STEVENS POINT - The Northwoods enjoys one of the highest concentrations of fresh water lakes in the entire world, yet many people across the state worry the water coming out of their faucets could be dirty.
Gov. Tony Evers is addressing that by calling 2019 the 'Year of Clean Drinking Water.'
Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and Rep. Katrina Shankland visited UW-Stevens Point Monday as part of that project. They toured water testing facilities on the campus to talk about how the statewide issue can be solved.
Barnes and Shankland also announced a new plan to help private well owners keep their water safe.
"That's why I've introduced bi-partisan legislation to create a first of its kind for [a] private well testing program that would provide grants to local governments to help homeowners test their private wells, so they can know what's in their drinking water," said Shankland.
Shankland's bill also increases how much money the state gives to homeowners to hook up to clean drinking water.
Barnes thinks Republicans will support the bill because clean drinking water is important for everyone.
"It is a wise investment," said Barnes. "I don't think there are too many people would see a problem with us making sure that we're prioritizing health and safety. Everybody drinks water every day. If you don't you should. Eight glasses. Well, we want to make sure those Eight glasses are free of contaminants."
The UW-SP water labs test water in 16 different counties.
Barnes and Shankland both want this kind of science to lead the way to clean water solutions.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - President Donald Trump will begin his Independence Day weekend on Friday with a patriotic display of fireworks at Mount Rushmore, an event expected to draw thousands where masks and social distancing aren't required as coronavirus cases spike across the country.
Trump is expected to speak at the event, which has issued 7,500 tickets to watch fireworks that he says will be a "display like few people have seen."
NORTHWOODS - Wisconsin's lakes have a lot to offer their visitors. But some, like aquatic invasive species, are unwelcome due to the damage they can cause to native ecosystems.
There's a growing effort to prevent, contain, and control the spread of these aquatic invasive species, especially this holiday weekend. As part of the Clean Boats, Clean Waters program, volunteers will be stationed across popular boat landings, doing inspections and educating boaters on how to properly clean their boats.
"Any type of holiday weekend, especially the fourth of July when there's a lot more boat traffic, there's an emphasis on getting more awareness out there," said DNR recreation warden Justin Bender.
Aside from volunteers, most boat landings also have information posted on aquatic invasive species and the laws regarding boat cleaning. Citations for not properly cleaning your boats typically run $200-300.
MADISON, WI - Cigarette smoking rates have dropped since Wisconsin's Smoke-Free Indoor Air Law went into effect 10 years ago.
In 2008, before the law passed, 20% of Wisconsin adults smoked cigarettes. By 2018, the rate had dropped to 16%. High school youth cigarette smoking rates dropped from nearly 21% in 2008 to nearly 5% in 2018.
State cigarette taxes were also increased during this time period and contribute to this reduction.
"Wisconsin is breathing easier today thanks to this law, but we know there are many people in our state who still smoke," said DHS Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm. "We urge smokers to take advantage of the programs available to help them to quit, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people who smoke are believed to be more susceptible to the virus, and can become severely ill with it."
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