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FOXCONN, TWITTER

When the State of Wisconsin announced a deal with the tech manufacturing company Foxconn, many Wisconsinites were first struck by the price tag. The initial announcement of $3 billion dollars in subsidies, was the largest subsidy in the state’s history.

By some estimates that number has since risen to $4 billion dollars. But as the plans for the factory move forward, more residents have become concerned about some of the other aspects of this deal. Some are concerned about the plant’s intense water needs, others have raised issues with the types of jobs they will be providing.

Marquette University, flickr

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is considering a case involving academic freedom. Suspended Marquette University Professor John McAdams is arguing that the Jesuit institution is denying him the academic freedom that his contract promised.

Marquette disciplined the political science professor after he posted something on his conservative blog critical of a student teacher. McAdams has been suspended for more than three years, two of them without pay.

Essay: Caught in Columbine’s Clutches

23 hours ago
Marc Piscotty / Getty Images News

It was on this date in 1999 that two students at Columbine High School in Colorado murdered 12 fellow students and one teacher in an attack that shocked the nation.  While subsequent school shooting have been shocking as well, they have also taken on a saddening regularity.

On this 19th anniversary of the shooting, Lake Effect essayist Marnie Mamminga thinks back on the 2nd anniversary, while she was still a teacher in Illinois:

digidreamgrafix / Fotolia

The last time wine contributor Ray Fister joined Lake Effect's Bonnie North, he talked about the impact that a historically bad wildfire season in California was having on the wine grape industry.

It’s been several months since those fires, and Fister says, "It's amazing how things have come back" in the Napa and Sonoma regions.

Lacy Landre

Milwaukee history is inextricably linked to immigration, from the first German, French, and English immigrants who shaped the city’s founding, to Polish and Irish immigrants that helped build it into an industrial powerhouse, to the Latino immigrants that have redefined the near south side.

COURTESY OF THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL

The Milwaukee community is remembering the late civil rights leader Vel Phillips who passed away Tuesday. She was 94 years old.

Phillips broke a number of barriers in her lifetime, including as the first black secretary of state, and the first African American – and woman – to serve on Milwaukee’s Common Council.

In 2008, she told WUWM – in an interview about black leaders -- that she got a lot of press coverage in that role.

Wisconsin Academy of Sciences Arts And Letters

Humans have visually oriented brains. Our vision evolved to help us survive predators and also helped us capture our dinner. As Shiela Reaves says, our vision evolved to help us defeat camouflage.

Reaves is a professor of Life Sciences at UW-Madison, and a member of the UW McPherson Eye Research Institute.

But today there is a different stress on our vision. We are bombarded by images. Some of us look at computer screens all day, absorbing the pictures Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other apps offer us. We watch many hours of television.

AdamL212/flickr

People who shop at Boston Store could soon be seeing "Going Out of Business" sales -- and the loss of 2,200 jobs in Wisconsin.

A U.S. bankruptcy court Wednesday approved the sale of Boston Store's parent, Bob-Ton Stores, Inc. to a couple of liquidation companies.

Bon-Ton operates 260 stores in 24 states, including Boston Store and Younkers stores across Wisconsin.  The news is a blow to Milwaukee, including at the flagship Boston Store downtown, and the corporate offices in the same building.  

The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association

Milwaukee civil rights icon Vel Phillips has passed away. Phillips was the first African American woman on the Common Council, where she pushed -- for years -- to end housing discrimination.

NPR photo

Longtime NPR newscaster and Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me sidekick Carl Kasell died this week of complications from Alzheimer's disease.  He was 84 years old.  On today's show, we revisit our 2012 interview with him, recorded while he was in town recording an episode of the comedy quiz show.

Marti Mikkelson

One of Gov. Walker’s erstwhile top lieutenants defended the Foxconn deal at a luncheon Tuesday in downtown Milwaukee. Former Department of Administration Secretary Scott Neitzel spoke to a couple hundred people at the Rotary Club. While Neitzel assured the crowd of the Foxconn promise, some were skeptical.

Neitzel retired from the post last month, after helping to secure the agreement with Foxconn. He says he was honored to help the Taiwanese company build a huge LCD screen manufacturing plant in Racine County. Neitzel insists the deal will protect Wisconsin taxpayers.

Ann-Elise Henzl

Advocacy groups and some Milwaukee residents who work in the suburbs are trying to save two Milwaukee County Transit System bus routes, known as the JobLines. The funding source for the routes is set to dry up at the end of the year.

Susan Bence

Update:

The EPA awarded the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee a $3 million grant to help restore the Grand Trunk wetland in the city's Harbor District.

"Milwaukee's landscape has changed significantly over the past 200 years, and the wetland marshes that dominated the center of the City have all but vanished," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said in a news release Tuesday. "This restoration work will reestablish a small portion of that wetland."

Food Finance Institute

A quest to find a use for whey produced as a byproduct of organic cheese making drove Tera Johnson to create Wisconsin Specialty Protein, maker of Tera’s Whey nutritional protein powder, which sold in 2012 to Omega Protein for $26.5 million.

kjekol / Fotolia

A series in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and other USA Today Network newspapers around Wisconsin is looking at the impact of mental health issues on kids and teens in the state. 

The series, titled Kids in Crisis - and its accompanying podcast, This Is Normal, features personal stories from young people who have gone through significant emotional challenges.

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