Regions


West Central Region

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

Latest Stories

Pfaff on 2022 3rd Congressional District Run
Pfaff on 2022 3rd Congressional District Run

Elections

Pfaff on 2022 3rd Congressional District Run

State Senator Brad Pfaff discusses his run as a Democratic candidate for Wisconsin's open 3rd Congressional District seat and the issues he plans to prioritize in the campaign.

October 8, 2021

Impacts of Fighting COVID-19 on Frontline Health Workers
Impacts of Fighting COVID-19 on Frontline Health Workers

Coronavirus

Impacts of Fighting COVID-19 on Frontline Health Workers

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

Legal Aid for Afghan Refugees
Legal Aid for Afghan Refugees

Social Issues

Legal Aid for Afghan Refugees

Erin Barbato, director of the Immigrant Justice Clinic at the UW Law School, describes legal assistance the group is providing to Afghan refugees at Fort McCoy as they prepare for resettlement.

September 17, 2021

A stone gate marks the entrance to the U.S. Army installation Fort McCoy.
A stone gate marks the entrance to the U.S. Army installation Fort McCoy.

Politics

Wisconsin Lawmakers Visit Fort McCoy, Focus on the Vetting of Afghan Refugees

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

Wisconsin’s Pandemic Alcohol Surge
Wisconsin’s Pandemic Alcohol Surge

Health

Wisconsin’s Pandemic Alcohol Surge

Luke Fedie, a mental health specialist and substance abuse counselor with Eau Claire County, describes what a spike in alcohol sales in Wisconsin during the pandemic means in human terms.

September 10, 2021

Workers hold a blue replacement water pipe surrounded by metal netting.
Workers hold a blue replacement water pipe surrounded by metal netting.

Health

Spurred by Flint Crisis, Eau Claire Aims to Eliminate Lead Pipelines

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

Wisconsin Lawmakers on Afghan Refugees at Fort McCoy
Wisconsin Lawmakers on Afghan Refugees at Fort McCoy

Politics

Wisconsin Lawmakers on Afghan Refugees at Fort McCoy

U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson comment about refugees from Afghanistan being brought to Fort McCoy in western Wisconsin.

August 27, 2021

Noon Wednesday: What We Can Learn from 1980 Cuban Refugees
Noon Wednesday: What We Can Learn from 1980 Cuban Refugees

Social Issues

Noon Wednesday: What We Can Learn from 1980 Cuban Refugees

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

A map of Chippewa County supervisory districts sits on a table.
A map of Chippewa County supervisory districts sits on a table.

Elections

How Could the Delta Surge Affect Wisconsin’s Redistricting Process?

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

Afghanistan Refugees Coming to Fort McCoy
Afghanistan Refugees Coming to Fort McCoy

Social Issues

Afghanistan Refugees Coming to Fort McCoy

Governor Tony Evers and U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher respond to the announcement that refugees from Afghanistan will be temporarily housed at Fort McCoy in western Wisconsin.

August 20, 2021

The Rush to Redistrict Wisconsin’s Most Local Offices
The Rush to Redistrict Wisconsin’s Most Local Offices

Elections

The Rush to Redistrict Wisconsin’s Most Local Offices

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

Noon Wednesday: Wisconsin Prepares for Afghan Refugees
Noon Wednesday: Wisconsin Prepares for Afghan Refugees

Social Issues

Noon Wednesday: Wisconsin Prepares for Afghan Refugees

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

Whither Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District?
Whither Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District?

Politics

Whither Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District?

Charles Franklin, Director of the Marquette Law School Poll, considers the future of Wisconsin’s Congressional Delegation in the wake of a high profile retirement and release of 2020 Census data.

August 13, 2021

Donald Greengrass Jr. sits on a chair at a restaurant counter
Donald Greengrass Jr. sits on a chair at a restaurant counter

Economy

How Could ‘Baby Bonds’ Address Wisconsin’s Racial Wealth Gap?

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

Noon Wednesday: ‘A Community For All’
Noon Wednesday: ‘A Community For All’

Social Issues

Noon Wednesday: ‘A Community For All’

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

A vaccinator wearing gloves and mask gives a shot to another person wearing a mask.
A vaccinator wearing gloves and mask gives a shot to another person wearing a mask.

Coronavirus

Wisconsin’s COVID Condition: Diverging Geographies of Vaccinations and Variants

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

Bumper stickers reading I got me COVID-19 vaccine #SavingLives shared by the Clark County Health Department
Bumper stickers reading I got me COVID-19 vaccine #SavingLives shared by the Clark County Health Department

WisContext

Where Is Wisconsin’s COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Lagging — And Why?

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

Map of water well sampling areas for PFAS contamination near the La Crosse airport
Map of water well sampling areas for PFAS contamination near the La Crosse airport

Environment

Wisconsin Issues Drinking Water Advisory After Well Testing on French Island Identifies PFAS Contamination

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

How Eau Claire Plans to Use American Stimulus Dollars
How Eau Claire Plans to Use American Stimulus Dollars

Coronavirus

How Eau Claire Plans to Use American Stimulus Dollars

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

Illustration of outline Wisconsin with connect the dots networks.
Illustration of outline Wisconsin with connect the dots networks.

