Daily Archives: August 29, 2019

Braeger Auto Group: Changes name to Lake Auto Group

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Contact: [email protected]

New Name Reflects Roots, Commitment to Greater Milwaukee Community

[Milwaukee, Wis.] – Braeger Auto Group today announced a name change to Lake Auto Group effective September 1. This re-branding begins the next chapter in the company’s long history serving the greater Milwaukee area. Braeger Chevrolet will become Lake Chevrolet, and Braeger Ford will become Lake Ford. The company will continue with the same ownership, management, and locations – along with the same great customer experience.

The name ‘Lake’ holds deep significance to the neighborhood surrounding Lake Auto Group. The Town of Lake, created in 1838, existed in Milwaukee County for over 116 years. Residents were known for their strong work ethic and commitment to the community – qualities that are still reflected in the vibrant neighborhood. Lake Auto Group is proud to embody those same values as a member of the Lake community, today employing over 200 hard-working individuals and actively supporting numerous local businesses and charities.

Todd Reardon, Chairman of Braeger Company of Wisconsin, released the following statement on Braeger’s name change to Lake Auto Group:

“I’m excited to announce that Braeger Auto Group will officially be known as Lake Auto Group effective September 1. Braeger has a long history of serving the greater Milwaukee community, and we’re ready to begin this new chapter as Lake. We’re proud to be the leading automotive group in Southeast Wisconsin – and Lake will continue to deliver the same world-class service and satisfaction that residents have come to expect.”

Visit LakeAutoGroup.com for more information on the company.

Department of Health Services: Majority of Wisconsin lung disease patients who reported vaping cite THC products

In the Wisconsin investigation of people with lung disease who reported vaping, 89% of the 27 cases interviewed so far reported using e-cigarettes or other vaping devices to inhale THC products, such as waxes and oils, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced today. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana. While most cases have reported vaping THC products, DHS is continuing to investigate all possible causes. The connection to THC products is based on interviews with cases, and the agency is working with FDA to determine the contents of used vaping products.

“Vaping cartridges containing THC may include chemicals or additives that are unknown, unregulated, and unsafe,” said Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “We strongly urge people not to vape.”

Health officials are continuing to conduct interviews with new patients as part of this investigation. Currently there are 32 cases, with 11 patients whose cases need further investigation. Fourteen counties now have cases, including: Dane, Dodge, Door, Green, Kenosha, La Crosse, Milwaukee, Portage, Racine, Sauk, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha, and Winnebago. No deaths have been reported in Wisconsin.

The 32 cases include both confirmed and probable cases. A case is defined as a person who had a history of vaping and developed a severe lung disease, and did not have any infection or other causes for their illness. A probable case includes many of these factors and is likely to be confirmed, but more information is needed for confirmation. We continue to gather information from the 11 patients whose cases require further investigation.

This is a complex and ongoing investigation, and we are working to gather information about the products used, collect products for testing, and investigate new cases. Our investigation team has worked closely with FDA to coordinate testing, but we have not received results from those tests. We are also working with CDC, which is coordinating a national response to the nearly 200 illnesses in at least 22 other states. We will continue to provide updates when new information becomes available.

Anyone experiencing unexplained shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, nausea, vomiting, fever, and weight loss should talk to their doctor. People can learn more about e-cigarettes and vaping products—including what they look like, their health risks for youth, and how to talk to kids about them—at tobaccoischanging.com(link is external). There are FDA-approved medications to help tobacco users quit. Call 1-800-QUIT NOW for free help.

Department of Justice: First conviction issued after testing of backlogged sexual assault kits

WAUPACA, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul today announced that a jury in Waupaca County convicted Leroy R. Whittenberger of three counts of Second Degree Sexual Assault, class C Felonies, for the assault of a teenage victim that occurred in July 2012. The victim’s sexual assault kit was tested as part of the Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) in 2017. This is the first conviction to result from the testing of backlogged sexual assault kits in Wisconsin. The case was presided over by Waupaca County Judge Troy L. Nielsen.

“A survivor who waited years for justice has finally received it,” said Attorney General Kaul. “Yesterday’s verdict is a result of her courage and the work of the public servants who have been dedicated to getting justice in this case.”

