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Author: Syndicated

Mandela Barnes aims replace Trump ally Ron Johnson and become first Black U.S. Senator from Wisconsin

Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes officially joined the crowded Democratic field for the U.S. Senate seat on July 20, vying to become the first African American from Wisconsin to serve in the Senate. The office is currently held by Republican Senator and Trump ally Ron Johnson. The 34-year-old Barnes is the first Black lieutenant governor in Wisconsin history. He is giving up a chance to run for a second term in 2022 as the running mate of Governor Tony Evers. Instead, Barnes becomes the eighth Democrat to enter the race, with an ninth expected to get in soon. During his...

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Preventable Deaths: Unvaccinated people now account for nearly all COVID fatalities in America

Nearly all COVID-19 deaths in the United States now are in people who were not vaccinated, a staggering demonstration of how effective the shots have been and an indication that deaths per day, now down to under 300, could be practically zero if everyone eligible got the vaccine. An analysis of available data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in May shows that “breakthrough” infections in fully vaccinated people accounted for fewer than 1,200 of more than 853,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations. That’s about 0.1%. And only about 150 of the more than 18,000 COVID-19 deaths in May were...

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From Prison to Apprenticeship: Joshua Johnson’s journey to reenter the Wisconsin workforce

Joshua Johnson had used the same deodorant for 10 years. In fact, he pretty much used the same everything for 10 years, like clothes, toothpaste, snack food, and a prison bunk. Which is why, when he was released from Winnebago Correctional Center in 2005, after serving a decade-long prison sentence for armed robbery, and his parents drove him to a Wal-Mart for the first time, he was completely overwhelmed. There, on the shelves, were dozens of different deodorants to choose from. “For the past 10 years I didn’t make decisions for myself,” Johnson said. “I’m better at it now,...

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Environmental Contamination: Wisconsin residents struggle with harmful impact of “forever chemicals”

Originally produced by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, a nonprofit online newsroom that offers investigative and enterprise coverage of agribusiness, Big Ag, and related issues through data analysis, visualizations, in-depth reports, and interactive web tools. Craig Koller grew up splashing through backyard creeks and biking gravel trails, sometimes through the Johnson Control Industries Fire Technology Center. Black smoke wafted overhead as it conducted controlled burns to test firefighting foam, producing a dangerous “forever chemical” known as PFAS. As a kid growing up in the northern Wisconsin port city of Marinette, Koller didn’t think much of being around the...

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Capitol Coup: Fact checking Senator Ron Johnson’s effort to divert blame from White Supremacists

Senator Ron Johnson, as he predicted, got himself in trouble for saying he “never felt threatened” by those who attacked the Capitol on January 6, but he “might have been a little concerned” if they were “tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and antifa protesters. In response to critics who found his remarks to be racist, Johnson wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal — “I Won’t Be Silenced by the Left” — that distorted a report’s findings on last year’s demonstrations against racial injustice. In his op-ed, Johnson cited the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data...

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The Un-United Methodist schism: Conservative faction details its plans for breakaway denomination

Conservative leaders within the United Methodist Church unveiled plans Monday to form a new denomination, the Global Methodist Church, with a doctrine that does not recognize same-sex marriage. The move could hasten the long-expected breakup of the UMC over differing approaches to LGBTQ inclusion. For now, the UMC is the largest mainline Protestant church in the U.S. and second only to the Southern Baptist Convention, an evangelical denomination, among all U.S. Protestant churches. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the UMC’s General Conference — at which the schism would be debated — has been postponed for two consecutive years, and...

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