Nearly four in 10 Wisconsin elementary students qualified for free or reduced-price lunch last school year, and the proportion of low-income elementary students has climbed every year of this decade, according to state Department of Public Instruction data analyzed by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.
Auditors released a report Wednesday documenting state employees’ misuse of state credit cards on 131 charges totaling nearly $75,000, including a fox fur stole, pricey airline tickets to Europe and $16,686 in inappropriate purchases by a state worker who subsequently resigned.
News and notes: New tools for monitoring environmental data in Wisconsin; the governor’s campaign contributors favor keeping him in control of DNR; DOJ hosts free seminars on government sunshine; and tax revenue was down last year.
Gov. Jim Doyle and his staff submitted receipts 70 percent of the time in 2007 and 2008 for travel expenses reviewed by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, newly released records show, and not 28 percent of the time as the newspaper reported nine weeks ago.
Republicans hoping to reclaim the governor’s office in next year’s election will have to overcome shifting patterns of voter turnout. More than two-thirds of the counties that handed victories to Republican President George Bush in 2004 shifted to support Democrat Barack Obama last year, data and interviews show.
The man who woke up in a Seattle park with $600 in his sock but with apparently no memory of his identity is Edward F. Lighthart, who graduated in 1984 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a French degree.
The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is assisting The Seattle Times in an effort to determine the identity of a man, possibly suffering from amnesia, who turned up three weeks ago at a Seattle park. The man says he attended UW-Madison in the 1980s.
Wisconsin Public Television, a partner with the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, talks with Wisconsin farmers about the role of Hispanic immigrant workers in the dairy industry, as part of a new investigation launched by the Center.
Advocates for improving the nation’s passenger rail system see it as a faster, cleaner way to travel. But other transportation policy experts believe those benefits are overstated and don’t justify the high cost of providing passenger train service.
WATERLOO — Top Wisconsin officials acknowledged Tuesday that Wisconsin dairy farmers increasingly rely upon immigrant workers, including large numbers who may be undocumented — a result of demand for labor and the nation’s porous borders.
Upcoming coverage: Dairy farmers have new incentives to expand. Meanwhile, national estimates indicate that half of the immigrant dairy workers — who make up 40 percent of the dairy work force — lack immigration papers. The Center is collaborating with The Country Today to cover the nexus of dairy and immigration in Wisconsin.
Executive director Andy Hall and others talk about the Center’s creation and purpose.