This conviction was the result of joint effort by civilian witnesses, New London Police Department, Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory DNA Analyst Kara Raymond, and the Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI). The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Amber Hahn and Noel Lawrence, with assistance from legal associate Tiffany Briggs, paralegals Jackie Righter and Rachael Sweet, in partnership with the Waupaca County District Attorney’s Office.

Leroy Whittenberger is a serial sexual offender and has three prior sexual assault convictions from Lincoln and Marathon counties. Law enforcement and local advocacy service providers from those counties were instrumental in bringing about these new convictions.

A sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled. Each count carries a potential maximum period of imprisonment of 25 years initial confinement and 15 years extended supervision.

DHS says cases of severe lung disease linked to vaping devices containing THC

Most of the people in the state who recently developed severe lung diseases after vaping say they used e-cigarettes or other vaping devices containing THC — the main active chemical in marijuana.

That’s according to the state Department of Health Services, which is tracking 32 confirmed or probable cases of respiratory issues linked to vaping THC products, including 11 cases that “need further investigation.” 

This comes as health groups in the state are stepping up their warnings about vaping products, while the number of related hospitalizations continues to rise in Wisconsin and around the country. 

The Milwaukee Health Department this week issued a health alert warning residents to stop vaping altogether, after individuals hospitalized for serious lung conditions reported using vape products containing nicotine or marijuana oils and concentrates. 

And the American Lung Association in Wisconsin echoed that warning, calling on all state residents to “stop using any vape and/or e-cigarette devices immediately.”

In a statement, the organization expressed concern about the “youth e-cigarette epidemic” and noted hospitalizations have now been reported in at least 22 states. 

“While much remains to be determined about the reported cases of severe lung disease as well as the lasting health consequences of vaping, the American Lung Association is very troubled by what we see so far,” the group said. 

DHS says the connection between the lung issues and THC products is based on interviews with those affected, which found 89 percent of the 27 people interviewed so far reported vaping THC products including waxes and oils. Importantly, DHS isn’t drawing a connection between the lung diseases and THC itself, but rather the products that contain THC. 

“Vaping cartridges containing THC may include chemicals or additives that are unknown, unregulated, and unsafe,” said Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “We strongly urge people not to vape.” 

DHS says it’s working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is looking at more than 200 cases in 22 other states. And the agency is working with the FDA to determine what exactly was in the used vaping products. 

See the latest DHS release below. 

Track the investigation at the DHS site. 

Fields campaign: Announces candidacy for Milwaukee comptroller

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Contact: (414) 308-2680; [email protected]

Current state representative will bring strong financial background to City Hall

MILWAUKEE – Jason Fields, a current member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, today announced his candidacy for Milwaukee Comptroller.

“I’ve been honored to have the privilege of serving in the Wisconsin State Assembly working on financial issues that affect all Wisconsinites and where I have been able to apply my financial background and professionalism to producing real results for the people of Milwaukee.

“I’ve decided to announce my candidacy to be Milwaukee’s next Comptroller because I feel my background and financial expertise would help our city in ways we have not yet been able to achieve.

“We can all agree that Milwaukee needs a chief financial officer who understands the intersection of government, finance, and business to help move our city forward. We all want serious leadership and experience coming from every citywide office holder, and we would like to see a new era of transparency and accountability.

“I’m running for Comptroller because the true potential of this office has never been met, and we can do so much more to help city residents, community organizations, and businesses across Milwaukee. It’s time we reach that very potential and work together, as a community, to help make Milwaukee stronger than it has ever been.”

Gov. Evers: Beaver Dam Commerce Park ready for development

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Contact: [email protected] or 608-219-7443

Industrial site is latest addition to Certified In Wisconsin® program

BEAVER DAM — Gov. Tony Evers announced today that the Beaver Dam Commerce Park has been certified as ready for development by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s (WEDC’s) Certified In Wisconsin® Program.
“I’ve said all along that we have to take a 72-county approach to economic development in Wisconsin to ensure that communities throughout our state are able to be successful,” Governor Evers said. “Today’s announcement is critically important for our state and families in the Beaver Dam area.”

The commerce park is conveniently located between three major metropolitan markets—Madison, Milwaukee and Fond du Lac. Situated along U.S. Highway 151 at Hemlock Road and county highways A and W, it is one of Wisconsin’s largest available industrial sites.

