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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 a story by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Elliot Hughes which raises serious questions about Wisconsin’s child-welfare system. Hughes tells the story of 14-month-old Princess Lard, who died in her father’s home after officials removed her from her mother’s. Rachel Lard says her baby had previously returned from staying at her father’s house with injuries. But officials blamed Lard and placed the child with her father, whose partner now stands charged with child abuse. Writes Hughes: “For Lard and child safety advocates, accountability also rests with state child welfare workers, who removed her baby from a safe home, placed her elsewhere and were responsible for her safety at the time of her death.”

Someone was abusing 1-year-old Princess Lard for months. How did the child welfare system not remove her from harm’s way?

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — February 2, 2023

Princess Lard died in her father’s home, found with broken ribs, bruising and a hair barrette lodged in her throat. The Milwaukee County medical examiner said she died of asphyxiation. She was found on a mattress that was not appropriate for her age and size.

The Nature Conservancy’s Emiquon Preserve in central Illinois. A pending ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court could lessen protections for smaller, isolated wetlands. (Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco / WNIJ-Northern Public Radio)

Sackett v. EPA ruling could roll back wetland protections in much of the Mississippi basin

WNIJ-Northern Public Radio — February 2, 2023

A U.S. Supreme Court case could roll back the federal government’s authority to regulate wetlands and potentially trim their protections all together. That worries conservationists, who note places like Wisconsin have lost more than half of their original wetlands.

(Jim Mone / AP Photo)

As the shift to clean energy ramps up, Wisconsin’s top utility regulator says energy efficiency is key

WPR — January 31, 2023

At a pivotal moment in Wisconsin’s clean energy future, the head of the state Public Service Commission said the state needs to better tout the value provided by Wisconsin’s energy efficiency program. PSC Chair Rebecca Cameron Valcq says lawmakers and business groups need to “flip the script” on Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy program. 

Lawsuit can proceed against Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse

Associated Press — February 2, 2023

A federal judge in Wisconsin ruled Wednesday that a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the father of a man shot and killed by Kyle Rittenhouse during a protest in 2020 can proceed. The lawsuit from the father of Anthony Huber, one of two men shot and killed by Rittenhouse, accuses officers of allowing for a dangerous situation that led to his death.

Earlier coverage from Wisconsin Watch: Militia member says Kenosha police sought to push protesters toward them on night of deadly shootings

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — February 2, 2023

Opponents of large solar installations frequently argue that solar farms will take away valuable food production when farmers stop tilling and lease their land to a power company. A new study looks at the tradeoffs in converting land where corn is grown for ethanol to electricity production.

Earlier coverage from the Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk: Research seeks ways to grow solar and crops together in the skeptical Corn Belt

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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