Weekend Roundup: Milwaukee Health Department will not face charges after yearslong investigation into lead program

Weekend Roundup: Milwaukee Health Department will not face charges after yearslong investigation into lead program

The Milwaukee Health Department will not face charges after an investigation of its handling of the childhood lead poisoning prevention program found insufficient evidence the Health Department had violated the law.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office pointed to a lack of clarity in state law, unreliable Health Department records and conflicting witness statements, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Thursday.

The investigation was first reported by the Journal Sentinel in October 2018, when news broke about lagging action on preventing lead poisoning among Milwaukee’s most vulnerable children.

Wisconsin DHS: COVID-19 Weekly Recap

The seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin is 315 as of Friday. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has confirmed 12,701 total deaths from the disease. 

More than 60 percent of Wisconsinites are fully vaccinated — 82.3 percent of people age 65 and older, 57.5 percent of children age 12 to 17 and 24 percent of children 5 to 11 years old. As of Friday, 33.4 percent have received a booster shot.

Rice Lake couple honored for 78 years of marriage

A couple from Rice Lake in northwestern Wisconsin is being honored as the longest married couple among 11 that were recently inducted into the newly-established Wisconsin’s Marriage Hall of Fame.

Hiram and Gretta Brown celebrated 78 years on Friday, March 25. The couple’s daughter, Margaret O’Brien, submitted her parents’ names to the Wisconsin Family Council for recognition in the hall of fame, according to the Rice Lake Chronotype.

O’Brien told the Chronotype that her parents’ advice other couples looking for a lasting marriage is to “stick it out!”

Applications for induction into the hall of fame were open to all Wisconsin couples who have been married at least 60 years. Applications will open in February for next year’s inductees. 

Brook Lopez’s return boosts Bucks ahead of postseason

Giannis Antetokounmpo says the absence of Brook Lopez for much of the season has caused the Milwaukee Bucks to appreciate the 7-foot veteran on a whole new level.

Lopez is back with the Bucks after missing 67 games due to a back injury that required surgery.

He returned to the starting lineup Tuesday in a 126-98 home victory over the Chicago Bulls after coming off the bench for three games.

The return of Lopez and the addition of veteran center Serge Ibaka at the trade deadline give the defending champions the frontcourt depth they lacked for much of the season.

Madison men’s homeless shelter to receive $2M in federal funding 

At a press conference Tuesday, Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan announced that the new men’s homeless shelter on the east side of Madison will get $2 million in federal funding through the most recent government funding bill, reports the Cap Times

The city of Madison and Dane County have budgeted $9 million for the shelter. The county has allocated $3 million to put toward acquiring and building the site. 

Next week, the Madison City Council will take up a resolution to approve the site and begin plans for selecting a design consultant and an operator for the project, as well as drafting proposals for architects and engineers.

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The federal funding is a big key in bringing the shelter to the area, the mayor said. 

“These funds will help us construct a purpose-built men’s shelter which will provide safety, dignity and opportunity for people who are experiencing homelessness,” said Rhodes-Conway. 

She has said the shelter will tentatively house between 100 and 200 men and could be open in a year. But the details of the project are still in the early stages.

United States to accept 100K Ukrainian refugees

While most displaced Ukrainians want to stay in Europe, the U.S. government announced Thursday it would welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainians and other displaced people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.

A senior administration official to President Joe Biden said the government expects to use its refugee admission program as well as the parole system and immigrant and non-immigrant visas to bring in Ukrainians. Family of Ukrainian-Americans and vulnerable populations including LGBTQ+ people, people with medical needs and journalists and dissidents will be prioritized.

In addition to opening the U.S. to refugees of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Biden announced $1 billion in new funding for humanitarian aid for Ukrainians and refugees in neighboring countries.

Editor’s note: The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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