The prime location offers exceptional access to the state’s vast and skilled workforce, with an available labor pool of more than 223,000 workers within a 45-minute drive radius. Business located in the park can reach more than half of the U.S. population within one day’s truck delivery time and 75% within two days. The Beaver Dam Commerce Park, which includes 350 acres of developable land of which 280 is certified by WEDC, offers scalable opportunities for users of all sizes.

The Certified In Wisconsin Program plays a key role in helping communities throughout the state attract new companies by providing independent certification that a wide range of concerns have been evaluated—such as environmental and geological factors, transportation access, utility and infrastructure capacity, zoning and property rights—and that a site is ready for industrial development.

“The Certified In Wisconsin Program provides businesses looking to locate in a community assurances that a site has already received critical local approvals,” said Mark R. Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “We are pleased to add the Beaver Dam Commerce Park to the list of industrial sites that are ready for relocating and expanding businesses.”

Alliant Energy holds the option on the properties that make up the Beaver Dam Commerce Park. Once development begins, the company will transfer the options to the Beaver Dam Area Development Corp. (BDADC) who will execute the purchase of the land and the development of the site. The land is currently in the town of Trenton, but it will ultimately be annexed into the city of Beaver Dam.

“We’re excited that Alliant Energy’s Beaver Dam Commerce Park is Wisconsin’s newest Certified Site, and we welcome the increased attention it will bring from new and expanding businesses,” said David de Leon, President of Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin energy company. “Now that our park is a Certified Site, we’ll have another important tool to market the park and bring future jobs and investment to the Beaver Dam area.”

Beaver Dam Mayor Rebecca Glewen thanked Alliant Energy “for realizing the great opportunities that Beaver Dam and our region bring to potential new businesses and residents.

“Beaver Dam has focused on creating a community that appeals to the urban workforce, offering a low crime rate, great schools, theater, arts and music, as well as varied opportunities for outdoor recreation. We are confident that Beaver Dam will be a great option not only for new business development but for recruiting skilled workers, as individuals from Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago and beyond look for attractive, affordable options to live, work and play,” she said.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said the Beaver Dam Commerce Park’s Certified Site status “will be crucial to helping our community share in the state’s success. I want to thank Governor Evers, WEDC and Secretary Hogan for their dedication and help as Beaver Dam works to attract more family-supporting jobs.”

“The announcement made today is a critical component in the transformation of Beaver Dam Commerce Park,” said Rep. Mark Born. “I have no doubt that this development will attract business and workforce into our area, making Beaver Dam an even better place to live, work and raise a family.”

WEDC introduced the Certified In Wisconsin® Program in 2012 to help spur development of commercial properties throughout the state. Working with WEDC, communities can obtain site certification for properties at a much lower cost than they would pay to pursue the “development-ready” designation on their own through an independent consultant.

WEDC works with Deloitte Consulting to evaluate sites to determine if they are ready for development and meet certification requirements. By certifying that these sites meet common basic requirements for development, WEDC provides assurances for potential companies eager to get their projects completed quickly, and in the process makes Wisconsin more competitive when it comes to attracting new projects.

Once a site is certified, a potential developer has all the standard information generally needed to make a quick decision about whether that site is right for a project’s needs, such as utility and transportation infrastructure, environmental assessments, quality of nearby labor force and much more.

Wisconsin has 21 certified sites, with 29 development projects completed or underway that are expected to create more than 2,600 jobs and generate more than $472 million in capital investment.

More information about the program is available on the WEDC website.

Gov. Evers: Opposes USDA’s proposal to boot kids, farmers, families from food assistance

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Contact: [email protected] or 608-219-7443

MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers today, along with governors from 16 other states, signed and submitted a letter voicing opposition to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposal to essentially eliminate Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility (BBCE) from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), effectively rendering kids, farmers, and families ineligible for critical food assistance.

Since it was established 55 years ago, SNAP has proven to be one of the most effective anti-hunger programs in the country. The USDA’s proposal is expected to affect more than three million people across the United States, and will make it harder for nearly 40,000 people in Wisconsin to make ends meet and put food on their table. The rule not only affects working Wisconsinites, but will also put thousands of Wisconsin’s kids in jeopardy of losing access to free and reduced-price meals at school while making it more difficult for working families to provide for healthy food for their kids at home.

