2018 April 27

Daily Archives: April 27, 2018

5th CD Dem convention 🗓

Wisconsin’s 5th Congressional District Convention
WHEN: Sunday, May 6th, 2018
10 a.m.: Registration
11 a.m.: Convention begins
WHERE: Comfort Suites Conference Center, 725 Paradise Ln, Johnson Creek, WI 53038

Registration Information: The deadline to sign up for the convention and to become a delegate is April 29th at 5 p.m. Register Online https://secure.actblue.com/donate/5thcd2018# If you prefer to send a check, please mail it by the deadline to Jefferson County Democratic Party, PO Box 14, Jefferson WI  53549.

Bryce campaign: Wisconsin State AFL-CIO endorses Randy Bryce for Congress


Contact: Karen Hickey, 414-573-7579, [email protected]; Lauren Hitt, 443-370-3205, [email protected]

MILWAUKEE, WI – Today, the Wisconsin state AFL-CIO announced their endorsement of Randy Bryce for the First Congressional District.

“Randy Bryce will fight for working class issues like creating good Wisconsin jobs, building a better economy and protecting the freedom to collectively bargain with your employer for a fair wage, a safe workplace and a work-life balance,” said Phil Neuenfeldt, President of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO. “The hardworking men and women of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO are proud to support Randy Bryce because he stands ready to prioritize America’s middle class and unrig our economy.”

“The labor movement is ready to work to get Randy Bryce in Congress so he can lead on behalf of working people and protect our bedrock values like Social Security, the absolute right to join together in a union, and the ability to get paid time off to care for our loved ones,” said Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO. “For far too long politicians have been rigging the rules against everyday Americans in order to benefit Wall Street and corporate campaign donors. Union Ironworker Randy Bryce will work to re-write the rules of our economy to better support working families and help us all prosper.”

About Randy Bryce

Randy Bryce is a U.S. Army veteran, cancer survivor, and union ironworker. He was raised in southeastern Wisconsin, and went to public schools. Randy’s father was a police officer, and his mother worked in a doctor’s office. After graduation, Randy enlisted in the U.S. Army, and was posted to Honduras, where he earned the Army Achievement Medal. After returning stateside, Randy was diagnosed with cancer, which he survived, but only after struggling through the bankruptcy that came with the medical bills. Once in remission, Randy found his way to an apprenticeship as an iron worker, a trade he’s now been practicing and fighting to protect from anti-labor laws for nearly 20 years. Randy currently resides in Caledonia, WI with his son, Ben, who attends public schools like his dad. Randy joined the race for Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District in Summer 2017.

Dane Co. Exec. Parisi: Prairie Moraine County Park closed May 3rd & 4th


Contact: Joshua Wescott


Prairie Moraine County Park located on Wesner Road in the Town of Verona will be CLOSED on Thursday 5/3 and Friday 5/4 to allow for a two phase pavement restoration project to be made on the entrance road and at the Ice Age National Scenic Trail parking lot. An additional 1-2 day closure is anticipated in early May to complete the final asphalt paving work. Notice of the upcoming closure for final paving will be posted at the park and on the Dane County Parks website as soon as the dates are known.

The paving repair work will complete the Prairie Moraine dog park parking lot relocation project that created a new 74-car parking lot at the end of Wesner Road. While the park is closed access to the Ice Age National Scenic Trail and another dog exercise area is available nearby at Badger Prairie County Park, located at 1220 E. Verona Road, Verona WI 53593.

For more information, please contact:

Alex DeSmidt, Park Facility Planner

Dane County Parks Division

5201 Fen Oak Drive

Madison, WI 53718

Phone: 608.221.7212

[email protected]

FRI AM Update: Vukmir, Nicholson clash in first debate

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FRI News Summary: Vukmir, Nicholson debate; Walker reserves time for TV ads; construction poised to begin at Foxconn site

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FRI REPORT: Personal wealth helping boost candidates’ coffers in special legislative elections

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Gov. Walker: Orders flags to half-staff honoring Spooner volunteer firefighter Philip Neubich


Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839

MADISON – Governor Scott Walker ordered flags to half-staff on Monday, April 30, 2018, in honor of Spooner Volunteer Firefighter Philip Neubich.

