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Author: Wisconsin Public Radio

Concerns over sexual assault and pandemic response among factors causing military recruitment decline

The U.S. military is working to combat a different kind of enemy this year, a significant decline in the number of new recruits signing up for service. The Wisconsin Army National Guard’s goal for recruitment was about 1,000 new recruits this year. But Lt. Col. Shannon Hellenbrand of the Wisconsin Army National Guard said recruitment numbers are around 25 percent below the target for 2022, both nationwide and in the state. “It really does impact the functionality of our units, our ability to accomplish our missions at the rate and at the skill level that we’re used to,” Hellenbrand...

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Authorization by Congress of a new heavy icebreaker seen as a boost for winter shipping on Great Lakes

Congressional lawmakers have authorized another heavy icebreaker on the Great Lakes as part of the $858 billion defense bill to be approved by President Joe Biden. Wisconsin lawmakers, including Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and Republican U.S. Representative Mike Gallagher, said the authorization of a $350 million heavy icebreaker is vital after thick ice cover in the last decade has cost billions of dollars in shipping delays. They say authorization is a key step toward securing money for a new U.S. Coast Guard cutter to keep commerce moving. “In the cold winter months, icebreaking helps keep the economies and...

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Collective behind Milwaukee Theater District aims to help entertainment industry recover from pandemic

New York has Broadway, England has the London West End and now Wisconsin’s biggest city has its own theater district. After years of speculation about the future of a Milwaukee Theater District, it’s finally coming to fruition. The collective is part of a statewide effort to celebrate the arts and draw more visitors. Nine performing arts and live entertainment groups have joined the collective, including the Marcus Performing Arts Center. “All great cities, you know, you need a few hooks to hang the story,” said Andrew Flack, chief commercial officer for Marcus Hotels & Resorts, adding that the arts...

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Win or go home: Green Bay Packers are just one win away from clinching Super Bowl playoff spot

It has been an eventful time for players and fans, who watched in horror on January 9 as Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field and had to be given CPR before leaving the field in an ambulance. A few days later, those same players and fans have watched with joy as Hamlin recovered. After losing to the Philadelphia Eagles on November 27, the Green Bay Packers’ playoff aspirations were all but dead. With a record of 4-8, the Packers had a 3 percent chance of making the playoffs going into its week 13 matchup with the...

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Senator Baldwin’s proposed Federal travel funding for abortion seekers faces a hostile new Congress

Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin introduced a bill in December that would provide federal funding grants to pay for travel-related expenses for people seeking abortions. But despite their support for the effort, abortion rights advocates say it is unlikely to get through Congress, where the House of Representatives will be controlled by Republicans. The Reproductive Health Travel Fund Act would set up a grant program for $350 million per year for the next five years, distributing the funds through nonprofits and community organizations that assist abortion seekers. It would give priority to people who live in states that have...

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Recent mergers of major hospitals in Wisconsin will impact about 8.5M patients in state and beyond

Millions of Wisconsin residents will be affected by two separate mergers of nonprofit hospital systems that were finalized in December. Gundersen Health System and Bellin Health completed a merger on December 1. The next day, Advocate Aurora Health and Atrium Health did the same. Together, the mergers will impact about 8.5 million patients across several states. Bellin and Gundersen will keep their respective names for the time being, as well as separate headquarters in Green Bay and La Crosse, while Advocate Aurora and Atrium will become “Advocate Health.” Marshfield Clinic Health System and Essentia health also announced merger talks....

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