“What’s best for our kids is what’s best for our state. We cannot afford to have nearly 12,000 children in our state go hungry,” Gov. Evers said. “We should be making it easier for our kids, farmers, seniors, people with disabilities, and working families to have access healthy foods, not harder.”

Earlier this year, Lt. Gov. Barnes testified in opposition of the rule at a hearing before Congress.

“Broad-based categorical eligibility helps lift families out of poverty: it’s helping farmers, caregivers, and factory workers all across our state,” Lt. Gov. Barnes said in his testimony. “These individuals are contributing members of our society and taxpayers—but unfortunately, low-wages and high expenses like childcare and rent, are making it hard for them to make ends meet. Broad-based categorical eligibility provides needed relief for these families—and it promotes work. Eliminating it would have dangerous repercussions in our state.”

BBCE is a policy that requires states to enroll eligible applicant households in SNAP for food assistance if they’re already qualified for other benefits limited to low-income people, most notably benefits funded under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. States utilize BBCE to adopt less restrictive income and asset tests and to better coordinate SNAP with other state-operated programs, resulting in an increase in low-income households accessing the food assistance they need while also making SNAP easier and less costly for states to administer.

Pocan questions Dems’ chances of winning 7th CD seat

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan questioned Dems’ chances of winning the 7th CD in an upcoming special election, saying the northern Wisconsin district has been gerrymandered to the GOP’s benefit.

Pocan told the Madison Rotary Club Wednesday the 7th CD had become a “tougher district” for Dems to win after Sean Duffy represented the district after more than four decades of Dem U.S. Rep. David Obey. And he blamed the practice of allowing politicians to pick their voters for leading to a situation in which “there isn’t a competitive district” in the state.

Duffy, R-Weston, announced Monday he will resign Sept. 23, prompting a host of politicians to weigh a bid to replace him.

“Anything is possible, I guess, but probable and possible might be two different things,” he told reporters after being asked if he thought Dems could win the 7th CD.

While Pocan bemoaned gerrymandering’s role in elections, he also criticized the role it has played as the “single biggest effect” in driving legislative dysfunction in both Washington and Madison.

“It’s hard for people to speak out about things, because they can be challenged in a primary, and there’s nothing uglier, honestly, than a primary election,” he said.

He singled out the Tea Party, a group of conservative Republicans bolstered by a number of GOP lawmakers who knocked off incumbents from their own party in the 2010 midterm elections. The group sprung up initially in opposition to then-President Obama’s economic policies but went on to become a thorn in the side of GOP leadership seeking to pass bipartisan legislation.

“Fortunately… we don’t have a Tea Party on the Democratic side,” Pocan said. “I think we were smart enough, we saw the disruption that it caused and the ineffectiveness while the Republicans were in control to have 10 percent of people holding up things for the other 90 percent.”

Still, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus — which Pocan chairs — have split with leadership on a number of issues ranging from appropriations to impeachment since Dems re-took the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterms. Pocan conceded that when asked by WisPolitics.com. But he said the difference between his group and the Tea Party was that the CPC was “not there just to say no to things.”

“The big difference is that we like to say yes where the Tea Party liked to say no,” he said.

Pocan also identified infrastructure, lowering prescription drug costs and preventing gun violence as areas he hoped congressional lawmakers could address “in a bipartisan way.”

But he said progress on those three issues would have to come this fall, warning that unless there was “great consensus” — “not two words we use together too often in Washington” — it was unlikely lawmakers would address large-scale policy issues going into a presidential election.

Rep. Sargent: Protecting local communities from fraud & deception

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Contact: Representative Melissa Sargent

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (608)-266-0960

MADISON –Representative Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) issued the following statement to announce the release of LRB-3152/1, which reforms the existing criminal statute to include a criminal penalty for impersonating a public officer, public employee, or employee of a utility, co-authored by Representative Jim Ott (R-Mequon):

“Under current Wisconsin law, it is a Class I felony for a person to assume to act in an official capacity or to perform an official function, knowing that they are not the person that they are presenting themselves to be. Additionally, it is illegal to exercise any function of a public office knowing that they are not qualified to act, for example an individual impersonating a judge and falsely officiating a marriage. That said, it is not illegal for an individual to represent oneself as a public officer, public employee, or the employee of a utility with the intent to mislead others into believing that he or she is a public official. For example, if an impersonating person pretended to be a state representative in an attempt to receive discounts on products or services, or to gain priority access to local establishments, they would not currently be held accountable under Wisconsin’s current law.

