Saturday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 65. Sunrise is 5:19 AM and sunset 8:24 PM, for 15h 05m 03s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 87.2% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1848, Wisconsin enters the Union: “the 30th state to enter the Union with an area of 56,154 square miles, comprising 1/56 of the United States at the time.”
Recommended for reading in full —
Molly Beck reports US warns Wisconsin may lose $1.5 billion in pandemic aid under budget action:
In a letter Friday, a U.S. Department of Education official told State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor that action taken Thursday by the Legislature’s budget-writing committee puts at risk $1.5 billion in federal pandemic aid for schools.
The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee dedicated $128 million in new funding for K-12 schools and set aside $350 million in a separate fund that GOP lawmakers said would be used for schools but was not yet appropriated as such.
That means Wisconsin has fallen short in meeting a $387 million K-12 spending threshold in order to receive the pandemic aid under federal rules that require state officials to spend about 35% of state funds on schools.
“… The $350 million that the State might transfer to the budget stabilization fund may not be considered State support for education at the time of the transfer unless it is actually appropriated for K-12 education for the applicable fiscal year and not ‘for any other purpose,'” said the letter from Ian Rosenblum, a top official at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Scott Bauer reports Ex-cop hired to probe Wisconsin election has partisan ties:
One of the retired police officers hired by a top Wisconsin Republican to investigate the presidential election in the battleground state has ties to the GOP and previously led a probe into voter fraud in Milwaukee, work that prosecutors disavowed and that a federal judge said was not trustworthy.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos this week said he was hiring three retired police investigators to look into the election results. On Thursday, during an interview with conservative talk radio host Dan O’Donnell, Vos confirmed that one of those he hired is Mike Sandvick, a retired Milwaukee police detective.
“In all honesty, he has Republican leanings,” Vos told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday, without naming Sandvick. “He’s been active in the Republican Party.”
A 2008 report Sandvick wrote about the 2004 presidential election recommended that Wisconsin election laws be changed in light of what he said was voter fraud. That report has been referenced by conservatives since then as evidence there is unchecked fraud in the state. However, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI all disavowed the report.
In 2013, U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman did not allow the report to be admitted as evidence in a lawsuit over Wisconsin’s voter ID law, saying it was not trustworthy.
Gabriela Miranda reports Farmers and business owners struggle under Australia mouse plague:
Millions of mice are spreading across eastern Australia and terrorizing local farmers, homes and businesses. Some mice have been spotted chewing through crops while others have bitten hospital patients.
Farmers are struggling under the arrival of the mice, with many stating they’ve spent thousands on bait to catch and kill the rodents that are damaging crops and stored grain, The Independent reported. For businesses, owners are experiencing damage to stock and electrical wires that have been chewed through by the tiny animals.