West Central Region
Wisconsin counties include: Buffalo, Chippewa, Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire, Jackson, La Crosse, Marathon, Monroe, Pepin, Pierce, Portage, St. Croix, Trempealeau, Wood
West Central Region
Former La Crosse County Board Chair Tara Johnson announced a run for Wisconsin's 3rd Congressional District, making her the third Democratic candidate seeking the seat in the 2024 primary.
September 6, 2023
Rebecca Cooke, who finished second in the 2022 Democratic primary for Wisconsin's 3rd Congressional District seat, is running again in 2024 to challenge U.S. Rep. Derrick Van Orden, the Republican incumbent.
July 10, 2023
Students, teachers and community members in Black River Falls are contributing to an art installation named Heart Spirits to build awareness about the tragedy of missing and murdered indigenous women.
May 5, 2023
A BNSF freight train derailed near De Soto along the Mississippi River where soils are saturated due to ongoing flooding in La Crosse, Prairie du Chien and elsewhere in western Wisconsin.
April 28, 2023
Melting winter snowpack and springtime rains are causing major floods on the Mississippi River in western Wisconsin, with communities facing road closures and neighborhood evacuations as waters rise.
April 26, 2023
National Weather Service hydrologist Mike Welvaert describes conditions on the Mississippi River and other Wisconsin waterways as forecasted floods crest in La Crosse and emergency responses activate.
April 21, 2023
Warm temperatures and gusty winds in central and west-central Wisconsin leads Gov. Tony Evers to declare a state of emergency in response to extreme fire danger.
April 14, 2023
Here & Now extra: Residents of a rural village in central Wisconsin are trying to ensure access to clean drinking water sources as they clamor for support from the state to address and mitigate the sources of nutrient pollution.
December 15, 2022
Portage County water resource specialist Jennifer McNelly discusses testing well water in Nelsonville to assess how much agricultural and septic system waste contribute to contamination by nitrates.
December 13, 2022
Contamination of well waters by a chemical common in manure and septic systems has residents of a rural community in central Wisconsin arguing about its causes and finding appropriate solutions.
December 8, 2022
Nelsonville resident Tarion O'Carroll describes how nitrate contamination in the area compels him to regularly visit an artesian well in another community in order to supply household water needs.
December 6, 2022
Residents of a central Wisconsin village are finding dangerous levels of a common agricultural pollutant in their drinking water and are left trying to filter their supplies or find new sources.
December 1, 2022
Here & Now extra: The winning Republican candidate for a U.S. House seat in western and central swaths of the state is getting ready to serve in the majority while Democratic candidate Brad Pfaff thinks his party can learn from the close margin in this 2022 race.
November 17, 2022
UW-La Crosse political science professor Anthony Chergosky examines Derrick Van Orden's victory over Brad Pfaff for a western Wisconsin U.S. House seat and the rural-urban split in partisan politics.
November 11, 2022
In a boost to Republican designs on taking control of the U.S. House, that party's candidate Derrick Van Orden defeated Democratic candidate Brad Pfaff in a western Wisconsin congressional district.
November 9, 2022
UW-La Crosse political science professor Anthony Chergosky assesses the race between Brad Pfaff and Derrick Van Orden for Wisconsin's 3rd Congressional District seat in the last weeks of the election.
October 21, 2022
A lifeline could disappear due to a pollution lawsuit that has implications for the 1.7 million Wisconsinites who rely on private wells.
September 21, 2022
'There's nothing that hits you in the gut harder than the thought that you don't have safe drinking water,' the retiring member of Congress says.
September 21, 2022
A Republican promoting national political issues and a Democrat focusing on local economic desires are vying in a high-profile 2022 contest for a U.S. House seat in rural, western swaths of the state.
September 9, 2022
School District of Arcadia Superintendent Lance Bagstad describes the shortages of teachers and staff in rural schools and what is being done to recruit and retain more people in these positions.
August 19, 2022
UW-La Crosse political science professor Anthony Chergosky explains why a race between Brad Pfaff and Derrick Van Orden for a western Wisconsin U.S. House seat is in the national political spotlight.
August 12, 2022
Four residents of the Black River Falls area share the reasons why they continue to live in the community where they grew up rather than moving to a larger city.
June 9, 2022
Five teenagers who attend Black River Falls High School – who grew up in the area or moved there after living elsewhere – share how their perspectives and future plans are shaped by living in a rural community.
June 2, 2022
The city of La Crosse used an energy savings performance contract with Johnson Controls to work around Wisconsin's legal uncertainty over solar installations owned by third parties.
May 3, 2022
La Crosse County Clerk Ginny Dankmeyer describes the work ahead for election clerks across the state. Following the Wisconsin Supreme Court's last-minute ruling to use Republican legislative redistricting maps, clerks are crunched for time to readjust boundaries so candidates can seek signatures for their nomination papers.
