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Last year, as I was celebrating the annual Banned Books Week, someone asked if we still needed it. The person inquired when was the last time a book was actually banned in the United States. Challenged, sure, but not outright permanently pulled from the shelves. Perhaps it’s because we live …

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The need for redistricting reform in Wisconsin is critical. Concerned voters across the political spectrum are calling to end the practice of gerrymandering by our elected officials. The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin has advocated for nonpartisan redistricting for decades. Over these d…

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Your social security has been suspended! You have won the publisher’s clearing house and you have warrants for your arrest! Law enforcement will be coming to arrest you shortly! In addition, your computer has a virus that only the person on the phone can help you with and the warranty on you…

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In May, as the state Legislature’s Republican-controlled budget committee considered a plan to spend far less on education than what Democrat Gov. Tony Evers proposed, Sheila Plotkin started filing public records requests.

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In the last decade, I’ve somehow developed a celebrity autograph collection. It started when I was working at this newspaper and had a man by the name of Jim Parker stop by the office in 2009. He introduced himself as the Vegas Vampire, a character he had created for a Las Vegas TV network w…

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As a lifelong Wisconsinite, I used to love summer when I was younger. What was there not to like? Three months away from school, spending time with friends, warm temperatures, and family trips. During the end of the school year we’d count down how many more days there would be until summer v…

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On Aug. 15, the Associated Press reported that July 2019 was officially the hottest month on record, predictably following the hottest June in 140 years. On the whole, this year has been 1.71 degrees Fahrenheit above the long-term average.

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If you look at my spam folder for my work email, you would assume I’ve decided to share some really great offers with myself. We’re talking $500 gift cards from Amazon and Kohl’s and plenty of free sandwiches and fries from fast food restaurants. The spambots have gotten a bit lazy and decid…

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The State of Wisconsin has a work release program authorized under Statute 303.08 called the Huber law. It states, any person sentenced to a county jail for crime, nonpayment of a fine or forfeiture, contempt of court or subject to a confinement sanction in certain circumstances, or a probat…

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The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin mourns the loss of scores of innocent lives in three recent mass shootings -- in Gilroy, California; El Paso, Texas; and Dayton, Ohio -- in one week. Like so many others, we are frustrated that these tragedies continue and nothing is done to stop them.

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Like many people, when I work up Sunday morning I was shocked to see there had been a second mass shooting less than 24 hours after the one in El Paso, Texas. As many of us slept another person chose to use a weapon to kill people in Dayton, Ohio.

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When you hear about someone being arrested for operating while under the influence of an intoxicant (OWI), you probably immediately assume that person was arrested because they were consuming alcohol. However, it is becoming more common for people who are arrested to have used some sort of a…

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I’ve been able to see some iconic musicians this summer – Bad Religion (apparently making their first apperance in Madison) and Alice Cooper (who stops in Wisconsin on a regular basis). The people at the show tended to be on the more mature side, tending to be older than myself. It was nice …

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When you work in a library, there aren’t many opportunities to stop and watch what’s going on around you. Instead, you’re kept busy with materials to shelve, programs to plan, printer ink to replace, resources to find…and the list continues. (For those who wonder if library staff get to read…

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Wisconsin’s open records law applies to all records requests, big or small. But under former Attorney General Brad Schimel, the Wisconsin Department of Justice implemented a restrictive policy that limited access based on the number of potentially responsive emails.

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Throughout the biennial budget process, my constituents have urged me to find ways to work together with Gov. Tony Evers regarding our state’s two year spending plan. I have listened to people all around the 38th Assembly District and have shared these comments with members of the Joint Fina…

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Every lawmaker in the Wisconsin State Assembly represents 57,000 people. I can tell you that we take being a voice for our constituents seriously, especially when it comes to developing the state budget. As a member of the Joint Committee on Finance, my Assembly Republican colleagues not onl…

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Disgruntled clients are an inevitable consequence of doing business. Harry Schnulle was the client who fired me before I ever set boot in the barn.

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Our state’s license plates proudly read “America’s Dairyland.” Football fans often wear foam cheese heads at Green Bay Packer games. Wisconsin is known for its dairy and cheese around the world, but are especially important to residents of our state.

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Farming in general is a community-based system. I know this because I am a dairy farmer from central Wisconsin. I am so proud to have grown up in this industry and proud to support my community as much as my farm does.  I recently evaluated how we spend money on our farm and found that 62% o…

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The words “Wisconsin” and “dairy” go hand in hand. I cannot imagine one without the other. Wherever I go, when I introduce myself, people everywhere recognize Wisconsin as the place for beautiful dairy farms, productive cows, and of course, delicious cheese.

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Recently, I shared with you how dollars from a traffic citation are divided up and how none of those funds are funneled back to the issuing law enforcement agency. I also promised that I would explain how quotas are illegal and not allowed for law enforcement agencies.

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When University of Wisconsin-Madison student journalist Peter Coutu investigated frequent lottery winners in Wisconsin in 2018, he uncovered a pattern: The owners and clerks of stores that sell lottery tickets seemed to have more luck than normal.

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As we move into summer, one of the busiest travel times of the year, it is important to remember the importance of being a defensive driver. Many people get in the car and think about where they are going, the music they are listening to, or conversations with the people in their car. That i…

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The co-chairs of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee have announced plans to reject Gov. Tony Evers’ proposal for Medicaid expansion in the biennial state budget.

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From the Wisconsin Dairy Task Force 2.0’s early meetings, members highlighted the need for research and innovation to maintain Wisconsin’s world leadership in all things dairy. Across the 51 recommendations that members have developed and approved in the past seven months, there is a consist…

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At this moment, Gov. Tony Evers and the Legislature are working on the biennial budget. The Governor’s budget includes, among other things, accepting Medicaid expansion funds, also known as Badgercare, so that 80,000 more very low income individuals will have access to health care. This meas…

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Gov. Tony Evers’ pick to lead the Public Service Commission (PSC) is dismissing concerns the now two-member body won’t be able to do its job overseeing public utilities, saying it’s “patently false” to say uncertainty surrounding appointments has destabilized the body.

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As the 2018-19 school year enters its final months, perhaps you know a young person heading into the next chapter of their life not knowing what comes beyond this school year. Yes, we’ve all heard someone say it’s necessary for young people to get a four-year degree. Or that youth should foc…

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Nearly 130 outstanding undergraduates from across the University of Wisconsin System last week filled the Capitol Rotunda to share findings from the important research they have conducted over the past year.

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Too many Wisconsin consumers fell victim to identity theft in 2018, according to a report by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Credit card fraud was the most commonly reported type of theft for consumers age 20 and over, and those under 19 reported mostly employment or tax-related fraud.