Justin W Kern

Wisconsin's Open Records Law Steeped in Tradition

Republicans on the Joint Finance committee created an uproar last week when they approved changes to Wisconsin’s open records law.
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When Republicans inserted last minute items into the proposed state budget on Thursday, the one that got instant attention is the plan to weaken Wisconsin's open records law. Other last minute proposals include allowing a seven-day work week and requiring municipalities with water and sewer utilities to service neighbors who need it.

Milwaukee County supervisors hope the public takes note of another last-minute addition - it would transfer more power to the county executive, including authority over county land along Milwaukee's downtown lakefront.

Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

When watching the nightly news coverage of various shootings and violence in the city, it’s easy to separate yourself from the drama on the TV screen. For Lieutenant Jamaal Perry of the Milwaukee Fire Department, there is no separation because he’s the paramedic on the scene for the worst of the city’s violence.

Whitney Curtis/Getty Images

When Gov. Scott Walker announces his run for the White House next Monday, his supporters will relish the chance to cheer their candidate. Meanwhile, his critics will be just as eager to share their views.

Fewer than half of Wisconsin voters were happy with the job Walker is doing as governor in the most recent Marquette Law School Poll.

Battle Bots / http://battlebots.com

Battle Bots had a successful five season run on Comedy Central 12 years ago. Now, it has made a return to television on ABC.

The premise of Battle Bots is simple. Teams create and build self-designed robots that fight one another with a slew of weapons and self-defense mechanisms. Every week, teams are paired off with the winner moving on to the next round. The last bot standing is crowned winner.

Update: Gov. Walker says he and Republican legislative leaders (Sen. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Joint Finance Committee Co-chairs Sen. Alberta Darling and Rep. John Nygren) have decided to remove open records changes from the state budget and instead form a committee to study the issue.

Michelle Maternowski

The free bus service on July 6 is meant to thank regular riders for their adaptability during the three-day strike, according to County Executive Chris Abele.

Union drivers walked off the job early Wednesday, after they and the Milwaukee County Transit System failed to reach a new contract agreement. The union says its drivers plan to return to the job early Saturday morning, even though they don't yet have a new contract.

Marti Mikkelson

Several dozen people have banded together this summer to help clean up neighborhoods on Milwaukee’s north side. The goal is to eventually reduce crime.

About 25 people are gathered in Garden Homes Square, a huge park on Milwaukee’s north side. They’re ambassadors with the Safe Zone initiative – a city program federal money helps fund.

One member is Antonio Williams, a neighborhood resident. He says one of the group’s first activities will be to clean up the park. Williams says the ambassadors also are urging other residents to pitch in.

President Obama
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The president spoke Thursday afternoon at UW-La Crosse on the same day that Governor Walker reportedly signed papers to mount a run for the GOP presidential nomination. He's expected to formally announce his candidacy on July 13 in Waukesha.

Obama did not mention Walker by name, but drew applause from the crowd when saying that people's "right to organize and bargain was attacked," an apparent reference to the governor's Act 10 that stripped away public union rights and the right-to-work law he signed this year, which outlaws mandatory union dues in the private sector.

Mitch Teich

When Al Exner looks back at his grandkids today, he’s shocked at how different their experience as 18-year-olds is from what he experienced when he was their age.

Rearranging veggie genes is big business, and we're not even talking about biotechnology. Private companies and university researchers spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year breeding better genetic varieties of food crops.

But organic farmers say those programs have a big blind spot when it comes to figuring out which new varieties are truly better. Few companies or researchers test those varieties under organic conditions.

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Northland College

As Wisconsin DNR Studies Impact of Proposed, Supersize Pig Farm, Community Divide Deepens

For decades, Reicks View Farms has been raising lots and lots of hogs in Iowa. Reicks hopes to expand into northern Wisconsin and raise 26,000 hogs in Bayfield County.
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