Wisconsin Weekly: Evers seeks to boost oversight of for-profit colleges

College scrutiny boosted; rat emojis lead to death threats; Evers to hire lead czar; ‘killer heat’ to hit Midwest; Oneida Co. official probed 

Of note: For-profit colleges will face more scrutiny under Gov. Tony Evers. The board charged with oversight of for-profit college was eliminated under former Gov. Scott Walker, but Evers is seeking to beef up the state’s regulatory muscle. As Wisconsin Watch reported back in 2015, Wisconsin was set to become, in the words of the head of the Educational Approval Board, “the only state in the nation without any meaningful oversight for private postsecondary education institutions.” 

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Wisconsin rebuilding oversight of for-profit colleges after transition, vacancies

Wisconsin State Journal July 27, 2019

The state agency overseeing Wisconsin’s for-profit colleges is building up its watchdog role after a transition nearly two years ago led to an exodus of experienced employees, prolonged vacancies and no spending authority to fill key positions. The Republican-controlled Legislature and former Gov. Scott Walker eliminated the Educational Approval Board in September 2017, shifting oversight to the Educational Approval Program under the state Department of Safety and Professional Services. 

How 5 rat emojis led to death threats, derailed a homicide case and cost Wisconsin $100K

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel July 25, 2019

Word came last October that one of the inmates whom Robert Wilcox had labeled as a “rat” — a high-ranking gang member — wanted Jason Wilke dead. The inmate suspected that Wilke had leaked his name to prison guard Wilcox. Threats are nothing new to Wilke, a longtime member of the Corrections’ Security Threat Group Task Force and president of the Midwest Gang Investigators Association. He’s investigated violent criminals in Wisconsin for the last 15 years. This threat is different, he says. 

Evers ups ante on lead abatement with new Health Department position

Wisconsin Public Radio — July 29, 2019

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers says he will continue his commitment to improving water quality across the state, despite GOP lawmakers removing $40 million from the state budget that would have begun replacing lead service lines. Evers signed an executive order Monday directing state agencies to create a position in the state Department of Health Services to work with other state agencies to address childhood exposure to lead. Previously from Wisconsin Watch: Wisconsin misses chances to cut risk of lead exposure in drinking water

As scientists predict ‘killer heat’ in near future, ag companies and farmers prepare

Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting — July 29, 2019

As many as nine states could see heat indexes above 100 degrees for more than a quarter of the year by 2036, according to a new report. The impact of climate change will push the number of days with heat indexes above 100 degrees across the Midwest, from an average of six days to as many as 30 days. Some top agriculture states could see nearly two month- worth of days where temperatures and humidity combine to create dangerous conditions for outdoor workers, according to a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Investigation finds Oneida County official used public resources, prison laborers to clear his private land

Wisconsin Public Radio — July 30, 2019

An Oneida County official used intimidation and threats to pressure the owners of a plot of forest land to sell it to him, then directed county equipment and labor from prison inmates to be used to clear a private road on the property, a sheriff’s office investigation found. Investigation documents obtained by WPR from the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office provide a window into the accusations against John L. Bilogan, director of the Oneida County Forestry Department, which revolve around 39 acres of land on Hildebrand Lake Road in the town of Enterprise, land surrounded by county forest. 

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