WisconsinWeekly: What’s it like to be shot; barriers to organic farming

New podcast explores effects of getting shot; Superior-area residents cast doubt on monitoring plan after refinery fire; costs and benefits of organic; innocent sometimes plead guilty

Of note: This week we highlight stories that touch on some of the main themes the Center has covered during its nearly 10 years, including flaws in the criminal justice system, gun violence, hazardous chemicals in the workplace and the tension between cost-effective farming practices and protecting the environment. Although some of the stories come from outside Wisconsin, they raise serious questions that deserve attention here.

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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‘Everyone suffers’: Ever wonder what it’s like to be shot? These people know all too well

The Enquirer  (Cincinnati, Ohio) — May 17, 2018

Aftermath, a new podcast by USA Today Network and The Trace, examines gunshot survival stories to explore the long-term effects — both physical and mental — of gun violence in the United States. Every day on average in America, roughly 96 people are shot and killed by firearms. Vastly more survive. Of the nearly 85,000 people estimated to have survived gun injuries in 2015, close to three-fourths were due to assault. Earlier from WCIJ: The Precious Lives series, which examined the roots of gun violence and potential solutions in Milwaukee and statewide.

Twin Ports residents express doubts over environmental monitoring after refinery incident

Wisconsin Public Radio — May 17, 2018

Twin Ports residents shared their doubts about environmental monitoring in the wake of explosions and fires at the Husky Energy oil refinery in Superior last month. They voiced a lack of trust in government and company officials who are overseeing air, water and soil quality. “I want to know what they’re doing to make this a better community,” said nearby resident Linda Degraef. “They have to restore their reputation with us.”

Trading away justice

Injustice Watch — May 30, 2018

A new series from Injustice Watch raises series questions about the widespread use of plea bargaining everywhere. One report, Two brothers, two choices: A plea bargain’s toll on the innocent, tells the story of brothers Juan and Henry Johnson, who both spent 11 years locked up together in Illinois penitentiaries before being offered a plea bargain. Another report, Plea deals punish the innocent, hide the guilty in Baltimore police scandal, tells the story of Omar Burley, who was imprisoned for more than seven years after his arrest by corrupt Baltimore police officers. Earlier from IowaWatch and WCIJ: Common interrogation technique suspected of causing false confessions

Organic crops lucrative, challenging for U.S. farmers

Investigate Midwest — May 30, 2018

A report from the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting discusses the barriers facing grain farmers wishing to go organic, a technique that can bring higher prices but also may require steep upfront costs. Farmers cannot use any pesticides or synthetic fertilizers on their land for three years before they can receive the green and white label conferred by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The struggles of these farmers has resonance in Wisconsin, which is home to Organic Valley, the nation’s largest cooperative of organic farmers.

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