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Category: Experts Guide

Wisconsin’s next partisan battle will be over the balance of power on its Supreme Court

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: It is a highly consequential election because it’s going to determine the balance of the court until at least 2025,” said Robert Yablon, an associate professor at the University Wisconsin-Madison Law School.

Although Wisconsin’s Supreme Court elections are officially non-partisan, UW-Madison political science professor Howard Schweber notes highly partisan issues are at stake. That includes abortion rights, gerrymandering and the way elections are run.

“Even 15 years ago, Wisconsin judicial elections really were kind of genteel affairs,” Schweber said. “And then they got very, very viciously partisan, primarily because Republicans and conservative groups made a very concentrated effort to capture the court, through what in Wisconsin, at least, were really unprecedented styles of campaign ads, highly partisan appeals.”

Schweber said that strategy proved largely successful, although Democrats were able to narrow the court’s conservative majority in 2020 when Democrat-backed Jill Karofsky beat former Justice Kelly. Kelly, who’s running this again this year, was first appointed to the state highest court by Republican Gov. Scott Walker to fill a vacancy.

Extreme rains and the ‘monster’ below: Study finds lag time between extreme storms and algal blooms

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: In Madison, a four-inch rainfall in one day that used to occur once every five years now happens every other year, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That got University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Steve Carpenter wondering whether extreme storms would lead to an increase in toxic blooms.

“I had thought maybe get a rainstorm, get a bloom, but it’s not that simple,” Carpenter said, who is lead author of the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Carpenter, emeritus director of UW-Madison’s Center for Limnology, worked with other researchers to examine data collected from Lake Mendota. He said around three-quarters of all phosphorus pollution stems from extreme storms. While those storms play a large role, they don’t necessarily trigger a bloom right away.

What causes lake-effect snowstorms? And why are the eastern Great Lakes most at risk?

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: It’s not exactly clear how lake effect snow will change with climate change, said Steve Vavrus, a climate and atmospheric scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He called it a “climatic tug-of-war.”

On one hand, a warmer climate may cause fewer cold and dry air masses pushing down from the Arctic and sucking up the moisture over the Great Lakes. That would mean fewer and less intense storms, said Vavrus.

On the other hand, a warmer climate should lead to less ice on the lakes, giving more time for the warm lakes to come into contact with cold air in the atmosphere during the winter. That would favor more storms, said Vavrus.

Wisconsin researchers have tracked neutrinos to distant galaxy, supermassive black hole: Discovery comes from UW-Madison’s IceCube Neutrino Observatory below surface of South Pole

For the first time ever, an international team of scientists has traced neutrinos coming from the galaxy NGC 1068 in the constellation Cetus. The “ghost particles” appear to be accelerated toward Earth by a supermassive black hole.

In a scientific breakthrough, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s 1-billion-ton IceCube Neutrino Observatory, buried around 1 mile under the ice at the South Pole, detected the neutrinos.

Report: Public development subsidy deals should guarantee better jobs, working conditions

Wisconsin Examiner

A proposed development that would bring a new soccer stadium to downtown Milwaukee should include guarantees of good wages and a path to union representation for workers in the stadium district in return for public subsidies, a new report recommends.

The report, “Worker Power Levels the Playing Field,” was released Tuesday by COWS, a think tank at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It says taxpayer-funded support for the proposed Milwaukee soccer stadium project, dubbed the Iron District, should come with strings that ensure local hiring and strong job standards even after the project is built out.

“It’s important for Milwaukee to see itself as a national leader in this way and to reapply the lessons from the Deer District as new development is considered,” says Laura Dresser, associate director of COWS. Dresser is coauthor of the report along with Pablo Aquiles-Sanchez, a COWS research analyst.

Wisconsin’s pandemic-era high school students are now in college. Some need more help

Noted: At UW-Madison, the most selective school in the state, it’s too early to say what, if any, academic recovery will be needed, according to John Zumbrunnen, the university’s vice provost for teaching and learning. There hasn’t been a spike in tutoring sessions. Nor has there been a higher rate of D and F grades awarded. But the university offered two semesters of a pass/fail grading policy, which “muddies the data picture for us.”

