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Wednesday, April 16, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 27.0° F  Mostly Cloudy


Women to hold two top leadership posts on Dane County Board for first time

Sharon Corrigan is making history as the newly elected chair of the Dane County Board. Only one other woman -- Mary Louise Symon -- has held the post, serving from 1974 to 1980. Corrigan was elected chair by her colleagues Tuesday at a noontime meeting of the board. The reelection of vice chair Carousel Bayrd made for another first -- this will be the only time women have occupied both top leadership posts on the board. >More
 Madland: Why Isthmus wrote about the expulsion of a 'white, middle-class honors student'

The morning Isthmus hit the streets with our story about a high school freshman's expulsion from East High School, I received an email from a father whose daughter had also been expelled under the Madison school district's zero tolerance policy. He recalled how he had contacted me about two years ago to see if we'd be interested in telling the story of his daughter's expulsion ordeal. >More
 Expelled East High freshman returns to school as family's focus turns to daughter's education, legal fees

After a nearly six week-hiatus, Maia returned to East High School Tuesday. The Madison School Board voted in closed session Monday to reject Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham's recommendation that the freshman honors student be expelled through the 2014-15 school year for an alcohol-related incident. The board also voted later that night to adopt a new set of behavioral guidelines for the school district, a shift away from the "zero tolerance" policies that set Maia up for expulsion. >More
 The Progressive magazine and Center for Media and Democracy merge

Two titans in the world of progressive journalism and investigations have joined forces. The Progressive magazine and the Center for Media and Democracy have merged and are now operating under the umbrella of the Progressive Inc. Both groups are based in Madison and have national audiences. >More
 Madison school board returns freshman honors student to East High, rejects superintendent’s expulsion recommendation

A ninth-grade honors student will return to East High School Tuesday after the Madison school board rejected Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham's recommendation to expel her through the 2014-15 school year. Melissa Meyer, Maia's mother, says her daughter will still have the expulsion on her record, but she will be able to return to school with "time served." >More
 Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham advises Madison school board to use discretion for students facing expulsion

Three days after Isthmus first reported that an honors student named Maia is facing expulsion from East High for a onetime alcohol violation, Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham is now telling the Madison school board it should "adjust [its] process for expulsions." On Friday, Cheatham sent a memo to board members recommending that they not enforce the current code of conduct for students with respect to expulsions for the remainder of this year. >More
 Wisconsin Department of Justice files cost-benefit analysis of Capitol protest prosecution with no numbers

Dane County Judge Peter Anderson might have been looking for some numbers when he asked the Wisconsin Department of Justice to estimate the costs and benefits of prosecuting Capitol tickets. But that's not what he got. In a response filed March 27, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Daniel P. Lennington argued that enforcing the "rule of law" has value beyond "reducing monetary enforcement expenses" to all citizens. >More
 'Zero tolerance run amok': Madison honors student expelled, family fights back

On March 14, three top Madison school officials spent most of their day trying to convince an independent hearing examiner to expel a 14-year-old honors student from East High School. Joseph Hill, expulsion and truancy coordinator for the district, argued the case along with his expert witnesses, Mary Kelley, principal of East High, and Mikki Smith, assistant principal. A court reporter, hired for the occasion, recorded the proceedings. >More
 Wisconsin DOJ to appeal Dane County court ruling dismissing Solidarity Sing Along tickets on constitutional grounds

According to Assistant Attorney General Devra Ayala, the Wisconsin Department of Justice is planning to appeal Dane County Judge John Markson's ruling that the state's permitting requirements for Capitol gatherings are unconstitutional. Markson dismissed 29 tickets that had been issued to participants in the Solidarity Sing Along on the basis of his Feb. 5 decision in State of Wisconsin vs. Michael W. Crute and his ruling has since been used by other Dane County judges to also toss Capitol citations. >More
 Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II of North Carolina's 'Moral Monday' protest movement comes to Madison

Madison's civil rights and labor rights advocates are hoping to learn something from a movement born in North Carolina that is spreading throughout the South. The "Moral Monday" movement started in 2013 in protest of Republican efforts in the North Carolina statehouse to cut funding for education, Medicaid and unemployment benefits and to restrict access to voting and abortion services. >More
 Taxi industry mobilizes as Lyft and Uber ride apps launch in Madison

Local educator and entrepreneur Erin McWalter is working on her second startup, a project whose goal is to create "resilient communities by facilitating interactive and diverse public spaces." She speaks of "forward momentum advocates" and an "ecosystem of innovation." And it is in this context of change that she welcomes the recent arrival to Madison of two app-based ride services, Lyft and Uber. >More
 Pussy Riot members petition Wisconsin attorney general to stop prosecuting Solidarity Sing Along (updated)

Two members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot are speaking out in support of the Solidarity Sing Along, which has for three years protested Gov. Scott Walker's policies on weekdays at the Capitol. Nadya Tolokonikova and Masha Alyokhina appear in a video launched Tuesday by the human-rights group the Voice Project. >More
 ACLU's injunction to block Wisconsin's same-sex marriage ban cites parental rights

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb will hear arguments on March 27 on a request to temporarily bar enforcement of Wisconsin's same-sex marriage ban.The American Civil Liberties Union filed a motion Thursday night seeking a preliminary injunction that would stay in place until there is a final decision in a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the ban. >More
 Scott Walker's media strategy: Staying mum about the secret email system

Last week, thousands of emails were released confirming that Scott Walker's inner circle used a secret email system that mixed political and public business in his Milwaukee County executive office. Since then, the governor has refused to answer a significant question: Did he know about this private channel? >More
 John Schulze out as Wisconsin DOT legal chief following release of offensive John Doe email

John Schulze, the chief legal counsel for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation since last spring, is no longer with the department, an agency spokesperson has confirmed. Schulze's departure follows the release last week of an offensive email he sent in 2010 to a secret email system in Gov. Scott Walker's former Milwaukee County office. >More
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