Help for jobless; back to work amid pandemic; MKE overdoses spike; no statewide covid spikes due to elections, protests; scrutinizing use of force
Of note: This week we highlight a story by WPR reporter Bram Sable-Smith, the investigative reporting fellow embedded in Wisconsin Watch’s newsroom. Sable-Smith earlier this month reported that because of a 2013 state law, Wisconsin was denying federal pandemic unemployment benefits to people with disabilities. On Tuesday, he reported the state was rethinking that stance — a reversal that could benefit thousands of residents receiving Social Security Disability Insurance who work part-time but who have lost their jobs.
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Reversing course: Wisconsin seeks federal OK to aid the unemployed with disabilities
WPR/Wisconsin Watch — June 16, 2020
Wisconsin has denied federal pandemic aid to workers on federal disability who lost their jobs. The state’s top employment official now seeks a reversal.
Introducing Jessica Barrera: A single mom reflects on returning to work during the pandemic
Wisconsin Watch — June 18, 2020
Before the pandemic, Jessica Barrera worked part-time for an airport shuttle service in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, serving local travelers en route to larger cities like Minneapolis. She cherished hearing stories about the far-off places people had visited.
Milwaukee County on pace to surpass overdose record again in 2020
Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service — June 18, 2020
According to data provided on June 11 by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office, there were 192 confirmed drug overdose deaths from Jan. 1 to March 19, with 62 more probable cases pending toxicology tests. The office recorded 153 overdose deaths through June 11 of last year.
In-person election, protests, bars opening. None appear to have spiked COVID cases. Experts hope public precautions keep spread in check
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — June 18, 2020
First came Wisconsin’s in-person election. Then it was protests over Gov. Tony Evers’ stay-at-home order. In mid-May, a sudden court order opened the state. And, in the weeks since, there have been large marches against police brutality. But to date, none appear to have led to a surge in the numbers tracking COVID-19’s spread.
Several Wisconsin communities reviewing police use of force policies
WPR — June 15, 2020
Several local governments across Wisconsin have pledged to review their police department’s use of force policies as protesters and activists continue to call for statewide changes to Wisconsin’s criminal justice system. However, it’s unclear when those changes may materialize or what they will look like.[ad number=”1″]
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