Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
MADISON — For the second time, Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker is taking a major idea from Democrats into his November re-election campaign, this time proposing an $80 million bid to overhaul Wisconsin's troubled youth prison system. First, Walker proposed and got funding for schools at essentially the same level as that proposed by Tony Evers, the state schools superintendent and Democratic challenger to Walker.
A Wisconsin city's 15-year quest for Lake Michigan water passed its final political milestone this week, with the Waukesha Common Council's unanimous approval of a 40-year agreement to buy water from Milwaukee. The Milwaukee connection will cost an estimated $286.2 million, or nearly $40 million less than the option of tapping into Oak Creek's distribution system, Waukesha Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak said. The Waukesha council approved the water purchase agreement Tuesday 14-0. The Milwaukee council approved the deal Nov. 28.
MADISON — Wisconsin is tightening the rules for conducting election recounts, under legislation signed by Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday. Assembly Bill 153 comes in response to 2016 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein's demand for a recount after Donald Trump became the first Republican presidential candidate to win Wisconsin since 1984.
A new report says a private equity firm has held talks with struggling department store operator Bon-Ton Stores Inc. about buying some of the retailer's assets. Bon-Ton, the parent company of Herberger's and Younkers, has spoken with Sycamore Partners, a New York firm, in recent weeks about a potential transaction, Bloomberg News reported Thursday. Bloomberg cited unidentified people familiar with the matter as sources for the report. Bon-Ton spokeswoman Christine Hojnacki said Friday the company had no comment.
MADISON — Wisconsin taxpayers would need an estimated 25 years to recoup up to $2.85 billion in proposed cash payments to bring a Taiwanese firm's display screen plant to the state, a report released Tuesday found. The analysis by the Legislature's nonpartisan budget office determined that if the Foxconn Technology Group plant operated at full expected employment levels — and attracted large numbers of jobs to Wisconsin through supplier companies — then state taxpayers would recoup their investment in 2043.
Kwik Trip Inc. has agreed to buy 34 PDQ convenience stores in Wisconsin, a move that will push Kwik Trip's overall store count to about 600. La Crosse-based Kwik Trip said Wednesday that it has signed an agreement to acquire the assets of employee-owned PDQ Food Stores for an undisclosed price. The purchase will give Kwik Trip nine more stores in southeastern Wisconsin and 23 more in the Madison area, along with single stores in Menasha and North Fond du Lac. Kwik Trip expects to close the deal in October. It is subject to approval by PDQ employees.
Amid renewed concern about whether chronic wasting disease can jump from deer to people, a fatal human brain condition in the same family is showing up more often in Wisconsin and nationally. It's happening as state testing for the deer disease is down, and hunters routinely opt not to test deer killed in affected zones. In 2002, the year CWD was discovered in Wisconsin, six cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease were recorded, according to the state Department of Health Services. In two of the last four years, 13 cases have been recorded. That's a 117 percent increase.
Mills Fleet Farm, the Midwest chain of sprawling stores packed with down-home goods ranging from poultry grit and PVC pipe to bib overalls and Muck Boots, is poised for a growth spurt. To date, the retailer's expansion has been gradual, adding six stores in the past 10 years — including its Hermantown location which opened last year — to bring its count to 36.
The race among Wisconsin Republicans to challenge U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin in 2018 was thrown wide open Thursday when U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy of Wausau announced he would not challenge the first-term Democrat. "After much prayer and deliberation, Rachel and I have decided that this is not the right time for me to run for Senate," Duffy said in a statement. "We have eight great kids and family always comes first."
MADISON — The cost of major road projects in Wisconsin doubled between the time they were planned and built, a sweeping audit of the state Department of Transportation revealed Thursday.