That’s not to say Zumbrunnen hasn’t fielded concerns from some instructors. In math, there’s been a slightly larger share of students placing into pre-calculus instead of calculus. A STEM instructor told him this year’s crop of students scored lower on a basic exam than in past years. He’s heard from a social sciences instructor who felt that students this fall weren’t quite as ready to read at a college level than in past years.

Rash of illnesses among Wisconsin kids keeping caregivers home from work

Quoted: Laura Dresser, associate director of COWS, a University of Wisconsin-Madison think-tank, said there’s also been a fundamental change in how employers and employees navigate illness.

“There is this thing that’s changed about what we do when we’re sick, when our kids are sick, what our child cares will accept or tolerate when our kids are sick,” Dresser said. “I think people send their kids or themselves to school or work sick less often than we used to.”

She expects people having more access to sick time hasn’t had a major impact in their decision to take time off.

“The fact that more workers get paid now when they’re sick than used to makes it slightly more likely that they’ll stay home,” Dresser said. “But even in the olden days, they stayed home when their kid was sick, they just didn’t get paid.”

Triumph of the turkeys: Wild birds flourish in Wisconsin cities and suburbs

Wisconsin Public Radio

When Audrey Evans works from home, a throaty warble is her soundtrack.

Her building for graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison isn’t air-conditioned, so during the warmer months, Evans likes to open the windows.

“I’ll be working away at my computer, and I’ll hear turkey noises,” said Evans, who created the Instagram account “Turkeys of UW Madison” as a fan page dedicated to the urban birds. “It’s always like the perfect opportunity to take a break and go look out my window to see the turkeys right underneath it.”

Indictment of monkey importers could disrupt U.S. drug and vaccine research

Science

The indictment, which carries multiple felony charges, will likely exacerbate the shortage of these monkeys, used in everything from drug safety testing to vaccine research, says Dave O’Connor, a virologist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who studies infectious disease in cynomolgus macaques. Still, he says, the main priority should be stopping this illegal trade, both for the science and the animals themselves. “These sorts of unscrupulous actors give a black eye to an already heavily scrutinized industry.”

The rule you need eight glasses of water a day is nonsense: study

New York Post

“The science has never supported the old eight glasses thing as an appropriate guideline, if only because it confused total water turnover with water from beverages and a lot of your water comes from the food you eat,” said study co-author Dale Schoeller, a nutritional sciences professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison who’s studied water and metabolism for decades.

Here’s how Wisconsin teachers are combatting political divisiveness in classrooms

Wisconsin State Journal

A hands-on simulation called PurpleState being used for research at UW-Madison’s School of Education aims to give students experience in dissecting political messaging and discourse.

‘We want people to feel the energy’: Arts groups work to woo patrons back to performances

Wisconsin State Journal

As with health care, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated trends that were already underway — and are linked to larger social issues, said Sarah Marty, director of the Bolz Center for Arts Administration at the UW School of Business, and producing artistic director for Four Seasons Theatre.

Today, “people are spreading their arts dollars around to different art forms,” Marty said. “That’s wonderful for the audiences, but difficult for the arts organizations.”

Wisconsin Republicans fell short of a legislative supermajority, but they now have enough senators to impeach state officials, speed up bills

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: “It seems like a very remote possibility. No one’s really talked about it in a meaningful way. However, in the last four years, we’ve really seen the rise of hardball tactics between Republicans in the Legislature and Gov. Evers,” said Barry Burden, University of Wisconsin-Madison political science professor and director of the university’s Elections Research Center.

Burden said though the bar is high to impeach state officials, especially high-ranking ones elected statewide, politics in Wisconsin has become even more of a blood sport in recent years under divided government, making anything a possibility.

“The last four years have not really been cooperative lawmaking in any way,” Burden said. “There really is not a premise for cooperation between the branches and now Republicans have a bigger and more conservative majority, they’re going to feel emboldened. So it’s possible that some of what seemed like extreme tactics, like impeachment, might be on the table.”

