WisconsinWeekly: Whistleblowers, Midwestern universities and opioids

Welcome to WisconsinWeekly

This new, free newsletter offers a selective weekly roundup of top news stories we think Wisconsin residents, or people who care about the state, need to know about.

WisconsinWeekly is produced by us, Andy and Dee J. Hall, a married couple who founded the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. Andy is the executive director and Dee is the managing editor. Dee is a Wisconsin native, while Andy, the newcomer, has shivered through 26 winters. We raised our two daughter here, and we’re committed to making this a better place for their generation and those that follow.

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With assistance from WCIJ’s stellar staff, each week we’ll select a small number of stories for WisconsinWeekly. Some will be the week’s biggest stories, while others will be pieces that haven’t received much attention but shine a light on important issues facing Wisconsin.

Let’s get started!

Wisconsin’s attack on waste and fraud leaves some whistleblowers, vulnerable residents behind

Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism- Oct. 15, 2017

Our latest series explores Gov. Scott Walker’s attack on waste, fraud and abuse and the dwindling protections for whistleblowers in Wisconsin. Despite the administration’s tough rhetoric on rooting out misuse of taxpayer money, court rulings and legislative acts have made it nearly impossible for whistleblowers to get protection.

The Decline of the Midwest’s Public Universities Threatens to Wreck Its Most Vibrant Economies

The Atlantic – Oct. 15, 2017

Universities in the Midwest have historically been powerhouses for important research. Cuts to funding for this research are threatening these institutions, as brainpower, jobs and funding leave the Midwest for other regions.

Wisconsin counties join lawsuit against opioid drug manufacturers

Wisconsin Public Radio – Oct. 18, 2017

A growing number of Wisconsin counties are suing drug manufacturers in response to the growing opioid addiction in the state — 1,031 residents died in 2016 from overdosing on opioids, up from 872 in 2015.

The Two Wisconsins

Isthmus – Oct. 12, 2017

Part one of a two-part series, this analysis of the Wisconsin economy reveals how certain Wisconsin counties, such as Dane, are thriving while small northern communities and Milwaukee are struggling.

DOC chief: State needs more prison space before 2020

Wisconsin State Journal Oct. 19, 2017

Wisconsin’s state prison system is growing by 35 inmates per month, a population that has tripled in the past 25 years. Department of Corrections Secretary Jon Litscher says new housing units or a new prison is needed by 2020 to alleviate crowding.

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