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Tuesday, September 16, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 63.0° F  A Few Clouds
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What happens when a Wisconsin government spokesperson is asked a tough question about her boss

I called the Wisconsin Department of Health Services on Feb. 18 to confirm a tip I'd received that Dennis Smith, secretary of the department, was leaving Madison to return to Washington, D.C. The timing was interesting, given that Smith would soon be faced with overseeing proposed massive changes to BadgerCare because of Gov. Scott Walker's rejection of billions of dollars in Medicaid funding. >More
 Dane County Board proposes funding housing co-ops to ease affordable housing crunch

Brenda Konkel struck a nerve when she criticized local governments in last week's Isthmus for failing to act on the dismal affordable housing market. "The affordable housing picture is so bleak right now. There are waiting lists everywhere," Konkel told the paper. "I've never seen it so bad. And what's bugging me is the elected officials aren't responding to it." The quote bugged Dane County Supv. Carousel Andrea Bayrd, who has been working on affordable housing issues with a number of initiatives. >More
 Roggensack's stance on recusal an issue in Wisconsin Supreme Court race

In 2010, the Wisconsin Supreme Court reinstated a criminal conviction against Dimitri Henley. Afterward, his lawyers filed a motion arguing that Justice Patience Roggensack should have recused herself from taking part, given her role in a case involving Henley's co-defendant. This motion was later denied, on a 4-3 vote. What surprised and even shocked some court observers was that Roggensack took part in this ruling. >More
 Rep. Brett Hulsey's legislative aide to be reassigned following concerns about his 'strange behaviors'

After spending much of the fall explaining why he pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct charge, Wisconsin Rep. Brett Hulsey (D-Madison) appears to be in the middle of more turmoil. His full-time legislative aide took vacation and is being reassigned to another job following an incident where she felt threatened by Hulsey's plan to use a box cutter to show her how to defend herself. >More
 Over the course of his career with the Madison Police Department, Stephen Heimsness received commendations as well as complaints

About 44 hours after fatally shooting Paul Heenan, Madison Police officer Stephen Heimsness broke down in tears as he recounted the events that transpired Nov. 9 on South Baldwin Street to investigators, according to recently released police reports. While crying, Heimsness said he felt "pissed" after firing three times into Heenan because "the guy made me shoot him." >More
 Madison Police Department releases full investigative file on shooting of Paul Heenan by Officer Stephen Heimsness (updated)

The Madison Police Department released its full investigative file Friday on the Nov. 9 officer-involved shooting that left Paul Heenan dead on South Baldwin Street. The file contains what the police department says are all records regarding the death of Heenan and its subsequent investigation, including police reports, videotapes and interviews. >More
 Madison commision approves plan to convert Sherman Avenue into two-lane road with bike lanes

The momentum to convert North Sherman Avenue into a two-lane road with pedestrian and bicycle facilities got a boost Wednesday night with the approval of the controversial plan by the Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission. The commission is the fourth city panel within the last week and a half to pass the resolution. The Common Council is expected to take a final vote on Tuesday. >More
 Busting Wisconsin's unions: Act 10 is part of a larger battle against organized labor

Gov. Scott Walker's 2011 law stripping government employees of union rights was only a few months old when workers who build cranes in Manitowoc learned their company was making a stringent new demand in their own union contract. In negotiations with the International Association of Machinists, Manitowoc Cranes management was insisting that the union drop its so-called union security clause from the contract -- language that required every employee who was represented by the union to either join the union or at least pay union dues. >More
 Can Neighborhood House get its act together?

In a basement room of the Neighborhood House Community Center, a small board of directors squared off with neighborhood residents in late January. As board members struggled to work through their agenda, stragglers interrupted the proceedings to raise concerns about the future of the center. The constant pounding of Japanese drums from another room added to the tension. >More
 Journalists and citizens testify against Wisconsin bill allowing new fees for public records

Journalists are usually the ones reporting the news. But several testified Wednesday at a public hearing against a bill allowing government agencies to charge new fees for public records requests. "I feel a little bit uncomfortable today," acknowledged Michael Juley, an editor with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, to members of the Assembly Committee on Government Operations and State Licensing. >More
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