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Wisconsin Weekly is a roundup of the week’s top stories from around the state by Wisconsin Watch and trusted news outlets. Access to some stories may be limited to subscribers of the news organizations that produced them. We urge our readers to consider supporting these important news outlets by subscribing, and sign up to get our free newsletters here

In this issue:

  • Michigan’s fake electors charged, Wisconsin election officials testify
  • Tony Evers signs phonics-based reading instruction bill
  • PFAS poses threat to those eating freshwater fish
  • A Wisconsin Watch guide to information disorder

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Matthew DeFour

Statehouse Bureau Chief


Attorney General Josh Kaul attends a campaign event for himself and other Democratic candidates Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Middleton, Wis. (Angela Major / WPR)

After Michigan charges against false electors, no word on Wisconsin investigation

Wisconsin Public Radio — July 19, 2023

The 16 Michigan Republicans who signed documents falsely declaring that Donald Trump had won the state’s 2020 election were charged with crimes under Michigan law. Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul has declined to say whether there is an investigation into Wisconsin’s 10 fake GOP electors, one of whom is a Wisconsin Elections Commission member, but his office said he “strongly believes that those who committed crimes in an effort to unlawfully subvert the outcome of an election should be held accountable.”

Federal authorities interview Wisconsin’s top election official in 2020 probe

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — July 18, 2023

Wisconsin Elections Commission administrator Meagan Wolfe acknowledged this week she has been interviewed by the special prosecutor probing Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election. The Madison city clerk and Milwaukee Election Commission executive director were also interviewed. Trump was alerted Sunday he is a target of the probe.


Gov. Tony Evers signs the Wisconsin 2023-25 biennial budget on July 5, 2023, in the Wisconsin State Capitol building in Madison. (Drake White-Bergey / Wisconsin Watch)

Wisconsin governor signs bill overhauling elementary reading education

The Associated Press — July 19, 2023

Wisconsin has joined at least 31 states and the District of Columbia in taking a phonics-based approach to reading instruction. Students in grades K-3 will be tested three times a year and those who fall behind will receive additional summer instruction.


A member of the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission is seen on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 collecting a lake trout in support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Fish Monitoring and Surveillance Program. Two other EPA programs tested Great Lakes fish for PFAS from 2013 to 2015. (Courtesy of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.)

PFAS may pose the next big threat to fishing in Door County

Door County Knock — July 19, 2023

If proposed federal regulations of PFAS chemicals were applied by state and local regulators, fish taken from Green Bay could be deemed unsafe to eat. Environmental research shows those who regularly eat freshwater fish have higher levels in their bodies of the “forever chemicals” found in firefighting foam, nonstick cookware and other household products.

More on PFAS from the Wisconsin State Journal: Budget funds PFAS cleanup, but now Wisconsin lawmakers have to agree on how to spend the money.

This week’s Wisconsin Watch headlines


Information disorder has proliferated on social media. But there are ways to inoculate yourself from misinformation and disinformation. (Amena Saleh / Wisconsin Watch)

Misinformation, Disinformation: A guide to sorting fiction from reality

Wisconsin Watch — July 20, 2023

Wisconsin Watch disinformation reporter Phoebe Petrovic provides an explanation of “information disorder” — what it is, how to spot the different types and how to protect yourself.


The Milwaukee Tool global headquarters are seen at 13135 West Lisbon Road, Brookfield, Wis., on March 9, 2023. Walmart is no longer listing Milwaukee Tool-branded gloves on its online marketplace and does not sell them in stores — responding to allegations that the tool company subcontractor relied on forced Chinese prison labor to manufacture certain models of gloves. (Jim Malewitz / Wisconsin Watch)

Walmart pulls Milwaukee Tool gloves allegedly made by Chinese prisoners

Wisconsin Watch — July 17, 2023

The country’s largest retailer has stopped selling Milwaukee Tool gloves allegedly made with Chinese prison labor. The news comes as Congress is probing the company’s supply chain practices in response to a Wisconsin Watch investigation.

Did the government ‘help destroy’ the Bronzeville neighborhood of Milwaukee? (YES)
Must all money from Milwaukee’s new 2% sales tax be spent on police? (NO)
Did a Tony Evers veto allow Wisconsin children to choose gender reassignment surgery paid for by Medicaid? (NO)

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