Rising food costs take a bite out of Thanksgiving dinner

Associated Press

The good news? Not every item on holiday shopping lists is significantly more expensive. Cranberries had a good harvest and prices were up less than 5% between the end of September and the beginning of November, said Paul Mitchell, an agricultural economist and professor at the University of Wisconsin. Green beans cost just 2 cents more per pound in the second week of November, according to the USDA.

Disagreement over rape, incest exceptions in Wisconsin abortion ban has political and legal ramifications

Wisconsin State Journal

“An agreement to update the disputed law could very well undercut the current legal challenge,” said UW-Madison Law School associate professor Robert Yablon. “If an amendment were to build on the 1849 law, that could well be interpreted as an acknowledgement that the 1849 law (as amended) continues to apply.”

“If those exceptions were instead adopted as stand-alone measures separate from the disputed law, it might be less likely that the current lawsuit would be affected.”

Lack of units in Madison, ever-growing population results in racial disparities in housing

Madison Commons

Quoted: University of Wisconsin–Madison urban planning professor Kurt Paulsen describes the overarching narrative in Dane County as a shortage of housing, which means prices are rising and affordability will continue to be a struggle in Madison.

“On the extreme end, people who have [lower] income spend more than 50% of their income on rent,” said Paulsen. “You see people being doubled up [which] is overcrowding the housing. Young people can’t afford to buy a starter home. You see homelessness and of course it manifests itself in tremendous racial disparities in housing burdens and homeownership.”

Wisconsin-based company under investigation for allegedly using child labor

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: Laura Dresser, associate director of the COWS economic think tank at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said the labor shortage may make some companies more likely to violate protections for minors.

“It is probably the case that tight labor markets mean that there may be more sorts of violations like this because firms are desperate to fill jobs and may cut corners in order to do so,” she said.

Child labor laws help to ensure that minors are able to gain an education and receive a high school diploma, Dresser said.

“If we’re going to prioritize and require that students be enrolled in school and do everything we can to encourage them to graduate, then kids shouldn’t be working on overnight shifts (and) they shouldn’t be working excessive numbers of hours,” she said.

Wisconsin’s voter turnout was high in this November’s election, but still lower than 2018

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: Barry Burden, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, attributed high turnout in recent congressional elections in part to the effect of former President Donald Trump, who was elected in 2016.

“Increasing turnout everywhere, not just in Wisconsin, really is a phenomenon that happened after Trump took office,” said Burden, who directs the university’s Elections Research Center. “He’s no longer in office, but I think is enough of a presence in American politics and it was enough of a factor in this year’s elections that it continued to bring out lots of Democratic voters and lots of Republican voters.”

Wisconsin’s biohealth industry is growing quickly, fostering innovation

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: In fact, the state’s higher education system is a major reason the industry is thriving, according to Dr. Zachary Morris, a researcher and associate professor for the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Medicine and Public Health.

He said colleges and universities throughout Wisconsin are producing the highly-skilled workers that the biohealth sector needs, and research being done at those institutions also is helping to strengthen the industry.

“The universities, through the faculty, are in many cases steering or developing innovative technologies that these companies are then helping to spin out and commercialize,” he said.

Meat cultivated at UW-Madison offers glimpse into possible food future

PBS Wisconsin

An unconventional yet burgeoning project looming on the horizon of the grow-your-own movement is the development of cultivated, or cultured meat. It is real animal meat and seafood that is produced by cultivating animal cells, according to the Good Food Institute (GFI). Backers say it reduces the land and water pollution caused by large-scale meat agriculture.

Masatoshi Suzuki is a researcher and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In recent years, Suzuki’s lab has worked in collaboration with GFI to create a prototype of a beef patty grown from the stem cells of a cow.

