City Hall may have their conversations recorded without their knowledge has prompted powerful reactions — and no clear answer about whether the recordings the city is capable of making, at least on the building’s lower floors, is or is not legal.
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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