WisconsinWeekly: Air quality concerns, IL lottery questions, poor struggle with welfare changes, $$ pours into WI race, former Badger star says doctor ‘may have saved my life’

Ozone plagues WI counties, IL lottery ‘unfair,’ Milwaukee family struggles with welfare changes, WI Senate race draws millions in outside spending, ex-footballer praises doctor

Of note: This week’s roundup of Wisconsin-area news includes a Wisconsin Public Radio report on the American Lung Association’s awarding of an “F” grade for ozone pollution to eight Wisconsin counties. The Chicago Tribune reveals that the Illinois Lottery continued to sell millions of dollars per month in scratch-off tickets even after the top prizes were all claimed. The Washington Post examines newly adopted welfare restrictions in Wisconsin through the lens of a homeless Milwaukee family.

The New York Times finds up to $10 million in money from outside Wisconsin has poured into efforts to defeat U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, with another $3.7 million from groups targeting her GOP challenger, Kevin Nicholson. In a Time essay, former Badgers football player Chris Borland credits Dr. Ann McKee, a UW alumna, with helping him decide to walk away from a multimillion-dollar pro contract over concerns about brain injury.

WisconsinWeekly is produced by Andy and Dee J. Hall, a couple who founded the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. Andy is the executive director and Dee is the managing editor.

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Eight Wisconsin counties rated ‘F’ for air quality

Wisconsin Public Radio — April 18, 2018

A new report from the American Lung Association gives eight Wisconsin counties — Door, Kenosha, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Rock, Sheboygan and Walworth — an “F” for ozone air quality. More than 4-in-10 Americans live in counties with unhealthy levels of ozone or particulate pollution. Some parts of Wisconsin, however, have some of the cleanest air in the country. Earlier from WCIJ: Under legal pressure, Wisconsin coal-fired power plans trim emissions

Illinois Lottery sells tickets for instant games after top prizes are gone — ’inherently unfair,’ one critic says

Chicago Tribune — April 20, 2018

An investigation from the Chicago Tribune highlights more lottery troubles, this time in Illinois. The Illinois Lottery secretly sells scratch-off tickets even after the top prizes are gone, Matthew Walberg reported. Unsuspecting players paid more than $20.7 million in four months for tickets in games that the top prize had already been won by someone else. Earlier from WCIJ: Some people repeatedly win the Wisconsin Lottery. Do they play fair?

Wisconsin is the GOP model for ‘welfare reform.’ But as work requirements grow, so does one family’s desperation.

The Washington Post — April 22, 2018

Lawmakers are embracing increasingly aggressive measures to move the poor out of the social safety net and into the workforce, and Wisconsin has taken a leading role in this trend. In 2013, Gov. Scott Walker signed legislation requiring childless adults who aren’t disabled to work at least 20 hours a week to continue to qualify for food stamps. Earlier this year, lawmakers passed nine “welfare reform” bills, including expanding the work requirement, which they said will motivate people need to stop relying on government help. And the federal government is following Wisconsin’s example.

The fight for Wisconsin is on as outside money pours into Senate race

The New York Times — April 23, 2018

In a dive into the money and polarization shaping politics in Wisconsin, The New York Times examines Tammy Baldwin’s Senate race. For many national Republicans, Baldwin has emerged as the top target in the 2018 midterms: Donors from outside the state are spending twice as much money on the race so far as on any other Senate contest this year. The big spending doesn’t just signal that each party sees the Senate seat as winnable. It’s also a measure of intensity on both sides to prevail in Wisconsin.

Former Badgers linebacker Chris Borland says doctor ‘may have saved my life’

Wisconsin State Journal — April 24, 2018

After realizing his dream of reaching the NFL, former University of Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland gave up the game after just one season. And he says the work of Dr. Ann McKee, a Wisconsin alumna, played a key role in his difficult decision to retire. In a piece for Time’s “The 100 Most Influential People of 2018,” Borland wrote, “Dr. McKee’s groundbreaking work on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) was central to my decision, and she may have saved my life.” Earlier from WCIJ: University of Wisconsin football players downplay warnings while proof of brain injury — even from small hits — piles up

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