Governor Walker’s executive order is attached here.

Gov. Walker: Seeks applicants for Buffalo County District Attorney

Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839
Gov. Walker Seeks Applicants for
Buffalo County District Attorney
MADISON – Governor Scott Walker announced today that he is seeking applicants for appointment as Buffalo County District Attorney. The new appointee will fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Buffalo County District Attorney Thomas Clark whose resignation is effective July 31, 2018. The new appointee will serve out the remainder of the unexpired term and will be up for election in November 2020.
Please submit the following:

Cover Letter

Short Resume

References (list of 3-4)

D.A. Application: found on Governor Walker’s website www.walker.wi.gov. (Select “Menu” at the top right of the page, “Serve WI,” “Service Applications,” “District Attorney Application.”)

Resumes, cover letters, and applications must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., Friday, May 18, 2018. Following submission, applicants will receive an email confirming receipt of the application and describing the general process for appointment.

Applicants with questions about the appointments process should email their questions to[email protected]gov. If you need to speak with someone immediately, you may contact Kate Wiedel at 608-266-1212

Gov. Walker: State leaders to join Governor Walker in awarding Fab Labs grants throughout Wisconsin


Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839

MADISON – Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Secretary and CEO Mark R. Hogan and key state leaders will travel throughout Wisconsin on Tuesday, May 1, to present more than 20 public schools with a total of over $500,000 in grants that will enable them to start or expand local fabrication laboratories (fab labs).
In addition to Governor Walker, Secretary Hogan, and more than 20 state legislators, those making grant announcements throughout Wisconsin will include:

Wisconsin Department of Revenue Secretary and WEDC board member Rick Chandler
University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross; UW-Stout Chancellor Bob Meyer; UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary Miller; UW-Superior Chancellor Renee Wachter; UW-River Falls Chancellor Dean Van Galen; UW- Marinette Campus Administrator Cindy Bailey; and Keith Montgomery, UW-Colleges North Region Regional Executive Officer and Dean
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Assistant Deputy Secretary BJ Dernbach
WEDC Deputy Secretary Tricia Braun and WEDC Vice Presidents Barbara LaMue, Katy Sinnott, and Vincent Rice
Wisconsin Technical College System Provost and Vice President Colleen McCabe; Western Technical College Dean Bob Marconi
Additional details on the times and locations of the school visits will be released Monday, April 30.

To mark the unique statewide tour and to celebrate the vital role that fab labs play in preparing students with the skills they need for the jobs of the 21st century, Governor Walker has declared May 1 as “Fab Lab Day” in Wisconsin.

“Fab labs provide students with hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering, art and math, and are a key part of the state’s wide-ranging efforts to provide students with the skills and training they need to type of skills they will need to compete in an ever-changing global economy,” said Governor Walker. “Fab Lab Day will honor not only those schools receiving grants this year but also the countless teachers, students, community members and other partners who recognize the importance of this program and have contributed to making our fab lab network so successful.”

WEDC will award grants to 22 school districts to assist them with equipment purchases for instructional and educational purposes in fab labs, which are high-tech workshops with the latest industry equipment used in a wide range of manufacturing facilities. WEDC will provide grants of up to $25,000 to individual school districts, or up to $50,000 to consortiums of two or more districts, for the creation and/or expansion of fab labs. The funds may be used to purchase equipment used for instructional and educational purposes by elementary, middle, junior high, or high school students. Applicants must match the amount of funding provided by WEDC.

This is the third round of funding for the Fab Labs Grants, and including the latest grants, WEDC has awarded a total of more than $1.6 million to districts statewide. There are now 43 districts that have received Fab Labs Grants over the last three years.

Because of the important role that fab labs play in student training and workforce development, Governor Walker’s 2017-19 budget directed WEDC to allocate a total of $1 million in fab lab funding this year and next.

