MADISON - An attorney representing Democrats in a federal lawsuit seeking to make absentee voting easier told a judge Monday that his clients are no longer looking to implement changes in time for Wisconsin's August primary and are now looking ahead to the November presidential election.
The Democratic National Committee and the state Democratic Party filed a lawsuit in March seeking to ease regulations on absentee voting in the state's April 7 presidential primary as the coronavirus was spreading across the state. The lawsuit was consolidated with two other lawsuits seeking to make absentee voting easier in light of the pandemic.
The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately rejected the Democrats' arguments a day before that election but the lawsuits are still pending.
DNC attorney John Devaney told U.S. District Judge William Conley during a status conference that Democrats aren't seeking to make changes for the Aug. 11 primary and are instead prioritizing the Nov. 3 presidential election. He asked Conley to build in time for the appeals process to play out once he issues a ruling.
Conley ordered all briefs to be filed before the end of July and set a hearing for Aug. 5 and Aug. 6.
The lawsuit seeks to erase requirements that voters supply proof of residency and a photo ID with registrations and absentee ballot applications submitted electronically and by mail; extend registration deadlines to the Friday before the election; extend the deadline for clerks to receive absentee ballots from 8 p.m. on election night to within 10 days of the election; and suspend the requirement that absentee ballots include a witness signature.
Republicans oppose the changes, arguing voting by mail is ripe for fraud.
FLORENCE - We have updates from Florence, Onconto, and Shawano Counties on the identification of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer species which attacks and kills all true ash species. They have been found in 57 of the 72 counties in Wisconsin.
Public Lands Forester, of Florence County, Tyler Wood explained how the Emerald Ash Borer likes to travel on firewood, to reduce the spread to other places, burn the wood in the same place you bought or gathered it.
"The Emerald Ash Borer can fly easily about a half a mile, and up to maybe 5 miles away from a host tree to find another tree in order to infect that tree," said Wood.
Though there won't be a significant impact on the environment in Florence county, not knowing if your tree is infected could lead to safety concerns around your property or for people with streets lined with the trees, dangerous roadways could occur during storms.
Forest Health Specialist, Linda Williams, spoke about how the future extinction would affect more than just the forest. The MLB uses ash trees to make their baseball bats, as well as the local Native American tribes whos culture traditions create baskets from ash.
"The Emerald Ash Borer will kill the Ash Trees. And we've seen that happening in southern Wisconsin as well as other states that have had it for much longer than us. Other species of trees tend to come into those sites sometimes they are desirable species and some are not," said Williams..
If you are a concerned ash tree owner some signs that your tree has been infested is the outer bark removed by woodpeckers, and D-shaped holes where the insects have emerged.
For people with 10 plus acres you can file a request with the DNR to have a walk through to understand how to manage the Emerald Ash Borer at mywisconsinwoods.org.
WASHINGTON - Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a diminutive yet towering women's rights champion who became the court's second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington. She was 87.
Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the court said.
- A lot is happening underwater while Wisconsin is transitioning from summer, to fall, and winter.
But we don't really see those changes. Though we might be getting out of the water, fish can still thrive in the colder temperatures.
DNR Fisheries Supervisor John Kubisiak explains exactly how.
"These fish have been around for millions of years so they've had a long time to deal with these annual temperature cycles of course," Kubisiak said.
In the fall, a lake's temperature gets closer and closer to freezing.
Fish are cold-blooded. Meaning, their environment's temperature controls their body temperature. Kubisiak said the reason why the lake temperature is such a big issue is because that drives their metabolic processes.
How exactly do the fish prepare for the cold weather?
MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction violated state law when it withheld voucher students' standardized test scores for a day last fall, a judge ruled Friday.
School Choice Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, a conservative law firm, sued the department in Jefferson County court in November. The lawsuit revolved around the 2018-19 standardized test scores that the department released that September.
MADISON - The state Department of Workforce Development's top leader resigned Friday after failing to find a way to address a massive backlog of unprocessed unemployment benefit claims sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' office said Caleb Frostman stepped down after the governor called for his resignation. Republicans have peppered Evers with criticism for months over the department's inability to process tens of thousands of benefit claims that have been flowing in since the coronavirus took hold in the U.S. in March.
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