Respiratory illness surge forces Children’s Wisconsin to adjust appointments, surgeries

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: At American Family Children’s Hospital, RSV is contributing to a very busy time at UW Health Kids. Currently, RSV hospitalizations make up approximately 10% of the patients admitted, according to Dr. Joshua Ross, the chief medical officer and pediatric emergency medicine physician, UW Health Kids.

“We are seeing a record number of patients in our pediatric emergency department, with most coming in due to upper respiratory illnesses like RSV,” Ross said.

Absentee voting numbers in Wisconsin soar over the 2018 midterms

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: “There is substantial voter engagement in this year’s elections,” said Barry Burden, director of the Elections Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, “but the larger number of early votes compared to 2018 is more a sign of changing preferences about the method of voting than a sign of much higher turnout,” Burden said.

Suzanne Eckes, a professor of education and law at UW-Madison, said she understands the “sense of urgency around many of these issues” given her own background as a classroom teacher. “Having been a former public high school teacher, I know the stakes are high and feel that I can speak to this group — I don’t want to say more easily than others — but I understand a lot of the issues, and having been a practicing attorney can kind of break down some of the legalese into what do you need to know? What are the key takeaways from a specific case or a regulation or federal or state law?” Eckes said.

The Capital Times

The UW-Madison School of Education hosted an event this fall meant to help teachers facing these challenges in classrooms.

Suzanne Eckes, a professor of education and law at UW-Madison, said she understands the “sense of urgency around many of these issues” given her own background as a classroom teacher.

“Having been a former public high school teacher, I know the stakes are high and feel that I can speak to this group — I don’t want to say more easily than others — but I understand a lot of the issues, and having been a practicing attorney can kind of break down some of the legalese into what do you need to know? What are the key takeaways from a specific case or a regulation or federal or state law?” Eckes said.

Farmers split their support in Wisconsin governor’s race

The Capital Times

“Having a governor who would work closely with our congressional representation in D.C. to move forward on something like a new worker visa program for dairy workers, I think would be huge,” said UW-Mad​​ison political science professor David Canon. “That’s another issue I’d put toward the top of the list in terms of being really important for the future of dairy in the state.”

Partisan observers have always monitored the polls in Wisconsin. Here’s why they’re likely to be out in force more than ever

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: Barry Burden, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Elections Research Center, said this election may see a “different style of observer” who is more aggressive about wanting to have close inspection of the process and is potentially disruptive about challenging voters.

“These are not nonpartisan, disinterested people hoping to help out the voting process,” he said. “These are people who start with the premise of denying or being skeptical of the results in 2020 and that’s what’s motivating them to be involved.”

Scholars of Urban Education Gather for Solutions-Based Conference

Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Noted: Over 270 sessions were offered at the conference, including a keynote address by Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, one of the world’s most prolific educational researchers. Ladson-Billings is Professor Emerita and former Kellner Family Distinguished Professor in Urban Education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The widening racial disparities between Blacks and whites is dramatic, noted Ladson-Billings, who pointed out that in 2019, about 30% of Black children lived in poverty, with 1 and 4 Black children facing severe food insecurity. With regard to public schools, she noted that 45% of Black students attend high-poverty schools compared to 8% of white children.

During the COVID pandemic, a number of Black children were only able to access the internet through their smart phones.

“Think about remote learning,” she said, adding that children struggled to receive their lessons via a small phone screen. “But that’s the reality.”

Additionally, Ladson-Billings noted that 75% of Black students who are considered eligible for advanced placement (AP) courses never take one, in part because so many of these students are enrolled in schools where these accelerated courses are not even offered.

“They’re bright enough, but there’s no access,” she said, adding that too many Black students are frequently discouraged from achieving their full potential by schoolteachers and administrators, even as suspension and expulsion rates for Black children steadily inclines.

Tim Michels is calling for big changes in Wisconsin from taxes to elections to education, but offers few details on his plans

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: Barry Burden, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Elections Research Center, said there is not a lot of pressure on Michels to provide more details because he will be working with a Republican-controlled Legislature.

“Michels has not served in government, so he is getting educated during the course of the campaign about what he might do as governor,” Burden said.

