Safety prep for May 12 election; doctors rethink ventilator use; meat-packing plant dangers revealed; from Rust to Resilience; big political donors open wallets
Of note: This week we highlight Wisconsin Watch stories on the debate over how Wisconsin should hold in-person voting during the pandemic. Once again, the National Guard will shore up a shrinking pool of workers willing to run the polls during the COVID-19 crisis. Experts say states including Wisconsin should move more to mail-in balloting — but clerks say they do not have the people or money to make such a rapid shift. Meanwhile, questions remain about whether the postal service is up to the task.
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Wisconsin set to hold more elections during coronavirus pandemic, as clerks scramble to ensure safety
Wisconsin Watch — May 5, 2020
Many states have postponed elections or moved to all-mail in voting. Wisconsin’s 1,850 municipal clerks must figure out how to hold safe in-person balloting. In a related story:
Special Report: Regulatory gaps and missed opportunities allowed COVID-19 to spread freely in U.S. meatpacking plants
South Dakota News Watch — April 29, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed the U.S. meatpacking industry, but public health experts say the risks posed to workers and the food supply chain by airborne viral infections were readily apparent and could have been addressed years ago.
Kochs, Uihleins, Tribes, Kwik Trip owners spend heavily in Northern Wisconsin special election campaign
The Badger Project — May 6, 2020
Koch Industries, Native American tribes and the owners of Kwik Trip and Uline are big donors and spenders in the special election race for Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District next week.
WPR/Wisconsin Watch — May 4, 2020
Health officials once feared a ventilator shortage for treating COVID-19 patients. Now some Wisconsin facilities try to avoid using the equipment.
Institute for Nonprofit News
As climate change makes other parts of the United States increasingly inhospitable, the Great Lakes region could become a “climate refuge” where temperatures are relatively moderate and the lakes themselves provide ample freshwater — an increasingly valuable commodity. At the same time, the region is highly vulnerable to the heat waves, flooding and severe storms expected to increase with climate change. Aging infrastructure and shorelines vulnerable to water level changes make Great Lakes municipalities especially susceptible to impacts from climate change.