Education

The Pandemic Pushes New Appeals for Rural Broadband Investment Across Wisconsin

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

COVID-19 and Schools
COVID-19 and Schools

Coronavirus

COVID-19 and Schools

Dr. Amy Falk, a Wisconsin Rapids pediatrician, discusses the study she co-authored for the CDC showing schools as unlikely vectors of transmission for the coronavirus.

February 5, 2021

Mike Pence
Mike Pence

Here and Now 2020

Pence Talks Jobs, Law Enforcement at Eau Claire Event

The Thursday speech marks the third consecutive week the vice president has visited Wisconsin.

September 24, 2020

What Racial Justice Movement Looks Like in Central Wisconsin
What Racial Justice Movement Looks Like in Central Wisconsin

Social Issues

What Racial Justice Movement Looks Like in Central Wisconsin

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

La Crosse County Sees Sharp Uptick in COVID-19 Cases
La Crosse County Sees Sharp Uptick in COVID-19 Cases

Coronavirus

La Crosse County Sees Sharp Uptick in COVID-19 Cases

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

Noon Wednesday: Mentorship Over Protest
Noon Wednesday: Mentorship Over Protest

Social Issues

Noon Wednesday: Mentorship Over Protest

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

Image of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden
Image of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden

Politics

Biden Makes Two Virtual Stops in Wisconsin

The Democratic presidential candidate made virtual stops in La Crosse and Milwaukee, discussing plans for rural Wisconsin and criticizing the president's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

May 20, 2020

Tom Tiffany
Tom Tiffany

Elections

Tiffany Wins Special Election

Republican Tom Tiffany wins the special election to replace Sean Duffy in the state's 7th Congressional District.

May 13, 2020

Three Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers and Airmen and one local medical professional help facilitate mobile testing in Buffalo County, Wis., May 1, 2020. Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers and Airmen provide COVID-19 testing alongside county Emergency Management and County Health Officials in support of the Department of Health Services request in Buffalo County, Wisconsin.  (Courtesy: Spc. Emma Anderson / Wisconsin National Guard)
Three Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers and Airmen and one local medical professional help facilitate mobile testing in Buffalo County, Wis., May 1, 2020. Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers and Airmen provide COVID-19 testing alongside county Emergency Management and County Health Officials in support of the Department of Health Services request in Buffalo County, Wisconsin.  (Courtesy: Spc. Emma Anderson / Wisconsin National Guard)

Health

Community Testing Begins in Northwestern Wisconsin

National Guard deployed to support county and tribal health efforts.

May 4, 2020

A visit to Wheelhouse Studios in the Memorial Union at UW-Madison, as seen in this photo from 2014, is the kind of activity that was supported by the bridge builders of Living Our Visions (LOV Inc) before the COVID 19 crisis. (Courtesy Jeff Miller / UW-Madison)
A visit to Wheelhouse Studios in the Memorial Union at UW-Madison, as seen in this photo from 2014, is the kind of activity that was supported by the bridge builders of Living Our Visions (LOV Inc) before the COVID 19 crisis. (Courtesy Jeff Miller / UW-Madison)

Social Issues

Nonprofit Sector to Be Challenged and Changed by COVID-19

Non-profit organizations face new challenges as the COVID-19 outbreak affects their daily operations and bottom line.

April 14, 2020

scientist's hands pipette liquid into viles
scientist's hands pipette liquid into viles

Health

In-House Test Shows Promise to Increase Capacity

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 Sec. Designee Pfaff Stays on Evers Administration
Former Sec. Designee Pfaff Stays on Evers Administration

Politics

Former Sec. Designee Pfaff Stays on Evers Administration

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

The Economic State of Farming
The Economic State of Farming

Agriculture

The Economic State of Farming

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

New Bill Aims to Curb Reckless Driving Habits
New Bill Aims to Curb Reckless Driving Habits

Policy

New Bill Aims to Curb Reckless Driving Habits

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

Chinese Trade Disputes Impact Wisconsin Ginseng
Chinese Trade Disputes Impact Wisconsin Ginseng

Agriculture

Chinese Trade Disputes Impact Wisconsin Ginseng

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

Portage County DA on the Impact of 60 Plus New Prosecutors
Portage County DA on the Impact of 60 Plus New Prosecutors

Politics

Portage County DA on the Impact of 60 Plus New Prosecutors

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

‘Our Farms, Our Future’ Bills offer Resources To Family Farm
‘Our Farms, Our Future’ Bills offer Resources To Family Farm

Agriculture

‘Our Farms, Our Future’ Bills offer Resources To Family Farm

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

PSC to Weigh Need vs. Environmental Impact of Power Line
PSC to Weigh Need vs. Environmental Impact of Power Line

Environment

PSC to Weigh Need vs. Environmental Impact of Power Line

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

Noon Wednesday: The New Normal for Rural Schools
Noon Wednesday: The New Normal for Rural Schools

Education

Noon Wednesday: The New Normal for Rural Schools

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

Noon Wednesday: UW-Stevens Point Majors
Noon Wednesday: UW-Stevens Point Majors

Education

Noon Wednesday: UW-Stevens Point Majors

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

Child Welfare Crisis La Crosse County
Child Welfare Crisis La Crosse County

Social Issues

Child Welfare Crisis La Crosse County

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

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