In this latest round, 63 public school districts applied for Fab Labs Grants, which are being awarded through a competitive process. Applications were evaluated based on readiness and long-range planning, curriculum, business and community partnerships, financial need and previous awards.

For more information on the state’s fab labs, including resources for teachers, visit wedc.org/fablabs or follow #WIFabLab on Twitter.

Leahy campaign: Alyson Leahy to run for the 85th Assembly District


CONTACT: Alyson Leahy | 715.218.0194 | [email protected]

WAUSAU, Wis. – Alyson Leahy, Marathon County Board Supervisor and young professional, announced her candidacy today for the Wisconsin State Assembly in the 85th Assembly District.

“As a young working person, I know that the key to a thriving economy is a vibrant workforce. Younger residents of the 85th Assembly District are leaving the area for opportunities elsewhere, which slows our local economy and reduces resources,” said Leahy. “The job market is competitive right now, and it is growing more apparent that we need to do more to attract young workers and families to the area – a marketing campaign is not enough. We must focus on creating jobs that provide living wages and benefits, so that people can afford to stay in this community.”

A life-long Wisconsinite and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, she moved to Wausau from southwestern Wisconsin with her husband, Chad, in 2010. She currently serves on the Marathon County Board, representing the people of District 11 in Wausau. Leahy works as a copywriter at Footlocker/Eastbay. Previously, she worked as a graphic designer for The City Pages and within the customer service department at SUN Printing. She is the co-founder of the Wausau Makers Market Co., a non-profit pop-up market that aims to provide space for artists and makers to sell their products, and connect with community members and fellow artists.

“My husband and I are proud to call this district home, and I will represent the people well,” said Leahy. “My background in marketing and communication means I know how to listen, and I am ready to hear from you. I don’t want to be one voice in Madison, but the voice and the values of the whole district. I look forward to meeting and talking with the people of the 85th.”

Contact the candidate and stay informed by visiting alysonforwisconsin.com; details regarding a campaign kickoff party to come.

Wisconsin’s 85th Assembly District encompases the Cities of Wausau and Schofield; the Villages of Hatley, Elderon and Rothschild; and the Townships of Bevent, Easton, Franzen, Norrie, Reid, Ringle and Weston.

Milwaukee Ald. Coggs: Legislation mandates lead water lines replacement at child care facilities


Ald. Milele A. Coggs

(414) 286-2994

Legislation requiring the replacement of lead water service lines serving child care facilities was recommended for approval today by the Public Safety and Health Committee.

This mandate applies to both publicly-owned and privately-owned portions of lead service lines. The resolution further provides that the city shall pay the full cost of replacing the privately-owned portions of lead water service lines serving child care facilities.

Infants and young children are among those at greatest risk of adverse health impacts from exposure to lead, with childhood lead exposure being known to cause damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems, and hearing and speech problems, according to lead sponsor Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs.

“Because of the significant risks to public health and safety posed by the continued use of lead service lines at child care facilities we need to ensure all facilities, even those with privately-owned lead water service lines, get remediated,” said Alderwoman Coggs. “This is one step to ensure protection of our most vulnerable population, children.”

Co-sponsors of the legislation are Aldermen Russell Stamper, José Pérez, Michael Murphy and Bob Donovan.

The legislation (file #171665) will now go before the full Common Council when it meets at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 8 in the Common Council Chamber (third floor) at City Hall, 200 E. Wells St.

One Wisconsin Institute: Silence is not an option as lawmakers threaten to end copay free birth control


Mike Browne, Deputy Director
[email protected]
(608) 444-3483

MADISON, Wis. — Major reforms included in the Affordable Care Act resulted in an end to discrimination against women in health care. Now, over 62 million Americans get their birth control copay free. To help educate lawmakers about what equality in health care means for families, One Wisconsin Institute and other state partners are collecting stories about what keeping birth control copay free means for Wisconsinites.

“Staying silent when some lawmakers want to take us back to the days when insurance companies and employers were allowed to discriminate against women in health care is not an option,” said One Wisconsin Institute Program Director Analiese Eicher.