LRB-3152/1 looks to close this egregious loophole by making it a Class I felony to represent oneself as a public official or employee with the intent to mislead others into believing that they are actually a public official. Unfortunately, this practice of misleading business owners is not something new. There have been cases of this occurring right here in the 48th Assembly District, yet, due to current Wisconsin statutes, these individuals face no consequences. Without swift action, our local communities will continue to be subject to such ruthless fraud and deception.

We must do all that we can to protect our local communities from those who look to take advantage of their hospitality. Our small businesses are the backbone of our communities, and we cannot allow scammers to manipulate our valued community members without repercussions. This bipartisan legislation puts our community members first, and closes an absurd loophole in our statutes that is well overdue.”

Sen. Darling: Finance Co-chairs announce confidentiality resolution

[Madison, WI] – On Thursday, the Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee on Finance authorized counsel for the Committee to sign the confidentiality agreement that Attorney General Kaul demanded for complying with the law. The Co-Chairs said in a statement:

“Despite the Attorney General’s obvious efforts to undermine state law, the Committee on Joint Finance has authorized counsel to sign the confidentiality agreement proposed by the Attorney General. The Attorney General’s demand is contrary to his prior practice – including when discussing settlements with the governor – and is an obvious effort to undermine the law by delaying the committee’s work.

This action should resolve the Attorney General’s confidentiality concerns, and he should send over all of the relevant settlement information for review. The Committee stands ready to review and approve any settlements that are in the state’s interest.”

Sen. Marklein, Rep. Kurtz: Announce disaster assistance streamlining bill on anniversary of historic flooding

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CONTACT: Senator Howard Marklein, 608-266-0703
Representative Tony Kurtz, 608-266-8531

MADISON— State Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) and State Representative Tony Kurtz (R-Wonewoc) announced their Disaster Assistance Streamlining Bill on the anniversary of the 2018 flood that widely impacted communities in their districts today.

The bill they have introduced streamlines processes for disaster assistance to expedite funding and support for small, rural communities. This bill:
Requires Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) to provide training to ALL local units of government on how to sign-up for the System for Award Management (SAM) program that is a requirement for receiving funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through WEM.
Directs WEM to complete its due diligence to make sure all local units of government have created a SAM account by 6/30/21.
Streamlines the reimbursement process by requiring WEM to issue FEMA payments to municipalities within 14 days of receipt of funds and required forms.
Further streamlines the process by providing an option to submit information to WEM electronically and to receive reimbursements via electronic funds transfer or direct deposit.
“We introduced this legislation after hearing from town leaders who were having difficulty receiving the funding and support they needed after the floods last year,” Marklein said. “We quickly discovered inconsistencies and gaps in the process and have written this bill to streamline it so that communities get the help they need to recover.”

“One community that was particularly hard hit during the flooding last year was the Town of Glendale in Monroe County, which received 8.5 inches of rain in one day in August,” Kurtz said. “Because of the severity of the flooding, Glendale, like many other communities, was eligible for disaster assistance through FEMA and WEM. However, the assistance process is long, convoluted, and arcane. In addition, frequent changes to the procedures make it difficult to quickly reimburse communities for disaster clean-up and repair costs. The long delay forces many communities to take out loans for repairs. Every day money is delayed is another day a community pays interest on the loan, straining local budgets.”

“The Town of Glendale was made aware of the slow process of reimbursement of FEMA funds and asked Senator Marklein and Rep Kurtz to assist in making the process quicker,” Raye Walz, Chair, Town of Glendale said. “This bill will enable all communities affected by disasters to receive FEMA funding and recover from disasters quicker.”