April 22, 2022
Many Afghans who fled Taliban rule in August 2021 are making new homes in Wisconsin. On Jan. 31, 2022, Wisconsin Public Radio's "Central Time" interviewed journalists from PBS Wisconsin and WPR who shared the stories of refugees and the legal experts helping them navigate resettling in the United States. The show also interviewed the director of an Appleton resettlement agency about its work.
February 1, 2022
Whether they fled to the U.S. after the fall of Kabul or in previous years, Afghans hoping to build new lives in an unfamiliar place rely on the help of lawyers and resettlement agencies even as they strive to overcome the trauma of departing their original homes.
January 31, 2022
Afghan refugees in Wisconsin reflect on what they have left behind, challenges ahead as they start new life in the US
January 31, 2022
The experiences of every person who has fled from Afghanistan to the United States is different, but all must acclimate to new surroundings while navigating a complicated immigration system.
January 31, 2022
District administrators in Green Bay, La Crosse and elsewhere around the state are digging deep to find temporary staff to cover for employees who are out sick as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 rages.
January 20, 2022
After testing found "forever chemicals" in multiple municipal drinking water wells used by Eau Claire, the city has taken steps to mitigate this contamination, but it's an expensive and time-consuming problem faced by communities around Wisconsin.
November 16, 2021
After detecting elevated levels of per- and polyflouroalkyl substances, called PFAS, in its drinking water supplies, city of Eau Claire utility staff moved to test more samples, shut off wells where contamination was identified and cut off the flow of these "forever chemicals."
November 12, 2021
After being shifted from the 7th Congressional District to the 3rd in 2011, Portage County is set to switch representation once again in 2021, with the Republican plan splitting Stevens Point and Plover between the 7th and 8th districts, while the People's Map Commission moves it entirely into the 6th.
November 4, 2021
Struggling to juggle remote work needs and family entertainment demands with a DSL connection, an English teacher in Black River Falls found daily life transformed after subscribing to satellite internet service.
October 26, 2021
Reporter Marisa Wojcik investigates an intensive care unit at Marshfield Clinic as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Wisconsin, exploring severe stains on ICU space in hospitals and the perspectives of the frontline health workers who continue to fight the pandemic.
September 24, 2021
Over the course of two weeks, Republican and Democratic lawmakers from Wisconsin stopped by a U.S. Army base near La Crosse to check out how thousands of new immigrants from Afghanistan are being housed before resettlement around the country.
September 13, 2021
Eau Claire homeowners typically pay nothing under a grant-funded program to replace lead service lines, and the city is finding success in canvassing neighborhoods to identify homes where work is needed.
September 9, 2021
Here & Now extra: Thousands of Afghans seeking to make a new home in the United States are being temporarily housed at Fort McCoy, which played a similar role four decades earlier.
August 31, 2021
U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson comment about refugees from Afghanistan being brought to Fort McCoy in western Wisconsin.
August 27, 2021
As Afghan refugees begin to arrive at Fort McCoy, many are remembering the 1980 relocation of thousands of Cubans who arrived at the very same Western Wisconsin military installation. Omar Granados, an associate professor of Latin American and Latino studies at UW-La Crosse discusses his work studying this point in Wisconsin’s history.
August 25, 2021
Facing a November deadline to complete the mapping of county-level wards, local clerks are confident that another wave in the COVID-19 pandemic won't derail their work.
August 23, 2021
Counties around the state are hustling to meet a November 2021 deadline for redistricting to be ready for the spring 2022 elections.
August 19, 2021
As Afghans who worked with the U.S. flee their home under Taliban rule, the military is preparing to temporarily house some at Fort McCoy. Dawn Berney, executive director of resettlement nonprofit Jewish Social Services of Madison, explains how local agencies are preparing for a potential influx of refugees.
August 18, 2021
Setting aside government money at birth for all children has been tried both inside and outside of the United States — and even in Wisconsin. Not everyone is a fan.
August 5, 2021
Residents in a north central Wisconsin community have become divided on passing a resolution proclaiming Marathon County “A Community For All.” Marathon County Board Supervisor and Wausau attorney William Harris explains why consensus cannot be found in this yearlong debate.
May 19, 2021
In St. Croix County, a jump in cases among teenagers and a plateauing of demand for the coronavirus vaccine illustrates how the second year of the pandemic is shifting in different places around the state.
April 30, 2021
With universal eligibility starting April 5, the pace of coronavirus shots is speeding up everywhere in the state, but rates have been stubbornly lower in Clark, Rusk and Taylor counties.