She continued “So we’re reaching out to people across the state and asking them to share their stories to help educate lawmakers about what a difference copay free birth control is making for Wisconsin families.”

Eicher said people who want to share their stories can do so online at: www.keepbcfreewi.com

In 2012, the birth control benefit was included in the Affordable Care Act, establishing birth control as preventive healthcare. This made birth control and all other preventive healthcare services copay free. Today, over 62 million Americans are able to get copay free birth control, saving them and their families $1.4 billion in just one year.

One Wisconsin Institute is part of a coalition of state groups including NOW Madison and NOW Wisconsin, BLOC, the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health and the NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin Foundation who are working to raise awareness about the benefits of copay free birth control.

Sen. Vukmir: Dominates at Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin Senate debate


Contact: Jessica Ward, (608) 213-5939

Pewaukee, Wis. — At the Americans for Prosperity debate for the Senate Republican primary on Thursday, Leah Vukmir proved once again that voters will best be served by a senator who has helped deliver Wisconsin’s economic gains over the last eight years.

Working with Gov. Walker, Leah has voted for four straight balanced budgets, cut taxes by more than $8 billion and helped Wisconsin reach it’s all-time low unemployment rate of 2.9%. Leah’s strong record is proof that voters can count on her to cut the federal government’s outrageous spending, give power back to the states, defend the right to life and protect our Constitutional rights and freedoms.

Below are some of Leah’s quotes from the debate:
“I’ve seen it, I’ve done it, and I’ll do it again in Washington.”

“I have stood up to leadership. Sometimes the most difficult debates we have in Wisconsin, and across the country are within our own party. We need to have strong people to stand up and say to their leaders ‘this is what we believe.'”

On tax cuts:

“As I’ve travelled across the state of Wisconsin, people are thrilled that they have an extra $2,000 in their pockets… It’s real, significant savings. One of the things that I’m so grateful for is that we have a record of doing this in the state of Wisconsin, and we have the chance to continue doing it on the federal level… I’ve seen it. I’ve done it. And i’m going to do it again.”
On government spending:

“We’ve managed our budget at the state level. The federal government just can’t seem to do it… What we need to do: we have to find ways to cut waste and we have to find ways to look at our discretionary spending.”

On immigration:

“We must first build the wall. There can be no discussion about imm reform until we first talk about the wall…. We are a nation of laws, and we must first build that wall before we have any discussion about comprehensive immigration reform. We have to have that wall, because not only is it a flow of illegal immigrants, but a flow of drug trafficking and human trafficking.”
On free speech:

“It’s the first amendment because our founders thought it the most important… This is the most important amendment of them all, and we need to protect it every step of the way.”

Leah Vukmir is a nurse, military mom and conservative with a proven record who has stood with Gov. Walker in cutting taxes and implementing bold reforms. She is running for the U.S. Senate to bring the Wisconsin Way to Washington. She currently serves as a state senator from Brookfield.

Speaker Ryan: FAA reauthorization is a boost for America’s infrastructure


AshLee Strong, Doug Andres

WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after House passage of H.R. 4, the FAA Reauthorization Act:

“This is the next step in our efforts to rebuild America’s infrastructure, which is critical to job creation, economic growth, and our daily lives. Thanks to the work of Chairman Shuster and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, this package upgrades our aviation system at every opportunity. This bill will make air travel easier and safer for families, cut red tape so manufacturers can compete, help update our airports, and better prepare our communities for natural disasters. This long-term reauthorization brings the certainty our aviation industry needs to make important improvements as we continue rebuilding our infrastructure. We look forward to working with the Senate to get this initiative to the president’s desk.”

Speaker Ryan: Remarks at soldier’s medal ceremony honoring Rep. Brad Wenstrup


AshLee Strong, Doug Andres

WASHINGTON—This afternoon, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) took part in a Soldier’s Medal ceremony honoring Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) for his heroic actions on June 14, 2017 during the shooting at the Congressional Baseball Game practice in Alexandria, VA.

Following are Speaker Ryan’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:

“Secretary Esper, General Milley: Thank you for conducting this ceremony here in the Capitol. It means so much to help honor one of our own.