“We discovered that a new federal regulation requires a community requesting funds to register in the SAM system before it can even submit an application for federal funds. But many communities are not registered and do not know that they need to register,” Marklein said. “The Department of Military Affairs told us that for the last 2 disasters, 32% of potential recipients have not registered in SAM and are therefore ineligible to receive any disaster assistance from FEMA or WEM. In fact, some municipalities that were impacted last year still haven’t registered and WEM has not told them that they need to.”

“This bill mandates WEM to be more helpful, streamline their processes and better assist small municipalities in the recovery process,” Kurtz said. “It is unfortunate that we have to force the agency to act, but we will do it so that communities like ours do not have to struggle through red tape when they are working hard to recover.”

“This legislation will be positive for municipalities in Wisconsin,” Joshua Kowalke, Director of Emergency Management for the City of Reedsburg said. “The Public Assistance process is a lengthy process and leaves municipalities without reimbursement for a long time. Streamlining this process will have a positive impact on any municipality that is affected by a disaster.”

The Disaster Assistance Streamlining bill was introduced as Senate Bill (SB) 369 and Assembly Bill (AB) 380. Marklein and Kurtz are optimistic that this legislation will move swiftly through the legislative process.

Sen. Taylor and Mothers Against Gun Violence: Partner to educate during national life insurance month

(MADISON) – Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) released the following information to encourage and motivate Wisconsinites to get life insurance.  September is National Life Insurance Month and Senator Taylor is working with Debra Gillispie, founder of Mothers Against Gun Violence (MAGV), to highlight the importance of life, health, car, home, and renter’s insurance.

In anticipation of National Life Insurance Month, Debra Gillispie shared the following statement:

“I knew how it felt to go through the loss of your child.  I lost my son to gun violence. At the same time trying to figure out, how am I going to pay for his burial?  There’s so much information about insurance that our community has no clue about.  For instance, life insurance can be used to pay for retirement or for disability.  So it’s a living benefit, too.”

Senator Taylor added, “it’s important to think about final expenses early when it doesn’t cost as much, rather than crowdfunding a campaign later to assist in covering funeral expenses.  We want to educate our community, so families can be prepared.”

The Senator is asking residents to come to the Clinton & Bernice Rose Center, North Dr. Martin L. King Jr Drive on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 from 9:30 AM to 12 noon for information and resources on life insurance but all insurance needs.

The Innovation Connection: How federal research benefits Wisconsin 🗓

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Tuesday, September 17, 2019
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
HVC-200 in the Capitol Visitor Center
Moderator: Jeff Mayers, WisPolitics.com

Federally funded university research fuels the Wisconsin economy and improves the lives of citizens throughout the state and beyond. Please join us for a lunch briefing to hear from university scientists about the cutting-edge research happening in the Milwaukee region and how their work is addressing key challenges facing our nation. This lunch event is held in partnership with MMAC’s annual Milwaukee Night in DC.

Junhong Chen, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Engineering

Jim Thomas, MD, PhD, Medical College of Wisconsin, Medical Director of the Cancer Clinical Trials Office and the Associate Director of Translational Research

Shane Hubbard, PhD, UW-Madison Associate Researcher, Space Science and Engineering Center.

Sandra Hunter, PhD, FACSM, Marquette University Professor of Exercise Science and Marquette University Athletic and Human Performance Research Center Director

Register

“This is a widely attended event.”

THU AM Update: Evers to make economic development announcement in Beaver Dam

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THU News Summary: Feds OK disaster declaration for storm damage

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THU PM Update: JFC co-chairs hire private attorney to review proposed settlements

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UW-Green Bay: Cross names Sheryl L. Van Gruensven as interim chancellor of UW-Green Bay

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MADISON, Wis. – University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross has named Sheryl L. Van Gruensven as the interim chancellor of UW-Green Bay. Van Gruensven is the institution’s vice chancellor for business and finance and has served in numerous roles at UW-Green Bay.

“Sheryl is a well-regarded administrator and budget and finance specialist,” Cross said. “She has my full confidence to lead UW-Green Bay in the coming months.”

Prior to being named vice chancellor for business and finance in 2016, Van Gruensven had served in that role as an interim. She was UW-Green Bay’s director of human resources starting in 2005. She joined the institution in 2004.