Burden also said a broader trend emerging in 2022 is candidates “not really making themselves open to public questioning,” noting the race’s single debate, which hasn’t happened since the 1990s.

“Candidates have decided to package themselves through press releases, controlled events and social media, which means they’re not really called upon offer specifics,” Burden said. “That’s not just a Wisconsin thing — that is happening across the country this year.”

10 Non-Disciplinary Approaches To Correcting Tween’s Behavior

Moms

Noted: Parenting tweens can be challenging for parents, because their ‘little kid’ who liked to cuddle, learn about the world around them, and was generally happy has suddenly been replaced with a moody, impulsive, physically maturing little human says Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, associate professor of Pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. As frustrating as this might be sometimes for parents, it is all developmentally normal.

Amidst organizing surge, Wisconsin unions still face an uphill climb

The Capital Times

Wisconsin’s workers might be riding a new wave of unionization, but they’re still swimming against the tide, said Laura Dresser, a labor economist and associate director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison think tank COWS. She pointed to the ways corporations have consolidated power in recent decades, gaining market share and suppressing wages.

“I don’t want to give the impression that this is some sort of workers’ paradise in any sector,” Dresser said. The tight labor market gave employees some additional power, “but there’s a lot of ways that power has shifted against workers over the last 40 years that one year doesn’t really make up for.”

Is ‘democracy on the ballot’ in Wisconsin? Here’s how voting rules could change under GOP control

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: “There could likely be big changes to election law in Wisconsin between 2022 and 2024,” said Barry Burden, a professor of political science and director of the Elections Research Center at the University of Wisconsin Madison. “There’s an array of things that have been proposed in not very concrete ways.”

Ron Johnson fought for a tax cut as his family was amassing luxury real estate around the country

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: Ross Milton, an assistant professor at La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said the pass-through provision is “still a hotly debated topic among tax policy people.”

“I think these pass-through provisions have been criticized because much of the benefit of them goes to very high income and/or high wealth households,” Milton said. “And presumably the Johnson family is a high-income household.”

‘It’s impacting everyone’: Voters, clerks adjust to new election rules after litigation surge

Wisconsin State Journal

In state courts across the country, there were 143 election-related lawsuits in 2018, 203 in 2020 and 272 in 2022, according to the preliminary findings of UW-Madison law professor and State Democracy Research Initiative co-director Miriam Seifter along with staff attorney Adam Sopko.

“An election litigation deluge may undermine voter confidence in the electoral system,” Seifter and Sopko wrote in media outlet The Conversation. “Litigation over every detail of the election process lays the groundwork for false narratives or subsequent challenges to the validity of an election.”

Wisconsin’s housing shortage isn’t just a quality-of-life issue. It’s a workforce issue.

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: Prior to the Great Recession, University of Wisconsin-Madison applied economics professor and community development specialist Steven Deller said there was a typical “flow” of new houses being developed.

Construction of new housing “plummeted” after the housing bubble burst in 2008 and never came back, Deller said.

He said many of the developers in the starter home market were crushed during the Great Recession, banks have become hesitant to make loans for starter home developments and the cost of building materials continues to rise.

“The economics are just not in favor of building those starter homes,” he said. “And that’s where a lot of communities are really struggling because the developers that they do have that are interested are saying, ‘I just can’t make it pencil out.'”

Abortion training is part of medical school curriculum, but some Wisconsin programs are having trouble providing it post Roe

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: Administrators at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are also coming up with ways to solve the current training problem, but they’re also beginning to worry about future recruitment.

Dr. Laura Jacques, an assistant professor and the director of medical student education at UW-Madison’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, said the repercussions could be felt for years.

“I’m worried that we’re going to have a challenging time recruiting the best residents to our program because of these concerns, and not just for obstetrics and gynecology, but for all types of medicine,” she said.

Where Wisconsin governor candidates Tony Evers, Tim Michels stand on funding for K-12 schools

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: Julie Underwood, former dean of the University of Wisconsin School of Education, said the proposal would require a massive amount of money to fund while also meeting constitutional obligations to provide adequate public school education.

