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Author: WisContext

WWI Remembered: Anti-German sentiment targeted Milwaukee brewers and fueled Prohibition

Wisconsin may be known as the Dairy State, but its status as a bastion of beer is just as legendary. When the United States entered World War I, though, the German roots of the state’s brewing industry centered in Milwaukee fueled the efforts of prohibitionists looking to ban the production and consumption of alcoholic beverages. “As German immigrants flocked into the United States, especially during the second half of the 19th century, they transformed the American brewing industry and triggered what I call the lager beer revolution,” said Jana Weiss, an associate professor of North American history at the...

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WWI Remembered: Wisconsin seen as a “Traitor State” gave rise to “Hyper-Patriots”

World War I was a defining moment for the United States. Soldiers shipped out to the Western Front, many more people took on unconventional roles at home, and Americans across the board were forced to make compromises in daily life. Wisconsin stood out in a few ways as the nation entered the war in 1917. It was anecdotally known as the “traitor state,” as nine of the state’s 11 U.S. representatives voted against going to war. One city in particular illustrated how much views on the war could be polarized: Milwaukee. Wisconsin’s most populous city had long been home...

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Wisconsin’s “last generation” farmers face tough choices for land usage

For land-owning farmers facing tough economic circumstances, the decision to forgo another year’s crop or to liquidate their livestock is not an easy one. Some may choose to retire from farming, selling their equipment and land. Others, however, pursue a somewhat different route, renting out their property with an eye towards a brighter financial future. “The commodity prices are such that several people have decided to discontinue their livestock operations, but that doesn’t mean they move into town,” said Arlin Brannstrom, faculty associate at the University of Wisconsin Center for Dairy Profitability. “They still live on the farmstead, and...

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Offering a “Taste Of Place” puts Farmers Markets in competition over locally sourced food

Farmers markets provide many benefits for communities of all sizes. They offer a physical location for people to connect with their neighbors, access farm-fresh and healthy foods, and learn more about how food is grown. In addition, farmers’ markets help generate economic activity at local businesses and may attract tourists looking for a special “taste of place.” Perhaps most importantly, farmers’ markets provide an opportunity for small and medium-sized farms to reach consumers directly and retain a larger share of profit from their products’ sales. Around the nation, farmers’ markets are on the rise. The U.S. Department of Agriculture...

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Downstream residents fear impact of Foxconn factory will create flooding

Flooding along the Des Plaines River in northeastern Illinois in the summer of 2017 damaged more than 6,000 buildings and prompted disaster declarations across three of the state’s counties. These floods broke records previously set in 2013, when the Des Plaines and other rivers around Chicago swelled with torrential rains. In June 2018, the Des Plaines flooded yet again, as did the Fox River to the west. The Des Plaines begins at the southern edge of Racine County and, after a pair of bends in Kenosha County, flows south, then slightly southeast, for 133 miles through Chicago’s suburbs until...

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Refugee resettlements in Wisconsin plummet over first half of 2018

Over the first sixth months of 2018, 221 refugees were resettled in Wisconsin. During the same period in 2017, that number was 443. In 2016, it was 778. Wisconsin isn’t the biggest destination for refugee resettlement by far, but the multi-year decline in the state accompanies a similarly dramatic nationwide trend — detailed in data from the U.S. State Department’s WRAPSnet system — as the Trump administration increasingly bars the way for displaced and persecuted people hoping to build a new life in the United States. The United Nations, U.S. State Department and international refugee resettlement non-profit groups each...

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