Wisconsin Watch

U.S. Supreme Court eliminates constitutional right to abortion. What does that mean for Wisconsin?

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday ruled that Americans no longer hold the constitutional right to abortion. The majority’s ruling overturns Roe v. Wade and allows states to ban the procedure. What does that mean for Wisconsin? The answer is complicated. Earlier this month, Wisconsin Watch’s Phoebe Petrovic examined the “tangled” system of abortion laws and court decisions dating back more than 170 years that take effect with the Roe’s end. It’s worth revisiting that story today.
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Opinion: Former Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office employee to county leaders — Stop political ‘damage control,’ investigate ‘toxic’ work environment

Kurt Karbusicky previously served as Chief Deputy Coroner for Dane County, and has also served as an elected board member for the Village of Black Earth and for Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District. He is currently retired from full-time government service, and resides in the Town of Middleton. In a...

Wisconsin Weekly: Mistakes and abuse allegations plague Wisconsin veterans home

Vulnerable veterans; Ho-Chunk economy; Dane County racial climate scrutinized; wrongful convictions; post-pardon hurdles. Of note: This week we highlight a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation into conditions at a Union Grove veterans home that put the health of veterans at risk. Reporters John Diedrich and Daphne Chen found “a pattern of violations at the Union Grove home over the past five years, making the Wisconsin facility one of the most troubled state-run veterans homes in the nation.”

Calls for more transparency, entrepreneurship as Ho-Chunk Nation envisions an economy beyond gaming

Wisconsin Watch is a nonprofit newsroom that focuses on government integrity and quality of life issues. Sign up for our newsletter for more stories straight to your inbox. and donate to support our fact-checked journalism. Listen to the audio from the event in Black River Falls, Wis. Transcript available...

Your Right to Know: Judge was wrong to bar recordings of trial

Since 1979, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has allowed cameras and microphones in state courtrooms, subject to reasonable restrictions. Thirty years ago, Milwaukee serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s sanity trial was broadcast live. In 2006, former Green Bay Packers tight end Mark Chmura’s sexual assault and child enticement trial was broadcast live. This past November, Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial was broadcast live.

Wisconsin Weekly: ‘Toxic work environment’ in Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office pushes employees to the brink

Medical examiner turmoil; abortion access flights; Elections Commission shakeup; hypnotist pushes election misinfo; baby formula crisis. Of note: This week we highlight our report about alleged screaming and bullying by supervisors in the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office that employees say damaged their mental health. Twelve current and former employees told Wisconsin Watch reporter Brenda Wintrode that two of their bosses fueled a “toxic work environment” that county officials failed to address for a decade. The turmoil lengthened case backlogs, leaving families waiting on death certificates. The two supervisors accused of bullying — Barry Irmen, operations director, and Dr. Agnieszka Rogalska, the chief medical examiner — denied the allegations.

Wisconsin Weekly: Open and Shut finale: Deals Vince Biskupic made as a prosecutor and judge raise questions of fairness

Fairness in court; GOP fake electors sued; ‘ridiculous’ electoral bribery claims; baby formula shortage; Ho-Chunk casino approved. Of note: This week we highlight the seventh and final episode of our podcast and web series Open and Shut. Reporter Phoebe Petrovic reports on former Outagamie County district attorney Vince Biskupic’s final days as a prosecutor and new career as a judge. As a prosecutor, he brokered deals to let potential defendants buy their way out of trouble. But these deals had a twist: He threatened to charge people, but agreed to withhold charges in exchange for “donations.” And as a judge, Wisconsin Watch and WPR found Biskupic used review hearings in an uncommon way that fell in a ‘gray area’ of the law.

Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism hires staff member to lead finance and operations

The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is excited to announce the hiring of its first Finance and Operations Manager, Rhiannon Orizaga. In this role, she will build and maintain the organizational infrastructure, creating an empowering and inclusive workplace that supports the organization’s mission. Orizaga will manage the Center’s finances,...

Wisconsin Weekly: Wisconsin prosecutor campaigned on his record — but some high-profile cases had hidden flaws

Open and Shut; doctor sues over abuse charges; meat-packing giants’ influence exposed; giant hog farm OK’d; TV station rethinks impact of old coverage. Of note: This week we highlight our sixth and latest installment of Open and Shut, a podcast and series exploring the power of prosecutors. In this week’s episode, reporter Phoebe Petrovic looks back at cases prosecuted by former Outagamie County District Attorney Vince Biskupic — including one in which police reports were destroyed and rewritten and another involving physical evidence that was thrown away before trial.