The vice chancellor for business and finance is the institution’s lead administrator for budgeting, accounting, and fiscal control. The position oversees about 175 employees and a range of business operations and services, including budget, information technology, buildings and grounds, facilities planning, financial services, purchasing, risk management, human resources, and university police.

Van Gruensven has led UW-Green Bay’s efforts to create a new incentive-based budget model, eliminate a $3-million structural deficit while investing in key areas that have resulted in a fourth straight year of enrollment growth, and incorporate a new budgeting system and new services at the two-year campuses. Van Gruensven will replace Gary L. Miller effective Oct. 1. Miller is stepping down to become president of the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio.

The membership of the Search and Screen Committee and the Special Regent Committee will be named soon.

Van Gruensven, who will not be a candidate for the permanent position, is well-regarded in the Green Bay community, on campus, and among the institution’s Council of Trustees. She is co-founder and co-leader of the Women’s Leadership group at UW-Green Bay and a board member of the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes Council.

WisBusiness: the Show with Dana Guthrie of Alchemy Angel Investors of Milwaukee

The latest episode of “WisBusiness.com: The Show” features an interview with Dana Guthrie of Alchemy Angel Investors of Milwaukee, who will outline the group’s investment targets and its larger role in the Milwaukee area.

Also, Liz Schrum presents Tech Metrics, which chart key indicators and events in the Wisconsin economy.

In a separate commentary, Tech Council President Tom Still talks about the upcoming Early Stage Symposium on Nov. 6-7 at Madison’s Monona Terrace. Companies that apply by Sept. 20 will be considered for chances to meet and pitch to investors from Wisconsin and beyond.

Wisconsin SNAP: Survivors of clergy abuse calling on Federal authorities to investigate former Franciscan monk and his religious order for transporting children across state lines to sexually assault them

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Group also concerned that cleric taught in a Green Bay diocese grade school from 1999-2010 after being credibly accused of child sex crimes in Mississippi

Survivors of sexual abuse by clergy in Wisconsin and Mississippi are calling upon federal authorities to investigate a former Franciscan and his religious order for violating federal child sex abuse laws.

In a detailed investigation by the Associated Press published this week, three men who say they were raped and physically abused by Paul West, 59, were brought as children to Wisconsin on multiple occasions where West sexually assaulted them.

West was a member of the Franciscan Friars Assumption, a Catholic religious order headquartered in Franklyn, Wisconsin. The alleged assaults occurred in Mississippi and Wisconsin over several years, from the mid to late 1990’s. At the time, West was the principle of a Catholic grade school in Greenwood, Mississippi.

In a statement Monday, Franciscan officials confirmed that the allegations against West are credible.

Transporting a child across state lines for the purposes of committing a sex act is a federal crime punishable no less to 10 years in prison, up to life.

SNAP is also concerned that West, while still a member of his religious order, was moved by church officials to the Green Bay Diocese where he taught 5th grade at St John’s Elementary School in Little Chute from 1999 to 2010, well after he was known to church officials to have sexually assaulted children in Mississippi. After his transfer, West quickly obtained a teacher’s license from the State of Wisconsin.

West appears to have been released from his religious order in 2002. During his time teaching in Little Chute, however, neither the Franciscans or the Diocese of Green Bay made notifications to Wisconsin law enforcement officials, the Department of Public Instruction, or to parents at the school. West does not appear on a list of credibly accused clerics published by either the diocese of Green Bay or the Milwaukee Archdiocese. Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki has church governance over the Franciscan Province.

Over the past nine months, according to the AP investigation, Franciscan officials have been in Mississippi attempting to obtain non-disclosure agreements from victims of West, although such agreements have been forbidden by the US Bishops abuse policy since 2002.

Contact: Peter Isely, Volunteer Wisconsin Leader (414-429-7259, [email protected]), Mark Belenchia, Volunteer Mississippi SNAP Leader (601-953-2535, [email protected]), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected])

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is www.SNAPnetwork.org)

WisPolitics Midday – August 29, 2019

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In today’s WisPolitics Midday update, brought to you by Spectrum:

  • State Rep Mark Pocan says Dems will have trouble winning a special election to replace Sean Duffy.
  • Legislative Audit Bureau report released on Wisconsin Veteran’s Home at King.

August 30, 2019 | August 28, 2019
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