March 30, 2021
The state is providing drinking water to thousands of residents living near the La Crosse airport after the widespread presence of PFAS chemicals is found in private well testing around the area.
March 26, 2021
Kathryn Schauf, Eau Claire Couty administrator, discusses how much COVID stimulus relief funding she expects and where those dollars will be spent in the area.
March 19, 2021
State and local efforts to expand equitable internet access across the state grow in priority as both education and the economy moved more online in the wake of the coronavirus.
March 5, 2021
The Thursday speech marks the third consecutive week the vice president has visited Wisconsin.
September 24, 2020
Darrell Keaton is a community activist in Wausau and discusses how his community is working toward greater racial justice. Keaton founded Men & Women 4 Change Social Club to promote diversity and awareness of minority owned businesses and organizations in Central Wisconsin. Wausau will celebrate Juneteenth next year as a result of Keaton's work with the Wausau mayor and chief of police.
July 10, 2020
A "Severe Risk" red alert has been issued in La Crosse area. Public was notified of possible exposure if they visited any of seven bars and restaurants in the downtown La Crosse area. Residents are being advised to stay at home and reduce gatherings to no more than 10 people. Jennifer Rombalski, director of La Crosse County Health Department says to "take this seriously as a community altogether."
June 19, 2020
For some, taking to the streets in protest is how to be heard when it comes to race equity. For Dennis Beale, it's about mentorship and relationship building. He recently founded Power of Perception, partnering with the Eau Claire Area School District to create opportunities for African-American and biracial youth.
June 17, 2020
National Guard deployed to support county and tribal health efforts.
May 4, 2020
Non-profit organizations face new challenges as the COVID-19 outbreak affects their daily operations and bottom line.
April 14, 2020
Gundersen Health System in La Crosse has developed their own in-house test for COVID-19. They say patients no longer need to wait days to get results, which might be the case if tests were sent to an outside lab. “If a test is required from the health system, we can ...
March 27, 2020
Former DATCP Secretary Designee-Brad Pfaff found is back on the Evers administration. Pfaff will now serve as the Director of business and rural development in the Department of Administration. He will not need Senate confirmation in his new position.
December 4, 2019
U.S. and State Department of Agriculture Secretaries Sonny Perdue and Brad Pfaff both give their perspectives on the state of small dairy farmers and the industry as a whole. With extreme weather, low prices and uncertainty in foreign trade, Pfaff explains that Wisconsin farmers have been hit with a “triple whammy” of unfortunate events.
December 4, 2019
Last year, Wisconsin saw 60 fatal car accidents as a result of distracted driving. The story of a Hudson family's tragic experience reveals the damaging effects of a distracted driver. A bill at the Capitol regarding “driving while distracted” aims to crack down on the issue.
November 29, 2019
Ongoing trade disputes with China impact many Wisconsin industries, including ginseng producers. Wausau area farm owner Will Hsu describes how he’s navigating the turmoil in the market, and talks about his optimism for this year’s crop.
October 25, 2019
President of the Wisconsin District Attorneys Association, Louis Molepske, speaks to the Evers’ administration’s decision to provide funds for additional county Assistant DAs. More than 60 assistant DAs will be placed at 56 counties around the state. Molepske says that the additional prosecutors will help people stay out of prison and make sure that justice is served for victims.
September 20, 2019
A new bill by Senator Patrick Testin, R-Stevens Point, aims to make it easier for families to pass down farms to future generations. The bill is apart of the “Our Farms, Our Future” bill package which will tackle a number of issues that Wisconsin farmers face. Other bills in the package will address student loan debt and a diversity grant program.
September 6, 2019
Residents of southwestern Wisconsin voice concerns over a proposed high-voltage power line that would stretch from Iowa to just west of Madison. Student journalist Will Kenneally reports on the Public Service Commission’s upcoming decision on whether the line is necessary for Wisconsin’s energy infrastructure.
July 19, 2019
Declining enrollments and complicated funding streams are making it harder and harder for rural schools to keep the lights on. Kim Kaukl, director if the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance, joins us to talk about this seemingly inescapable pattern and talk about his own story in Spring Valley.
June 12, 2019
After a year and a half of turbulence, UW-Stevens Point has pulled back from a plan to cut liberal arts majors and tenured faculty positions. But professor and librarian Nerissa Nelson is cautious about celebrating this fact too quickly. She argues that the process has caused distrust and the solution came at too great a great cost.
May 15, 2019
Explaining the state's child welfare crisis is Dir. of La Crosse Co. Division of Health Serv. Jason Witt. He says the state’s meth and drug problem contribute to more children needing to be on welfare. “It really has been a flood, and this really is a crisis,” Witt says. Also a preview of a WPT documentary on trauma informed care among children: "Not Enough Apologies."
May 10, 2019