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Author: Wisconsin Public Radio

Wisconsin National Guard members look toward their futures As COVID-related missions wind down

When Amanda Hierstetter of Prairie du Chien enlisted in the Wisconsin National Guard in February 2021, she was not expecting to find a career that she loved. But after completing a certified nursing assistant training program through the Guard, she wants to continue in that line of work, maybe eventually becoming a nurse. “It was life-changing,” she said. “It didn’t feel like a job to me, it actually felt natural, like this is where I was supposed to be.” Earlier this year, Gov. Tony Evers announced an effort for the Wisconsin National Guard to support Wisconsin’s hospitals and nursing...

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Leaked plan to overturn Roe v. Wade revives question of enforcing Wisconsin’s 173-year-old abortion ban

A 173-year-old abortion ban in Wisconsin could go back into effect as early as this summer if a draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court takes effect, but questions over the ban’s enforceability are already looming. The ban, approved by the state Legislature in 1849, makes providing an abortion a felony, with penalties of up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The statute has been unenforceable since 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade. However, Politico reported that the nation’s highest court may be poised to...

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Milwaukee earns environmental praise for initiative to eliminate combined sewer overflows by 2035

Joel Brammeier likes to think of water infrastructure as the “circulatory system of a thriving community.” It is buried and unseen but so vital and interwoven to a functioning body. But there are consequences when that system reaches its limits. Brammeier, president of the Alliance for the Great Lakes, is worried about how sewage systems can hold up with increasing levels of rain over time. Specifically, he mentioned the overflowing of older infrastructure that collects both wastewater and stormwater. In the short term, Brammeier said sewage overflowing into lakes or rivers means people can’t swim there or there might...

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Arts and culture organizations in Wisconsin are showing signs of recovery after pandemic disruption

Buoyed by federal relief funding, Wisconsin’s arts and culture organizations are showing signs of recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum. The report, called State of the Arts, follows a 2020 Policy Forum report that called the pandemic an “existential threat” to arts organizations. In the latest update, researchers found employment in the arts sector recovered significantly in 2021, and is showing preliminary signs of further recovery in 2022. “It is a generally encouraging picture,” lead author Joe Peterangelo said. “There’s still some challenges that arts and culture in Wisconsin are...

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Ambassador Tom Barrett thinks Wisconsin’s economy should be prepared for impact from Russian sanctions

Wisconsin, along with the rest of the world, will face economic repercussions from the continuing Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to a quartet of current and former U.S. ambassadors who have ties to Wisconsin. During an online forum hosted by WisPolitics on April 20, the ambassadors say the conflict will realign global trade policies, which could also create opportunities for Wisconsin farmers. Those speaking at the event included Tom Barrett, the current U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg and former mayor of Milwaukee; Mark Green, the former U.S. ambassador to Tanzania who now leads the nonpartisan Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.;...

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New initiative by Wisconsin Republicans aims to build inroads with State’s growing Hispanic population

America’s growing Hispanic population could help decide races in key swing states such as Wisconsin. Republicans are looking to attract Latino voters with a new initiative in key swing states ahead of this November’s elections, including Wisconsin. Operación ¡Vamos! is a seven-figure investment by the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Republican Party of Wisconsin. “Republicans have made inroads with Hispanic Wisconsinites by connecting with them over the issues that matter — the economy, education, and safer communities,” said Republican Party of Wisconsin Chair Paul Farrow in a statement. Geraldo Cadava is a professor of history and Latina and...

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