“If you take the 133,000 students that are in private schools right now and give them vouchers, and you run two parallel structures, I don’t know how the Legislature would would manage to fund that,” Underwood said. “And if they further reduce the amount of funding giving to schools at this time, I really think that we’re going to go below the standard that the Wisconsin Supreme Court set.”

Drones carrying defibrillators could save lives in heart emergencies

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Autonomous flying drones could deliver life-saving defibrillators to people experiencing cardiac arrest, says a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor who’s been involved in the research.

Ambulances aren’t always fast enough, especially in rural areas where an automated external defibrillator, or AED, isn’t available.

Survival rates drop by as much as 10% for each minute that passes without treatment, according to Justin Boutilier, an assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering and co-author of several medical journal articles on the use of drones to deliver AEDs.

Wisconsin OB-GYN programs must send residents across state lines for training because of abortion ban

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: The state’s two other OB-GYN residency programs − at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, and Aurora Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee − are vulnerable as well.

An Aurora spokesperson said Thursday the hospital also plans to send OB-GYN residents out of state, though they would not provide specifics of the arrangement. A UW doctor said they are in the process of determining a course of action.

“We are committed to following the ACGME mandates of training our residents and putting out well-trained obstetrician gynecologists,” said Dr. Laura Jacques, an assistant professor and academic specialist in obstetrics and gynecology. “We are actively exploring options.”

“It placed a hunger in me.” UW Odyssey Project celebrates 20 years of changing lives

Madison 365

The potential for adults returning to school to reach goals of obtaining degrees and knowledge is often most affected by external factors that can make everyday life and returning to academics a difficult balance. The UW Odyssey Project is a remedy to that problem, and over their 20 years working to bring adults to higher education, they have gone the extra mile every time.

The Odyssey Project started in 2002 and quickly started changing lives. Acting as an avenue for adults to return to higher education through the resources and knowledge that run throughout UW-Madison has allowed the Odyssey Project to serve a plethora of people each year to achieve their academic, career, and personal goals. A celebration at the UW-Memorial Union was only fitting.

UW’s Dr. Joseph McBride: Respiratory illnesses in children surge, COVID changed seasonality of sicknesses

WTMJ

Hospitals across the nation are experiencing a surge in respiratory illnesses among children.

And hospitals in Wisconsin aren’t immune.

University of Wisconsin assistant professor of adult and pediatric infectious disease Dr. Joseph McBride says practitioners are “without a doubt” seeing higher numbers of respiratory issues in children. He specifically points to “respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.”

“RSV is a common seasonal virus that pediatricians, healthcare providers, young parents and families are well aware of year-in and year-out,” McBride says. “What’s interesting about RSV is that in the setting of COVID and all the mask use, it kind of threw off our normal seasonality of it. Usually it’s pretty predictable each year starting toward the end of fall, in to the winter during our normal cough-and-cold season that we would see spikes in RSV.”

Why Hispanic voters are a focus in Wisconsin’s 2022 election

Wisconsin Watch

Quoted: “They vote for the Democrats. And it’s been pretty consistent,” said Marquez, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison specializing in Chicano and Latino studies.

“The Democrats have to have a good strategy for reaching out to Latino voters. They have to make contact on the ground. They have to convince them that the election is important, that their vote matters, and that they should go to all of this trouble to get out and vote for a party that oftentimes doesn’t deliver,” he said.

With inflation top of mind for voters, Wisconsin governor candidates tout tax cuts. Here’s why that could make things worse

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: Some studies have shown more than 60% of the inflation Americans are feeling today can be directly attributed to the supply chain shortages of last year, said Mark Copelovitch, a political science and public affairs professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Second is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine is a major exporter of grain and Russia is a major supplier of oil, so wartime disruptions and U.S sanctions on Russia have contributed to rising food and gas prices.

Stimulus spending has also been a factor.

“The other part of the inflation is the demand side, especially when we were all sitting home, spending out stimulus checks when we could not go out (during the pandemic),” Copelovitch said.

