It’s a pretty simple question for a public official: “What exactly do you do with your time?” Sometimes, the best way to answer that question is to obtain the official’s calendar, through the state’s open records law. In my work as a reporter, I’ve done this for the state treasurer and his staff, who work […]
Author Archives: Jason Smathers
From ports to power plants, millions spent to avert state terrorism attacks
Federal funding to protect key infrastructure grew after the 9/11 attacks, but has declined as overall homeland security funding has dropped sharply in Wisconsin. That has forced a shift in strategy away from protecting sites to responding more effectively if man-made or natural disasters occur. Part 2 of 3 in the series “Security after 9/11: 10 Years Later.”
A decade after 9/11 attacks, Wisconsin’s homeland security spending falls sharply
Federal funding for much of the state’s homeland security effort, designed to prepare and protect Wisconsin in the event of terrorist attacks and other emergencies, is being drastically cut as Congress focuses on states that are more likely terrorism targets.
Sand mining surges in Wisconsin
This western Wisconsin community is in the midst of a land rush — call it a sand rush — fueled by exploding nationwide demand for fine silica sand used in hydraulic fracturing of oil and natural gas. At least 16 frac sand mines and processing facilities are operating, and an additional 25 sites are proposed, in a diagonal swath stretching across 15 Wisconsin counties from Burnett to Columbia, the Center has found.