“Colonel Wenstrup: I know I speak for every single one of our colleagues, Republican and Democrat, when I say congratulations.

“No one is more deserving of this kind of recognition: not only for what you did on that day, but for what you do every day to answer the call to serve.

“You elevate all of us. You make all of us want to be better. Thank you.

“Steve is always a tough act to follow, especially these days.

“His presence here alone is proof of why this medal is being awarded.

“Every day, I thank God that our prayers were answered.

“I thank God for putting Brad Wenstrup on that field that morning.

“I didn’t really have the chance to talk to Brad until that night. We were on the House floor.

“And he walked me through everything.

“From the moment he decided it was safe to run out there. What the wound was like. How he treated it. What he used to treat it.

“You know how doctors are. They don’t skimp on the technical stuff.

“I was amazed by how he remembered all of it so clearly, so clinically.

“His code, his training, his years of experience had kicked in.

“But something more kicked in at that moment too.

“Brad, I know that one of your heroes is Dr. John Pryor. He was a trauma surgeon, who like many Americans, enlisted after 9/11.

“On that day, he drove straight to Manhattan, and made it to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Midtown. Dozens of other doctors were there too.

“But instead of waiting for instructions, Dr. Pryor headed outside, flagged down an ambulance, went to Ground Zero, and cared for anyone he could.

“Our heroes always say they were at the right place at the right time.

“But really, they just have the right stuff—the stuff that drives them to run into fire. The valor that goes beyond what words can describe.

“Colonel Wenstrup: We are humbled to share this moment with you.

“It shows that we should always do what we can to serve, and never wait to do what we can for others.

“Thank you for saving our friend’s life.


U.S. Rep. Grothman: Fights opioid epidemic head-on

Contact: Timothy Svoboda, (202) 225-2476

(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Glenn Grothman (R-Glenbeulah) this week introduced a bill that would help fight the epidemic of opioid abuse in America. The Responsible Opioid Prescription Act would reform the program with the highest rate of opioid addiction, Medicaid, by reducing initial opioid prescriptions to a seven-day supply, and each subsequent refill to a 30-day supply. Patients receiving hospice or palliative care, treatment for cancer or are living in a long-term care or skilled nursing facility would be exempt from these limits. 

“Doctors are often judged by how much pain a patient is in when they leave the facility. Unfortunately, this often leads to the over-prescription of opioid medications, for example giving 14 days of pills when seven is more suitable.”

“When a patient receives more medication than is needed, two things can happen. First, they may take the medication until the bottle is empty because they were told to by a doctor, at which point they may develop a dependency. Second, when opioids get left in a medicine cabinet, an adolescent, relative or visitor can access them or distribute them for recreational use.” 

“What this bill aims to do is limit distribution of these drugs at the source by aligning Medicaid’s prescribing guidelines with the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control.” 

“Opioid abuse has been a problem in America for years now. While I still believe that it is an underpublicized problem, I am happy to see the press giving it more attention. I am hopeful that my legislation helps stem the drug dependency problem.”


Opioid addiction is an incredibly painful crisis that has touched every segment of our population. Rich and poor, men and women, black and white; we have all been affected by it in one way or another. Yet, the sad reality is that those affected most by this crisis are those in the Medicaid program, as statistics show that Medicaid patients are as much as 10-times more likely to abuse or become addicted to opioids. 

The Responsible Opioid Prescription Act would limit initial opioid prescriptions in the Medicaid program to a maximum of a seven-day supply. In the event a patient needs a refill for their opioid prescription, providers would be limited to a 30-day supply. These limits would not apply to patients receiving treatment for cancer, receiving hospice or palliative care, or in a long-term care or skilled nursing facility. When prescribing refills to patients, providers must do the following to ensure patient safety:

  • Determine whether the expected benefits of using opioids to treat or improve the patient’s pain outweigh the risks associated with opioid use
  • To the extent possible, combine opioid therapy with non-pharmacologic therapy and non-opioid pharmacologic therapy
  • Establish treatment goals for the patient to ensure that opioids will be discontinued if the provider determines that the risks of the opioid use outweigh the benefits
  • Discuss with the patient the known risks of using opioid, including the realistic benefits of taking opioids and the responsibility of both the provider and the patient in managing opioid use

For more information on the opioid epidemic, please click here.