Viral false COVID vaccine claim lands in Wisconsin governor’s race after Tim Michels tweet

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: Patrick Remington, a former epidemiologist for the CDC and director of the Preventive Medicine Residency Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said COVID-19 vaccines have turned out to not be as effective as initially hoped but “the one aspect that every scientist agrees is that this is one of the safest vaccines ever produced, if not the safest vaccine.”

“I think it’s very worrisome that any politician would view information that is not scientifically sound or that maybe comes from a conspiracy theory,” he said. “I would be very concerned if that information resonates with their base, because then we’ll have policy that is being determined not by science and evidence but by superstition and by conspiracy, and that should be concerning for everybody.”

Former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson, who served as U.S. Health and Human Services secretary and has endorsed Michels, promoted COVID-19 vaccines to college students while he was president of the University of Wisconsin System during the coronavirus pandemic but did not mandate them.

Thompson said Friday he hadn’t seen Michels’ comments on the CDC and COVID-19 vaccines because he has been traveling out of state. He said spreading rumors about COVID-19 vaccine mandates is a bad idea.

“This rumor now about CDC requiring children being vaccinated should not be spread,” Thompson said.

UW expert: Student athletes could take legal action after video, photos released without consent

NBC-15

Depending on the investigation, UW Madison School of Computer, Data and Information Sciences expert Dorothea Salo said criminal charges or school disciplinary actions could be filed against whoever shared the photos without the subjects’ consent.

”We do have a state statute about this and it is within the realm of possibility, or at least it seems so to me, that some or all of what happened could be covered under this statute,” Salo said.

Wisconsin tax burden falls to lowest level in decades

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: Ross Milton is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison La Follette School of Public Affairs. He said the study offers a clear picture of the state’s tax levels.

“There’s a sense among many people that Wisconsin is a high-tax state, and that we should change that,” he said. “This report reflects the fact that Wisconsin is really a moderate tax state.”

Milton said states that relied heavily on hospitality and tourism taxes during the pandemic may have fared worse due to closures and stay-at-home orders. But Wisconsin relies heavily on property taxes, which remained relatively stable at that time.

Strike continues at Racine Case tractor factory with no clear end in sight

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: Laura Dresser, associate director of the COWS economic think tank at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said tight labor markets and the COVID-19 pandemic have put more power in the hands of workers.

“I think workers feel like they learned something about their value during the pandemic, and they don’t see that honored,” Dresser said. “And so, I think that you see workers stepping up more for that reason.”

Following recessions in 2001 and 2007, she said unions made concessions to companies during negotiations as they faced threats of shuttering plants when the manufacturing sector contracted.

“The dynamics there were about firms threatening to shut plants or move production without concessions, (telling workers), ‘If you don’t concede this, we’ll just move,'” Dresser said. “It was a credible threat. A lot of plants did move.”

Darrell Brooks Jr. trial: State to conclude its case Wednesday

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: Keith Findley, a professor of law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School, said the state set up the timeline of the events and established the identity of the driver. But he’s not sure what Brooks will do to present his case, as he hasn’t given his opening statement yet. His defense is set to begin with that.

“It’s really hard to anticipate what he’s going to do because I don’t have any idea of what his theory of defense is or what kind of claims he’s going to make,” Findley said.

“Opening statements are not evidence, so whatever he asserts in there, he’ll have to back it up with evidence,” he said.

UW-Madison professor says student loan forgiveness faces uncertain future as lawsuits play out

TMJ4

Quoted: “To get standing, you have to prove that you’re harmed by these actions and so to prove that you’ve been harmed by canceling a loan is a really hard needle to thread,” UW-Madison professor Nick Hillman explained.

Hillman says the lawsuits are attacking the forgiveness plan from all sorts of angles to clear the legal standing hurdle and more lawsuits are expected to come now that the application process is officially open.

Out of the three that are currently still awaiting a court decision, Hillman thinks the one filed jointly by six states has the best chance to undo the forgiveness.