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Author: Wisconsin Public Radio

Governor Evers begins second term as GOP lawmakers refuse to confirm 180 appointees from his first term

Governor Tony Evers started his second term on January 3, but scores of holdovers from the Democratic governor’s first term are stuck in a kind of legislative limbo. Nearly 180 people appointed by Evers to lead state agencies, boards and commissions had yet to be confirmed by the state Senate, according to lists provided in mid-December by the governor’s office and the nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau. That includes five Cabinet members who continue to lead state agencies despite having never been confirmed by the Senate. While they have all the duties of other cabinet secretaries, they’re technically secretary-designees, which...

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Raze or repair? Future remains uncertain for Milwaukee’s iconic Mitchell Park Domes

The future of Milwaukee’s Mitchell Park Domes is still in limbo, but a new policy now says “all options” are on the table for the domes, including the possibility of demolishing the beloved landmark. The Milwaukee County Committee on Parks and Culture approved a resolution on December 6 that gives the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors the leeway to consider repairing, renovating, demolishing or creating a new project on the grounds of the conservatory. It was the most recent action on the domes, which have been in disrepair for years. If the board approves the resolution during a meeting...

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Wisconsin regulators approve utility rate hikes as customers face increasing costs from inflation

Wisconsin utility regulators approved rate hikes for electric and natural gas customers served by two of the state’s largest utilities on December 1, but they reduced profits utilities can collect amid outcry from financially-strapped ratepayers. The Wisconsin Public Service Commission approved overall electric rate hikes of 8.8 percent for We Energies and 9 percent for Wisconsin Public Service, according to commission staff. The increase is higher than what utilities initially proposed, but less than changes they suggested later that would have shifted more costs to residential customers. This fall, the utilities owned by Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group asked for...

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Report details rise of domestic violence in Wisconsin with women of color disproportionately harmed

Since the start of the pandemic, deaths by domestic violence in Wisconsin have surged to record levels. According to a new report from End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, domestic violence claimed 80 lives last year, including victims and perpetrators. That is up from 72 in 2019 and 68 in 2020. Around half of the victims were people of color, despite the population of Wisconsin being about 87 percent White. The cases occurred across Wisconsin, but 74 percent happened in urban areas, and the homicides were most concentrated in Milwaukee. While COVID alone did not create this spike in violence, it...

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WisDOT recommends environmentally disruptive expansion of Milwaukee’s I-94 instead of plan to fix

Milwaukee-area commuters will see a widened Interstate 94 on the city’s west side if a new recommendation from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is adopted. The department announced its preferred plan for the $1.2 billion highway expansion on November 11. It would expand the road from six lanes to eight — four lanes in each direction — on about a 3.5-mile stretch of highway that passes the Brewers’ American Family Field. Its recommendation comes some 12 years after plans for the highway became a political issue, and more than 18 months since the state put it on hold in...

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From “near beer” to cheese: What Milwaukee breweries produced to stay in business during Prohibition

New York has Broadway. California has movie stars you will only see in Hollywood, Maine is known for its lobster, and Iowa has corn. Here in Wisconsin, we are known for a lot of products, but predominately beer. It is the state’s history with the beer industry that often raises the question about what happened to local breweries and alcohol production during prohibition. Prohibition began in the 1920s when the 18th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibited the manufacturing, transportation and sale of intoxicating beverages — it did not make the possession or consumption of alcohol illegal. It was...

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