U.S. Rep. Grothman: Unique Abilities Shouldn’t Hold Anyone Back Professionally

Contact: Timothy Svoboda, (202) 225-2476

(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Glenn Grothman (R-Glenbeulah) today introduced a bill to significantly increase career opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The Workplace Choice and Flexibility for Individuals with Disabilities Act will roll back a misguided regulation that significantly narrowed Congress’s definition of Competitive Integrated Employment and effectively reduced career opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

“Under my legislation, individuals with disabilities, after high school, can go to their local vocational rehabilitation agency to gain workplace skills, and then be referred by the agency to a job that fits their needs.”

“Yael Kerzan is a young lady from my district who was helped by this referral program and is concerned that others like her won’t be able to enjoy the opportunities and experiences she’s had since she was referred through her local agency in Portage, WI, 15-years ago.

“It has been invaluable for young people like Yael to have the choice and flexibility to work in a fulfilling job that provides them with the dignity they deserve as vital members of our communities. That is the reason I introduced the Workplace Choice and Flexibility for Individuals with Disabilities Act.”


In 2014, Congress passed the very popular Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which made significantly positive improvements to the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. Unfortunately, despite the many improvements made in WIOA to improve coordination between workforce development programs and local businesses, the new law was used as an opportunity to regulate what Competitive Integrated Employment means for individuals with disabilities. In short, the 245-word definition for Competitive Integrated Employment was transformed it into 982 pages of preamble in the Federal Register and a 309-word definition in the Code of Federal Regulations.

There was then a rule created in 2015 that, in effect, limits the menu of jobs a vocational rehabilitation agency can refer individuals with disabilities to, often removing jobs that have equipment designed to help them perform to the best of their ability. As a result, our young people are too-often retired to the couch or worse, rather than being placed in a job that provides them with financial compensation, workforce experience, and a sense of dignity and respect that can only be derived from an honest day’s work.

The Workplace Choice and Flexibility for Individuals with Disabilities Act will provide clarity to the statutory definition of Competitive Integrated Employment in WIOA (originally in the Rehabilitation Act). Specifically, it will do so by stating that Competitive Integrated Employment includes contracts that are awarded under the Javits-Wagner-O’Day Act and state set-aside contracts, with the goal of improving employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. It also clarifies that Competitive Integrated Employment includes work that involves social and interpersonal interactions with colleagues, vendors, customers, superiors, or other individuals that the employee may come into contact with during a given workday.

Wisconsin Humanities Council, Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service: Media coverage of police explored in ‘Beyond the Headlines’ project May 9

Media inquiries:
Meg Turville-Heitz
Wisconsin Humanities Council
[email protected]wisconsinhumanities.org

What is the role of media in covering law enforcement? Whose story is being told? How can we trust what we’re being told? These are the kinds of questions that “Building Trust: Law Enforcement, the Media and You” will tackle in a kickoff community event May 9 at 7 p.m. at the Northcentral Technical College Auditorium, Health Science Center, 1000 W. Campus Drive, Wausau.

This kickoff will examine state and national media coverage of law enforcement issues with:

  • Sue Riseling – internationally recognized former UW-Madison police chief
  • Kathleen Culver – UW-Madison journalism ethics scholar
  • Mike Leary – editor of the San Antonio Express–News who earned a Pulitzer prize for his work with the Philadelphia Enquirer covering crime in the schools
  • Ben Bliven – Wausau chief of police
  • Scott Parks – Marathon County sheriff
  • Sarah Gray – WSAW news director
  • Glen Moberg – Wisconsin Public Radio distinguished broadcast specialist

More extended community discussions with local law enforcement, media and community members will follow in June, September, October and November – in Wausau, Eau Claire, Milwaukee and Superior – and will discuss:

  • What is news
  • Credibility of law enforcement and media
  • Impact of race on media coverage and policing
  • Role of journalism in a democracy
  • How to hold government accountable

To register for this free event, learn more about the full slate of speakers, sponsors and additional events around the state, go to beyondtheheadlineswisconsin.org/wausau/kickoff.

