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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 Wisconsin Watch’s examination of how pollution affects Ojibwe tribes’ long-standing treaty rights to fish in the Great Lakes. Reporter Bennet Goldstein joined an Ojibwe fishing excursion on Lake Superior, where Red Cliff and Bad River Band citizens say contaminants in the water and fish are just the latest encroachments on the rights they hold — and pushed to enforce for more than 150 years — in exchange for ceding millions of acres of land in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota to the United States government. 

A fisherman looks at the fish he is holding.
Commercial fisher Donny Livingston, a citizen of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, picks cisco from gillnets after lifting them from Lake Superior onto the fish tug, Ava June, during a fishing run near the Apostle Islands on Nov. 15, 2022. Ojibwe tribes retain a treaty-guaranteed right to fish within portions of three Great Lakes and millions of acres of northwestern Michigan and its Upper Peninsula, northern Wisconsin and northeastern Minnesota. But climate change threatens many species, and contaminants long released into the Great Lakes, the health of people who eat them — disproportionately harming tribal citizens. (Bennet Goldstein / Wisconsin Watch)

Great Lakes pollution threatens Ojibwe treaty rights to fish

Wisconsin Watch — February 24, 2023

Ojibwe, Ottawa and Potawatomi communities retain hunting, gathering and fishing rights across portions of three Great Lakes and millions of acres stretching across Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. But many see toxic pollution in the Great Lakes as a continued encroachment on how Indigenous communities exercise those rights.

Related coverage from Wisconsin Watch: How Ojibwe tribes in Wisconsin resisted efforts to deny treaty rights

Meat plant cleaning service fined $1.5M for hiring minors

Associated Press — Feb. 17, 2023

One of the country’s largest cleaning services for food processing companies employed more than 100 children in dangerous jobs at 13 meatpacking plants across the country, the U.S. Department of Labor said as it announced over $1.5 million in civil penalties. Packers Sanitation Services Inc., is based in Kieler, Wisconsin.

These states are leading the country in agriculture emissions

The Gazette and Investigate Midwest — February 21, 2023

Agriculture is a major source of planet-warming greenhouse gasses, and farming-intensive states like Iowa — with 13 million acres of corn and seven hogs per person — are outsized contributors, federal data show. Iowa ranks No. 2, behind Texas, for greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. Wisconsin ranks No. 10.

Wave of rural nursing home closures grows amid staffing crunch

Kaiser Health News — February 21, 2023

The pandemic brought billions of extra federal dollars to the long-term care industry, which was inundated with COVID-19 infections and more than 160,000 resident deaths. Many facilities saw business decline amid lockdowns and reports of outbreaks. Staff members faced extra danger and stress. The industry is still feeling the effects.

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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Administrators of the Pulitzer Prizes are coming to Wisconsin and invite the public to an evening of discussion. Pulitzer Prize winning reporters Corey Johnson of ProPublica and Raquel Rutledge of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will discuss how journalism can help improve societal problems. “Pulitzer on the Road: How Local Journalism Helps You,” will be held Tuesday, March 28 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison. There will be a reception with light food and beverages following the program. The event is free, but please register here.

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