Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Across Wisconsin, Recent Rises in Hate, Bias Incidents Spark Concern

Nov 12, 2017
Courtesy of Jeff Glaze

The contentious 2016 presidential election raised religious and racial tensions, but experts say the fears fueling hate and bias incidents began years earlier.

The reports came in at an alarming pace. A student at a middle school near Milwaukee drew a stick figure with a swastika on its face. The image held a gun pointed at another stick figure, which had the name of the student’s Jewish teacher on it.

Fecal Microbes Found in 60 Percent of Sampled Wells in Kewaunee County

Jun 8, 2017
Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Up to 60 percent of sampled wells in a Kewaunee County study contained fecal microbes, many of which are capable of making people and calves sick, two scientists told hundreds of local residents gathered at a public meeting Wednesday night.

The microorganisms included Cryptosporidium, a parasite that comes from both people and animals. Researchers estimated Crypto in drinking water is likely infecting 140 of the county’s 20,000 residents each year.

Wisconsin Inmates Report Despair, Little Counseling in Solitary Confinement

Apr 17, 2017
Emily Shullaw for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Waupun Correctional Institution inmate Cesar DeLeon said he has punched the wall until his fist is bloody during 15 years in prison in which he has rotated in and out of solitary confinement.

“I can’t understand why I have to do it,” said DeLeon, 34, “but the pain somehow gives me a sense of reality.”

Wisconsin Misses Chances to Cut Risk of Lead Exposure in Drinking Water

Jan 15, 2017
Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Fearing that lead from drinking water had poisoned their children, nearly 30 people gathered on a December evening to press for answers.

The event at the House of Prayer, a small church on Milwaukee’s northwest side, was organized by Tory Lowe, a community activist working to raise awareness of lead-in-water issues.

‘Regulatory Vacuum’ Exposes Wisconsin Children to Lead in Drinking Water at Schools, Day Care Center

Dec 19, 2016
Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Almost two weeks into the school year, Melissa Corrigan got an email from the principal and superintendent of her daughters’ elementary school.

Wisconsin DNR Fails To Update Lead Testing Guidance In Wake Of Flint Crisis

Dec 7, 2016
Siddhartha Roy / FlintWaterStudy.org

Nine months after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warned against flushing water systems before testing for lead, the state Department of Natural Resources has not yet passed that advice on to public water systems in Wisconsin.

Most Millennials Avoid Elections; Showing Up in 2016 Could Decide Races

Oct 23, 2016
Alexandra Arriaga / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Millennials get a bad rap. They’re labeled narcissistic, self-absorbed and apathetic. (Just look at their nicknames: the selfie generation, generation me, the unemployables.)

And they’re the least likely generation to turn up at the polls this November.

However, many young Americans do care about politics. They may just show it differently than their parents.

‘Strict’ Pesticide Rules Fail to Erase Threat to Wisconsin’s Drinking Water

Oct 17, 2016
Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

In 2014, Doug and Dawn Reeves discovered the well supplying water to their home in rural Stoughton was contaminated with atrazine, despite the fact that they live in an area where use of the pesticide has been banned for 20 years.

During an Easter celebration that year, their son Jacob, fell ill, his body swelling up. Then he developed an unusual rash. After multiple hospital visits, a doctor at American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison diagnosed Jacob, now 11, with juvenile dermatomyositis.

Legislative Attempts to Make It Easier for Felons to Vote Almost Always Fail

Oct 9, 2016
Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Republican and Democratic politicians across the country are deeply divided over restoring the right to vote to felons, a political fracture that affects millions of convicted criminals.

In Iowa and Kentucky, Democratic governors issued executive orders to restore voting rights to many felons — only to have them rescinded by Republican governors who succeeded them.

Frustrated by Democrats, Some White Working-Class Voters Turn to Trump

Sep 27, 2016
Jacob Byk / USA TODAY NETWORK - Wisconsin

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Trump signs in her backyard. Trump magnets on her refrigerator. Trump buttons on her dining room table. Kathy Miller is the former Mahoning County chairwoman for Donald Trump.

Latinos: Will the 'Sleeping Giant' Awaken in Time for the Nov. 8 Election?

Sep 14, 2016
Sami Edge / News21

Andrea Montes turns 18 just weeks before the November election, and the Beloit resident plans to vote for the first time.

She said she had always planned to exercise that right, but an incident in April made it clear just how important it was to cast her ballot. Montes, a Beloit Memorial High School student, was playing in a high school soccer game in Elkhorn when it turned ugly. Fans on the opposing team began yelling “Trump ’16” and “Build that wall!” at her Latina teammates, she said.

DNR and Milwaukee Leaders Agree: Wisconsin Must Do More to Protect Residents from Lead in Water

Sep 8, 2016
Lukas Keapproth / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Top Milwaukee and state officials agreed Wednesday that Wisconsin must move as quickly as possible to replace all of the estimated 176,000 lead pipes providing drinking water to homes and business in the state, with Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp declaring, “If it costs a lot of money to do that, then it costs a lot of money to do that.”
 

College Students Face Unique, Growing Challenges Getting to Ballot Box

Sep 7, 2016
Jeff Miller / University of Wisconsin-Madison

 There are many barriers that keep college students away from the polls. They include registration and voting requirements that vary from state to state, difficulty with obtaining the proper ID or proving residency, lack of familiarity with local issues and local candidates and uncertainty about how or where to vote — at home or at school.

Some laws passed over the previous four years, including in Wisconsin, have created even more barriers.

Voters in Wisconsin, Other States Navigate Maze of New Voting Rules

Sep 4, 2016
Pam Ortega / News21

After four years away from Wisconsin, Mark Sahba returned to Madison last year. The 59-year-old said he was stunned by the “ton” of new requirements to register and vote in a state where he had been casting ballots without a problem for 40 years.

For one thing, Sahba needed a copy of his birth certificate, which was issued in New York, so he could get a driver’s license so he could present it at his polling place.

Strong Public Support Fails to Move Wisconsin on Gun Background Checks

Aug 28, 2016
Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

On a Sunday afternoon nearly four years ago, Elvin Daniel was in his garden when he got a call from police: His sister, Zina Haughton, had been shot at work.

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