“All public life depends upon the public having sources of news that we can turn to for information that we trust,” said Dena Wortzel, executive director of the Wisconsin Humanities Council. “In Wisconsin today, newspapers are struggling financially. People are getting less local news, and to make matters worse, many people fear that the news that they do receive – whether from social media or traditional media sources – may not be trustworthy. We launched Beyond the Headlines so that the public can meet members of the media face-to-face, and talk with journalists who work every day to bring information to the public on issues that affect our lives right here in Wisconsin.”

Beyond the Headlines is a project of the Wisconsin Humanities Council, in partnership with Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service, and other local media, law enforcement and citizen representatives in Wausau. It is funded in part by a grant from the Mellon Foundation, in partnership with the Pulitzer Prizes.

WisDems: ICYMI: Schimel grossly misrepresented scope of rape kit backlog 

Contact: Melanie Conklin, 608-260-2409

Thanks to Brad Schimel’s neglect and lack of guidance, hundreds of untested rape kits are discovered to have involved unknown suspects

MADISON — Recent reporting from the USA Today Network revealed that “about 400 untested [rape] kits,” not a “small number” as AG Brad Schimel’s Department of Justice had previously claimed, involved unknown suspects. This potentially means that 400 alleged rapists have had the ability to re-offend in the years it has taken Brad Schimel to do his job.

According to the report, local police stations were given conflicting guidance, if any, from Schimel’s DOJ on when to send rape kits to be tested. Green Bay police Lt. Jeff Brester was quoted describing the situation saying “‘I don’t know what the heck to do.’”

It’s possible that a significant number of these untested kits involve individuals unknown to authorities; USA Today Network found that of the 20 DNA results from July to December of 2017, “testing has identified a suspect or person of interest who was not previously known to investigators in 11 cases.”

Despite the small number of kits that have been tested, investigators have already been able to file charges against individuals where there was a DNA match. The Post Crescent reported this week that “A rape kit tested five years after the evidence was collected led prosecutors to file charges this week against a Marion man accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl he had just met.” In the five years it took Schimel and his DOJ to test the rape kit that lead to the charge, the accused offender faced no consequences and the teenage survivor of the rape received no justice.

“The incompetence Brad Schimel has displayed in his handling of the rape kit backlog in Wisconsin is disqualifying,” said Melanie Conklin, communications director for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “These are serious criminal cases that when ignored can have devastating consequences. For Schimel to fail on such a colossal scale and deny justice to so many is unforgivable.

“We need an Attorney General who is dedicated to Wisconsin’s safety and security. Brad Schimel clearly isn’t up to the task.”

WisDOT: WisDOT and WDNR Superior office closed Friday, April 27 



Office of Public Affairs

(608) 266-3581, [email protected]

Diana Maas, WisDOT Region Communications Manager
(715) 635-4968 or [email protected]

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation Northwest Region-Superior office and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, located at 1701 N. 4th Street, Superior, will be closed on Friday, April 27, 2018. The office is located within the zone evacuated due to the Superior Refinery fire.

Services will not be available at the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office also at this location. Many DMV services can be completed online at http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/online-srvcs/online.aspx. The closest location for services is the Rice Lake Service Center, (Barron County), 735 West Avenue. The Rice Lake DMV hours for Friday are: 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

If you have WDNR customer service needs, please refer to alternate service locations or www.gowild.wi.gov.

WisOpinion.com: ‘The Insiders’ discuss bipartisan agreement on juvenile justice reform

The Insiders, Chvala & Jensen, reflect on a rarity in politics — agreement in the Legislature on a big issue in an election year: juvenile justice reform.

Sponsored by Michael Best Strategies and the Wisconsin Counties Association.

April 29, 2018 | April 26, 2018
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